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Old 09-09-2014, 04:58 PM   #181
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DB had a house cooling party several years ago for their paid off modest home( envious but they have no kids, lbym). I was glad for them, wish I could have gone. Hopefully will downsize when we ER and be in that no mortgage position soon.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:09 PM   #182
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The caviar that goes for several thousands/lb is from farm-raised sturgeon. I do not know how much one has to pay for caviar from wild sturgeon, or if it is even openly available, but then I am no caviar eater. And speaking of sturgeon, it is interesting that it can be farm raised for caviar.

But while I do not care for sturgeon roe, some years ago, I had sturgeon in a Portland restaurant, and it was very good. I have not had another fish with the same texture and taste. There are many species of sturgeon, perhaps not all endangered, and I did not think of asking what species it was that was served. I forgot about that until now. If I remember, will do some research to see how I can acquire some, and if it is that good farm raised, all the better.
The Web is great. Just a bit of looking around, and I am now sure that the sturgeon I had in a restaurant in Portland, Oregon, was caught locally in the Columbia River. Alas, there is now a moratorium on fishing sturgeon in the Columbia to allow it to recover.

The guide on the 1000-Island tour boat I took recently said that when diving in the Lawrence River, he saw sturgeons at depth. There's no sturgeon fishing allowed there either.

I found it surprising that caviar from farm-raised sturgeon does not cost even higher than the price it commands, given that sturgeons take an unusual long time to reach maturity to have eggs, as long as 20 years for some species.

Sturgeon farming seems an interesting topic to read about on the Web, although I will need to wait till after this RV trek to be back to my more reliable home Internet connection.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:32 PM   #183
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The "awkward" place for us regarding wealth is around DW"s siblings. They had as much income (or more) was we did at one point, but squandered money through bad decisions generally along the lines of "I think I should be rich so I will spend money like I am". They use to make fun of our budgeting (Like one BIL not allowing DW to park her 13 year old car in his driveway when she visited because he didn't want his neighbors to think he had poor relatives), but now we are seen as "cheap" because we don't want to use the money they imagine we have to support their desired lifestyles. They are not above saying brazen things at family gatherings to try to make us feel awkward.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:04 PM   #184
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FWIW none of the friends we invited to our mortgage burning party were or even now are close to paying theirs off. They just knew we'd have good food and booze!
No one who knows us well would ever suggest it was anything more than lbym that got us to that point an the point later when DH quit his job.
I say have the party!
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:10 PM   #185
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My family of origin never had weird money things going on, neither did my grown sibs, or my sons. My sister is essentially broke, in spite of getting 3 separate pretty nice inheritances. Her salvation is that although she divorced a very high earning man in her 20s, she came up with a guy with a steady government job who is no saver, but neither does he spend beyond his means. So those retirement checks keep rolling in. Not sure how he has immunized himself against letting her run up debt, but he must have because she was a credit card lover as a young woman.

My dead brother left credit card debt when he died. Again, his salvation was those teacher retirement checks which are harder to run through than savings. Likely if he had lived a longer life, his creditors would have got him..

I have another brother close to me in age who never worked much but managed to keep his good worker wife happy enough that she stayed with him, though in many ways he was useless. He is good with money, and careful.

None of them has ever tried to hit me up for money, and I very much doubt that any of them would. I doubt they would consider me well off, even if they saw my statement.

Ha
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:29 PM   #186
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Mortgage burning?

My family roots are such that the only time we would have a mortgage related party is when someone actually qualified for one and got it.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:41 AM   #187
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A few months ago I went on my first boy scout camping trip with my son. During lunch sitting with some other dads, one asked if I took the week off from work. I said, "No, I'm retired!" just a tad bit too enthusiastically. The troop leader sitting next to me almost dropped his spoon. The conversation died.

I immediately regretted saying it. One of my biggest challenges has been how to describe my situation without either alienating people or sounding unemployable.

