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What did your parents think about your ER?
Old 05-20-2015, 06:22 PM   #1
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What did your parents think about your ER?

For those of us blessed to still have one or more of our parents, how did they react when you FIRE'd?
My mom, who was a stay at home mom was thrilled and my dad was and still is horrified. He was a good workaholic and for the life of him cannot understand why anyone would walk away from a very well compensated job.

He thinks my brain will rot. I tried to explain to him that it is already rotting at Mega Corp lol.




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Old 05-20-2015, 06:24 PM   #2
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Well, when I was laid off from my main career j*b in 2013, my mom thought it was great that we were financially able for me to "retire" so I could support my wife's new ministry career. My father-in-law has never been a judgmental person and I never got the vibe that he thought I was a useless loser sponging off his daughter's new career. So maybe I've been lucky.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:37 PM   #3
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My mother passed away in September of 2007, and I did not retire until November of 2009.

However, I told her of my plans all along, and with more certainty earlier in 2007. She asked some incisive questions at that time.

"Do you have a pension?" ("Yes, Mom.)
"What about health insurance?" ("I can keep it in retirement.")
"When will you have your house paid off?" ("I paid it off last year.")
"Do you have a nestegg?" ("Yes, it's $x now and should be $y by the time I retire").

Then she said she was so happy with these answers, and that she felt at peace, knowing that I was in good shape to retire and would be fine.

Yes, she was the perfect mom! What better response could anyone have received.

My father passed away in 1981. He was not one to express approval of his children so I have a pretty good idea what his response would have been. But I didn't have to deal with it, thank goodness.

If your father is like mine, then I'd suggest that you take your father's response with a grain of salt. My guess is that he is just doing what he thinks is best.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:41 PM   #4
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FIL was the only one left when I retired, he was happy about it because we could make it to more family events. We also moved closer so we'd see him more often.

When we had to move from the old house we ended up staying with him for ~six weeks until our new house was ready. I think I got along better with him than DW did.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Well, when I was laid off from my main career j*b in 2013, my mom thought it was great that we were financially able for me to "retire" so I could support my wife's new ministry career. My father-in-law has never been a judgmental person and I never got the vibe that he thought I was a useless loser sponging off his daughter's new career. So maybe I've been lucky.

That's great!


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Old 05-20-2015, 06:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
My mother passed away in September of 2007, and I did not retire until November of 2009.

However, I told her of my plans all along, and with more certainty earlier in 2007. She asked some incisive questions at that time.

"Do you have a pension?" ("Yes, Mom.)
"What about health insurance?" ("I can keep it in retirement.")
"When will you have your house paid off?" ("I paid it off last year.")
"Do you have a nestegg?" ("Yes, it's $x now and should be $y by the time I retire").

Then she said she was so happy with these answers, and that she felt at peace, knowing that I was in good shape to retire and would be fine.

Yes, she was the perfect mom! What better response could anyone have received.

My father passed away in 1981. He was not one to express approval of his children so I have a pretty good idea what his response would have been. But I didn't have to deal with it, thank goodness.

If your father is like mine, then I'd suggest that you take your father's response with a grain of salt. My guess is that he is just doing what he thinks is best.

Yep, I agree. I tell him I understand his concerns.


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Old 05-20-2015, 06:43 PM   #7
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FIL was the only one left when I retired, he was happy about it because we could make it to more family events. We also moved closer so we'd see him more often.

When we had to move from the old house we ended up staying with him for ~six weeks until our new house was ready. I think I got along better with him than DW did.

It's always easier when it's not your dad! 😎


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Old 05-20-2015, 06:59 PM   #8
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There was a long pause on the phone. Then Mom said, "well, you've always made sensible decisions". It was a graceful reaction since I'm sure they still remembered the call they got from me in early 1984 gleefully announcing I was pregnant but did plan to marry the BF, and the one in 1996 announcing that I'd had him (now husband) removed from the house with a Restraining Order.


