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You're Not Retired
Old 02-13-2004, 03:59 PM   #1
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You're Not Retired

I've been addicted to reading this ERHP forum all day and decided to become a member. Lot's of wisdom contained herein.

I don't understand how some ER'ers consider themselves retired when their spouses are still employeed, unless of course their spouse WANTS TO WORK. If that were the case, I was retired at age 28 while my wife was in a lucrative computer position and didn't mind my staying home because my lowly income wasn't worth the effort. After 'being retired' for about three years I went to college and also enter the computer field.

It seems if you have a working spouse, you still have health coverage, you still have income, you may not have to tap your savings, you may still be contributing to your 401k, you may be further building your pension, etc.

You can consider yourself retired if you've legitimately reached a SS age, or even a 59 1/2 year age, but don't undermine TRUE ERer's.

disclaimer: there's probably some sorts of exceptions I'm missing, with which I apologize.

John

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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-13-2004, 06:49 PM   #2
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Re: You're Not Retired

Quote:
I've been addicted to reading this ERHP forum all day and decided to become a member.
John, it is almost addictive, isn't it? I find myself checking this site two or three times a day and have been doing so for about 6 months. There's much of value here.

Which reminds me, thanks to Wabmester, Jarhead, and others for posting info about Penfed CD rates. I'm in the process of signing up now and wouldn't have found it were it not for your posts.
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-13-2004, 06:54 PM   #3
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Re: You're Not Retired

Also, thanks to Holly for posting information about the Amazon.com VISA rewards card. I signed up for that last week.
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-13-2004, 07:45 PM   #4
 
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Re: You're Not Retired

BigJohn,

Quote:
You can consider yourself retired if you've legitimately reached a SS age, or even a 59 1/2 year age, but don't undermine TRUE ERer's.
OK, Bigjohn - Guilty as charged!

I'm not retired! - I'm unemployed! - But, I'm never going back. And I'm lovin it!
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-13-2004, 08:53 PM   #5
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Re: You're Not Retired

Quote:
You can consider yourself retired if you've legitimately reached a SS age, or even a 59 1/2 year age, but don't undermine TRUE ERer's.
Have some ILLegitimately reached a SS age? :

Don't keep us in suspense... are you a "TRUE ER'er?"

Some time ago I clipped the definition of "retired" out of many dictionaries, and put them into a file. Read on for the official definition verbatim.


Dictionary definitions of "Retired":

To withdraw from one's occupation, business, or office; stop working.

Withdrawn from one's occupation, business, or office; having finished one's active working life.

To withdraw from one's position or occupation : conclude one's working or professional career.

No longer working: having stopped working, typically after having worked many years.

If someone is retired, they have stopped working.

Having ceased work or active service.

Retirement is the status of a worker who has definitively stopped working. This usually happens upon reaching a determined age, when physical conditions don't allow the person to work anymore (by illness or accident), or even for personal choice (usually in presence of an adequate pension).

Withdrawn from active duty or business; as, a retired officer; a retired physician.

To stop or make someone stop working permanently, usually on reaching an age at which a pension can be received. Example: retired at 60

Stop performing one's work or withdraw from one's position.


So I am going to stick with the dictionary definitions. I am retired. Early retired, at that.
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-13-2004, 10:38 PM   #6
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Re: You're Not Retired

I'm not pining for work, i've passed on. This job is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late career. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the alarm clock, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-job.

Amen cut-throat and telly. We're done. Call it what you will.
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-13-2004, 11:05 PM   #7
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Re: You're Not Retired

I may be mistaken, but I think the gist of BigJohn's post was not so much the literal definition of retirement but the idea that someone who has a non-working spouse (or is single) must have that much more courage, confidence, or daring to ER without the "safety net" of an additional source of income and related benefits derived from the spouse's job.

BigJohn's post brought to mind a conversation I had with my sister several years ago when I was in my mid 40's. At that time, I was complaining about my job, which I did not like. However, I did not feel I had enough saved up at that point to just quit. My sister chided me and said I was a "chicken" for not just leaving the job. I then asked her what she would do, and she said she'd just up and quit. However, I don't think she would've been so cavalier with her answer if she was single and had to depend on only her income, which is limited and from part-time real estate sales. She has a spouse with a Ph.d in Physics who makes big $$ as a top scientist for a large corporation.

So, relating this to BigJohn's post, my sister and I are definitely not in the same "category". That is, it would be a lot easier for my sister to quit her job and feel quite secure because of her husband's income. Whereas for me, as a single person, the decision to quit my job and ER would require a little more forethought and caution.
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 03:10 AM   #8
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Re: You're Not Retired

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You can consider yourself retired if you've legitimately reached a SS age, or even a 59 1/2 year age, but don't undermine TRUE ERer's
IMHO, if you start treating ER (or even regular retirement) as some type of religious sect or exclusive club, you've missed the big point of ER. Relax and enjoy it and don't sweat the small stuff!
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 04:43 AM   #9
 
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Re: You're Not Retired

BigJohn,

I thought I'd add that I tried hanging out at the Unemployment forum, but all they talked about was trying to find a job. And they didn't know a whole lot about investing.