That is one thing I like about the "Renaissance Man" concept in Early Retirement Extreme, IE not being retired so much as being on a path different than a mainstream career path. Maybe simply "self-employed" would be best. (That employment being managing my portfolio!)
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:52 AM   #188
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I can identify with the awkwardness...we get that a lot when people find out that we are doing more renovations to the house or planning a vacation. A couple have asked how it is possible since we must still be paying for our wedding two years ago and the European honeymoon I love looking and dressing like a hippie and bragging about the newest find on the side of the road that DH and I are working on. I guess people think we are too poor to do nice things?! I had one woman get a bit snarky saying that it must be nice that I only work on a part time basis...that my DH must be a great guy who lets me do that since we definitely must need the money to pay for all the child support and college. I told her that I have all the money....that shut her up really quick ....loved doing it just to see her face!
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:39 AM   #189
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I had a similar experience. Wife and I had just finished paying off our mortgage, and weren't going to tell anyone.

Was sitting with my brother and his wife. They probably make double what we do, and live a more lavish lifestyle. They were getting lots of calls as they were refi'ing their home. Brother looks at me and says "Have you seen the rates? You should consider refinancing."

Could. Not. Resist.
---
Had a similar incident with my mother last month. Bro and I went in on renting a beach house for the parents for their 50th anniversary.

During the weekend mom took me aside and asked if I was sure I could afford such a nice present ($1000ish for my half plus trip expenses). I chuckled and said "I know it doesn't look like it, and certainly don't make as much as big bro, but we're doing well Mom. There is a reason we were able to pay off the house. Since we live on a budget we have a good chunk of money socked away. We can afford the occasional luxury."

It was a nice moment.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:50 AM   #190
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A few months ago I went on my first boy scout camping trip with my son. During lunch sitting with some other dads, one asked if I took the week off from work. I said, "No, I'm retired!" just a tad bit too enthusiastically. The troop leader sitting next to me almost dropped his spoon. The conversation died.

I immediately regretted saying it. One of my biggest challenges has been how to describe my situation without either alienating people or sounding unemployable.

That is one thing I like about the "Renaissance Man" concept in Early Retirement Extreme, IE not being retired so much as being on a path different than a mainstream career path. Maybe simply "self-employed" would be best. (That employment being managing my portfolio!)
This is why we keep seeing threads on "Do you tell people you are retired?". I usually tell a little white lie or an incomplete truth.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:02 AM   #191
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Last New Year's we were having dinner with our best friends. We've talked about some money things over the years, and we are comfortable sharing personal things with them. They make about $100k more than we do, but they also spend a lot more than we do. They save, but not nearly as much as we do. The BFW (best friend wife) is more of a spender and BFH wants to save more. The subject of retirement came up. My DH tells them that he plans to retire in 10 years (when he is 50; I'll be 55 but will work until 57). Our friends are a little older, and BFH looked at DH like he had three heads. That one statement threw him for a loop. He asked how we can afford that; so I told him we save 30% of our incomes, and I'll have a Federal pension, and that we make a lot of tradeoffs. We got onto other topics, but we could tell BFH was absorbing this news and pondering it all night. I didn't expect that reaction.

But, then we went to a Capitals game a few days later and all was back to normal.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:08 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
The "awkward" place for us regarding wealth is around DW"s siblings. They had as much income (or more) was we did at one point, but squandered money through bad decisions generally along the lines of "I think I should be rich so I will spend money like I am". They use to make fun of our budgeting (Like one BIL not allowing DW to park her 13 year old car in his driveway when she visited because he didn't want his neighbors to think he had poor relatives), but now we are seen as "cheap" because we don't want to use the money they imagine we have to support their desired lifestyles. They are not above saying brazen things at family gatherings to try to make us feel awkward.
We should open a thread about bad siblings .
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:13 AM   #193
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Firmly shutting down nosey people who ask rude, insensitive, impertinent questions is a service to humanity. It really deserves to be accomplished with a blunt object, but then again, we'd all like to stay unjailed. It sounds like you have the problem licked.

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I I had one woman get a bit snarky saying that it must be nice that I only work on a part time basis...that my DH must be a great guy who lets me do that since we definitely must need the money to pay for all the child support and college. I told her that I have all the money....that shut her up really quick ....loved doing it just to see her face!
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:14 AM   #194
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Mortgage burning?