Anyway, they knew I'd been investing for a very long time and had planned to retire at 65; abruptly quitting at 61 was the surprise part. The times I've seen my parents since, my mother says she's never seen me so happy.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgal View Post
For those of us blessed to still have one or more of our parents, how did they react when you FIRE'd?
My mom, who was a stay at home mom was thrilled and my dad was and still is horrified. He was a good workaholic and for the life of him cannot understand why anyone would walk away from a very well compensated job.
Very similar here. My mom thought it was great but although he never really said anything, I can tell my dad thinks I was crazy to walk away from a job that paid like mine did. He was in his mid 70's when he fully retired, I was at least 15 years young than that when I retired with $,$$$,$$$ more than he had when he retired.

If that's crazy, I'm okay with it.
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What did your parents think about your ER?
Old 05-20-2015, 07:26 PM   #10
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What did your parents think about your ER?

I think it helped that my Dad started investing in his 30s when there were no 401(k)s and you had to go downtown and talk to your broker to buy stock. He was demoted from his job running a district of a steel company at age 54. He quit and tried his hand at being a financial advisor but quit due to many frustrations a few years later. He and Mom paid cash for a house in Myrtle Beach, joined a country club, and 30 years later they're still there and still solvent.

So, Dad was an ER pioneer and quit when his BS bucket got too full.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:03 PM   #11
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I think it helped that my Dad started investing in his 30s when there were no 401(k)s and you had to go downtown and talk to your broker to buy stock. He was demoted from his job running a district of a steel company at age 54. He quit and tried his hand at being a financial advisor but quit due to many frustrations a few years later. He and Mom paid cash for a house in Myrtle Beach, joined a country club, and 30 years later they're still there and still solvent.

So, Dad was an ER pioneer and quit when his BS bucket got too full.

Love it!


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Old 05-20-2015, 08:09 PM   #12
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My dad passed in 2010 from bladder cancer at the early age of 72. He told me right before he died that he felt he had 10 good years in retirement. I told my mom a couple of months ago that I was retiring next year and to my astonishment she said I would be bored in no time and needed to keep working. I thought for sure she would agree with my early out, because 10 good years is just not enough...
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:12 PM   #13
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At first they were worried, but after 2 years they think I am brilliant
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:26 PM   #14
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My parents had both passed away when I retired almost a year ago. In part, I was able to retire a few years earlier than planned (planned age 55, retired at age 52) because of an inheritance. My dad and mom both retired at age 62, and my dad was a HUGE advocate for financially planning to allow early out. I think he'd be happy with my choice.

My MIL has increasingly significant dementia - to the point that anger and paranoia are her partners in life now. She thinks I retired and am plotting to steal her money. This after we built a casita for her and FIL to live in, had them living there, provided support and assistance with the care of invalid FIL, and never asked for a dime in rent or repayment.... this allowed FIL to stay out of a nursing home - saving her their life savings. It's a shame, we got along very well and I love her. But at this point... No, she does not approve.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:51 PM   #15
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My parents are both still working. My mom is retiring next week though (I beat her by about 21 months ). They're both 62 and just barely senior citizens.

As far as my retirement, mom was pretty happy. My dad just kind of smiled that smile that parents have when their child does something amazing (he doesn't say a whole lot). They have always saved quite a bit and knew I was too, but they were still rather surprised. I just threw it out there one day when my mom asked why I was always free during the day. I told her "I got fired. I'm not working any more. I'm pretty sure I'm retired."

My dad finally said he plans to retire in 2 more years and has been asking me a lot of questions about IRA's, how to withdraw from them, social security, taxes, etc in order to get ready for retirement. I'm pretty sure that between mom's pension and both of their SS's, they will more than meet their living expenses and not really need to touch their seven figure portfolio. I hint this to them a lot but I don't want to tell them how to run their finances since they are still mostly sane (as sane as one can find their own parents I suppose).