So can I stay here?
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 04:49 AM   #10
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Re: You're Not Retired

Quote:
You can consider yourself retired if you've legitimately reached a SS age, or even a 59 1/2 year age...
As far as I am concerned, being retired means you aren't working and have no plans to go back.

A while back, maybe even on the TMF ER forum before they started charging admission, there was a discussion of definitions of "early retired". Some folks tried to apply age to it, but the general consensus seemed to go something like the following (although there were so many variations that we could have had 50 different categories):


Traditional retired: people who retired once they reached retirement eligibility with their last employer. Usually includes a pension, and maybe health coverage of some kind

Early retired: People who retired before becoming eligible for traditional retirement. If asked, your last employer would probably show you as terminated raher than retired. No eligibility for company health coverage (after COBRA, for US retirees) and too young for medicare.

Very early retired: Early retirees who still have children "on the payroll".


To be fair to BigJohn's comment, we wouldn't usually use the term "retired" when referring in casual conversation about a stay-at-home spouse with young children -- it would just confuse the listener, even though the spouse may have no plans to ever take up a paying job.

So I guess you could make a distinction between being a dependent and being retired. Perhaps that distinction would be whether the non-working spouse would remain non-working if the other spouse were suddenly no longer in the picture, at least as an income producer.


But "early retired" is one of those terms for which we self-certify. It implies that one has accumulated a set of assets and benefits of some sort that permits one to no longer work. If one of those benefits is a spouse who willingly brings in additional income and benefits, fine for both of them, and happy valentine's day!

Dory36
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Re:  What are you implying, Big John?
Old 02-14-2004, 07:31 AM   #11
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Re:  What are you implying, Big John?

If we're retired and dependent on our spouses for support, are you implying that we've become working members of the world's oldest profession?

Or if we're providing at-home childcare, that we've become working members of the world's second-oldest profession?

I enjoy watching spouse learn, re-learn, and re-confirm the reasons I've retired. Spouse's part-time employment means an occasional two-week full-time stint, and even an night shift or two. The income-earning euphoria lasts for about 48 hours, and the recovery from the rest of it takes about a month. But then the phone rings, and suddenly that four-letter "work" word interrupts another vacation plan.

I keep "proving" that there's no financial incentive to work, but spouse wants to keep working until the career reaches its (dead) end. So, although I'm paying for the health insurance and providing the first two services described above, I guess I may not reach true ER for another 15 years!
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 08:49 AM   #12
 
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Re: You're Not Retired

What is your definition of retirement? Let's suppose that your wife decided to quit working and do not have any plan to return to work. Do you consider that as retirement?

Retirement, by definition, is when one has stopped working for money (and decided not returning to work)even though he/she may have income from other sources, i.e., pension fund, social security, saving, income from spouse, etc.

Paul
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 09:37 AM   #13
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Re: You're Not Retired

You all do realize what we're doing here?

With no serious work at hand, our addled brains are making a desperate attempt at taking something simple and creating unnecessary layers of complexity on top of it. If memory serves, that is about 85% of what "work" was about. Who remembers having 8 meetings to decide the name of a program we were going to run?

The chief point is granted. Having a working spouse or being part time during ER definitely makes it less risky.

I think the chiefer point is already realized though. Since its 10:42am and I just woke up 10 minutes ago, its obvious to me
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 09:40 AM   #14
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Re: You're Not Retired

When you encounter those forms that ask for your employer and/or occupation, and you write "retired", then you are retired.

Dory36
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 10:08 AM   #15
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Re: You're Not Retired

TH:

Well said. And you did it so succintly with your usual great sense of humor!

Toejam
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 11:19 AM   #16
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Re: You're Not Retired

Ah see? When I have a form, I usually write "investor" or "financial analyst" because either of those is really close to what I do that results in continuing income. As a financial analyst though, I'm my only client. Well actually I follow my dogs investment advice on a regular basis, but his name is Ted so perhaps thats a good thing. By the way, I dont watch this computer all the time, he may be using it...

I write "unemployed" if I have anything to gain by that.

The term 'succinct' is rarely used within close proximity to anything I write, so I'll have to assume it was my pre-coffee state that caused that unusual event to occur.
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 11:26 AM   #17
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Re: You're Not Retired

Hi Cuttrhoat:

As you stated, you are unemployed, with a working spouse.
If you are both in agreement with the arrangement, who in the hell cares. Sounds to me like it is working out great for you, and if your wife goes along with your trips and activities, more power to your. (Whatever works for a couple is your business.)
Bill and Hillary Clinton are still married.
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 12:17 PM   #18
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Re: You're Not Retired

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IMHO, if you start treating ER (or even regular retirement) as some type of religious sect or exclusive club, you've missed the big point of ER. Relax and enjoy it and don't sweat the small stuff!
AMEN BROTHER HISS!
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 12:34 PM   #19
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Re: You're Not Retired

I'm not retired. I'm a man of leisure.
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Re: You're Not Retired
Old 02-14-2004, 03:50 PM   #20
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Re: You're Not Retired

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This is a picture of my wife in Honduras with a Bonefish she caught.
Cut-Throat,

A beautiful woman with a beautiful smile, a nice fish, a beautiful day on the water. Anyone who says you aren't doing it right needs to produce a picture of a happier woman.

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