My family roots are such that the only time we would have a mortgage related party is when someone actually qualified for one and got it.
No mortgage burnings, but growing up we used to have ceremonial outhouse burnings (lived in a succession of places bought for the land, not the old farm houses[and outhouses} built upon them).
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:42 AM   #195
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In the old days of "food stamps", I saw expensive foods purchased with them. I probably saw more junk food purchased than expensive food. I also saw some people with food stamps selling them for 50 cents on the dollar in front of the store the first week of every month. So it was always possible that the person buying the groceries was not actually a food stamp recipient. It was only a small percent of users, but it did occur.

Our store pushed your cart out and loaded your bags into your car. I remember one lady that bought over $100 in nice steaks and I was loading them into her Mercedes convertible. I suspect she had bought the food stamps she used.
When I got on food stamps many years ago, I discovered that the $30/month in food stamps was a lot more than what I had been paying for food before I got them. I started having eggs for breakfast a couple of times a week and bought meat other than ground beef. Rice and pasta suddenly didn't make up the bulk of my caloric intake. I even bough a box of pretzels. Based on my normal menu planning, I couldn't spend all $30.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:48 AM   #196
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This is why we keep seeing threads on "Do you tell people you are retired?". I usually tell a little white lie or an incomplete truth.
I'm no longer young enough where people would be shocked if I told them I was retired. A decade ago when I contemplated retiring at 51 after a corporate purge it probably would have come up. I came up with the idea of telling people I was out of work (true) and that I'm having a lot of trouble finding a position (if not looking it's usually hard to find one). I would then ask if they knew of any operations management positions open (not likely). If I suspected they might think I was "rich," I planned to ask for a small loan after confessing I was a little short that month.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:49 AM   #197
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When I first ERed nearly 6 years ago, I felt a little awkward about how to tell people, especially those I did not know very well. But I have gotten over that over the years. If I am asked "What do you do for a living?" or, if it is midday on a weekday, "Are you off from work today?" I will simply reply, "I am retired." I am also prepared to answer obvious follow-up questions with, "No kids, no debts." and "I cashed out $300k in company stock and am living off the dividends." I don't feel awkward at all any more. If it ends the conversation, so be it. I don't give a sh*t. If they think I am bragging, I don't give a sh*t. If they become jealous, I don't give a sh*t (I kinda like that).
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:34 PM   #198
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East coast here too, and I've heard of it but don't know of anyone actually doing it. We didn't do it because we knew none of the people we would be inviting were anywhere close to being able to pay theirs off so that would seem like unseemly gloating.
East coast here as well, but the only time I ever heard of a mortgage burning party was on TV. Archie and Edith Bunker had a mortgage burning party when they finally paid off their 20 year mortgage. I remember everybody singing "I don't want to set the world...on...fire..." and Archie ad libbing "I just want to buynnnn...a mwor-gage to-nite!"

I think I've heard them referenced on other tv shows as well. Never actually been to one, though.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:25 PM   #199
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We went to one earlier this year....it was a birthday/retirement/mortgage burning party all rolled into one. I am hoping we will have one before our 70's. The people who attended were amazed that it was possible to pay a mortgage off!
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:45 PM   #200
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Sometimes I hear, "But you're too young to be retired." It's meant as a friendly compliment, and I take it as such - I retired at a perfectly normal age for my line of work, although not old enough to get full pension benefits. In fact, I encounter far more surprise that I've gone back to work part-time. People think when you're retired, you should stay that way. One whippersnapper actually referred to me as a "zombie." I told him becoming a zombie wasn't practical...not enough brains around. He took my point and we laughed about it.

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I'm no longer young enough where people would be shocked if I told them I was retired. A decade ago when I contemplated retiring at 51 after a corporate purge it probably would have come up. I came up with the idea of telling people I was out of work (true) and that I'm having a lot of trouble finding a position (if not looking it's usually hard to find one). I would then ask if they knew of any operations management positions open (not likely). If I suspected they might think I was "rich," I planned to ask for a small loan after confessing I was a little short that month.
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