DW, though not retired yet, is halfway out the door (in week 2 of a 13 week paid sabbatical right now). Her mom still isn't sure that we won't go broke. I think she has stopped asking if I've found a job yet, but I imagine she worries I'm having such a hard time finding work. I don't think she would get the whole 4% rule and what that provides from a seven figure portfolio. DW's brother just thinks it's neat to know someone who is "rich" (his words) and he's enjoying the fringe benefits (we're letting him and his family stay in our house rent free while we'll be gone to Mexico for 7 weeks).
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:17 PM   #16
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Great question, OP.

My mother passed away long before I retired, and I don't think she would have understood at all.

My father didn't really "get it" at first. One time, about two years into my retirement, he took me aside and said "You know, if you don't get back to work soon, no one will want to hire you because they will think you have lost all your skills." He really didn't get the concept at all.

A few months later, both he and my step-mother were both simultaneously diagnosed with cancer. It was a huge crisis for the whole family because they both desperately wanted to live at home during their illnesses, but none of us children lived close enough to them to care for them there. So, since I was retired and had control over my time, I volunteered to move in with them for a while and get them settled in with various home health services. My step-mother died soon afterwards, and then, when my father was living alone and struggling with his cancer, I made multiple, lengthy visits to stay with him, kept him company, took him to appointments. This was not easy since I lived 8 hours away, but over the course of the next year, I spent about 3 months in total living with him, which took a huge burden off of the rest of the family. Eventually, when the time came, I was available to take him to the hospice center and get him settled in there. He died there a few weeks later.

Had I not been early retired, I would not have been able to care for my father and his wife in that way and provide them with such care and comfort. No one ever bugged me about getting a job again. Such is the power of early retirement.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:52 AM   #17
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My mom, who passed away in 1995, would have been proud of my being able to retire in 2008 at age 45. She was the money manager in our family, and she made sure in her last few years of her life (she was dying of cancer in the early 1990s) she had set up as much as she could for my dad. She had also figured out that my dad could retire at 63.5 in 1994 without interrupting any health insurance coverage. She knew that if he got out at 63.5, they could go on COBRA for 18 months before Medicare could kick in. (I would later repeat that strategy of using COBRA as a bridge in my last 18 months of working.) Also, by getting out in 1994 he could more easily care for my mom as cancer continued to ravage my mom who needed more treatment both here in NY and in Houston's MD Anderson hospital.


My dad always knew about my ER plans as I ramped them up starting around 2006-2007 when I had been working part-time since 2001. He never said much about it but I did have his support. He would always joke when I complained about something costing me a lot by saying, "You can afford it!"
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:29 AM   #18
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Parents are no longer around, but my sister and I have speculated about how dad would have reacted to my ER. I think his first reaction would be "why walk away from a steady and well-paying job?". But then if I shared my financial situation with him, he would probably have said "I wish I could have done what you're doing!"
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:42 AM   #19
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My parents died years before I ERd. In fact, an inheritance was key to being able to do so. My father understood how hard I worked and how a job can suck the life out of you. He ERd at 62. I think he would have understood and been supportive. My mother was very ambitious for me and I think she would have had mixed feelings....."after all that education we sacrificed to give you......"
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:03 AM   #20
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My parents are still confused by it and I think are just thinking I'm going through a mid-life crisis. My father is still working at the age of 79 (80 next month)...but I know he's the type of person that works to live..ie all his friends quit and soon after passed away, so he truly believes he needs to get up everyday with a purpose or he won't get up. He's self employed so he can do things at his own pace, but I know his health is good because of his job so I am glad he works to keep himself young.


My parents have never really applauded my achievements in life (first to go to college, paid for it myself, bought a house straight out of college, fastest promoted engineer in my fortune 100 company,etc) so I wasn't very surprised they had nothing to say about this. I beat to my own drum and this is just another quirk.


Good question though, I guess I'll have to ask my parents what they tell others... they never knew how to describe my job to their friends before, now I really wonder what they tell their friends
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