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Old 05-14-2010, 04:45 PM   #41
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Now that I'm no longer employed, I have a different "problem". I have a hard time saying "I'm retired" without sounding like a braggart. I know I shouldn't care, and I'm actually surprised that I do, but I haven't yet gotten comfortable with the idea of telling people I'm retired.
I have/had a similar problem. I try to avoid the R-word (because of my age) and any mentioning of FI (because regular people don't seem to relate/understand the idea of living of investment money).

Instead I use my primary (retirement) activity (writing) and say I'm a writer. If they ask how I can possibly make a living doing that I say something about saving a lot of money while I was working. That way they think I'm just using up my savings which is relatable and that I am still "gainfully (self)employed" which is also relatable.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:20 PM   #42
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I have no problem telling people I am retired. Why should a little thing like my age (47) get in the way?
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:02 PM   #43
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This thread brought various thoughts to mind.

1. I have always found odd what other people consider OK and not OK to brag about. If you consider yourself good-looking or smart, you are not supposed to say so, for that is "bragging." Yet it is OK to brag about your child's looks, brains, etc. I go along with these rules, yet to me they makes no sense. Bragging about your child is bragging about your DNA and ability to raise great kids. Why isn't it just as acceptable to brag about your own attributes?

2. No matter how much money people at work have, they always say things like "We're broke because of Junior's college," or "Sure would be nice to be able to afford XYZ ." They brag about having found bargains or negotiated great deals, but the only things anyone ever brags about spending huge amounts of money on are a) Daughter's wedding. b) Kitchen remodel. c) Family trip to Disney World. No one would ever admit having spent a lot of money on a car or house, even though plenty of my coworkers have done so. It is, however, acceptable to complain that you are "broke" because "you had to pay so much for a lousy house."

I don't understand why anyone would brag about being "broke." To me, that is something to conceal! Sometimes, I feel like I'm lost on a planet whose rules I'll never really understand.

Amethyst
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:38 PM   #44
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I have/had a similar problem. I try to avoid the R-word (because of my age) and any mentioning of FI (because regular people don't seem to relate/understand the idea of living of investment money).

Instead I use my primary (retirement) activity (writing) and say I'm a writer. If they ask how I can possibly make a living doing that I say something about saving a lot of money while I was working. That way they think I'm just using up my savings which is relatable and that I am still "gainfully (self)employed" which is also relatable.
To tell the truth, I feel sometimes awkward with the bank tellers. We live in a close community, and it is harder to be anonymous financially. I don't like to be treated in a "special" way - I'm really just a regular person.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:38 PM   #45
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I don't understand why anyone would brag about being "broke." To me, that is something to conceal! Sometimes, I feel like I'm lost on a planet whose rules I'll never really understand.

Amethyst
This brings to mind people talking about their ailments. For instance...

"This is the scar I have from my last operation."


"You call THAT a scar, here (while unbuttoning shirt) ...look at mine!"

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:07 PM   #46
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I get bored pretty quickly and easily if the conversation revolves around specifications and prices of everyone's luxury vehicle, number of square feet and level of extravagance in their latest housing purchase, or how expensive (but how awesome!!) their last week long all-inclusive resort vacation was (and how many free beers they chugged down at the bar).
It seems to me that there are plenty of people "who know the price of everything and the value of nothing."

Edited: to properly credit Oscar Wilde in Lady Windemere's Fan (where he was giving the definition of a cynic)
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:17 PM   #47
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.......................

I don't understand why anyone would brag about being "broke." To me, that is something to conceal! Sometimes, I feel like I'm lost on a planet whose rules I'll never really understand.

Amethyst

When I was a kid my grandfather who had a quick wit, used to say to such people, Are you bragging or complaining?
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:25 PM   #48
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I use to get ragged on a lot at work about my car (I've since sold it ;-). The guys would joke with me, "When you gonna get a real car" And I'd say, "When I can afford it!"

But I knew, and I think they did too, that I could have paid cash for any one of their bank-financed cars if I wanted to. The guys at work knew I was just frugal, because they had a clue about how much money I made and how I lived. But the average schmo who saw me driving down the street probably just figured I was poor. But I don't mind that, in fact, I think I prefer it. I'd rather people think I was a hip, starving artist than a stuffy fat cat.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:31 AM   #49
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Driving a (functional) beater has another advantage you don't hear much about. About 20 years ago, a man followed a local couple home from a restaurant and shot them dead in their bed, then robbed their house. Detectives learned that he picked them out to rob because of their fine car.

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I use to get ragged on a lot at work about my car (I've since sold it ;-). The guys would joke with me, "When you gonna get a real car" And I'd say, "When I can afford it!"

But I knew, and I think they did too, that I could have paid cash for any one of their bank-financed cars if I wanted to. The guys at work knew I was just frugal, because they had a clue about how much money I made and how I lived. But the average schmo who saw me driving down the street probably just figured I was poor. But I don't mind that, in fact, I think I prefer it. I'd rather people think I was a hip, starving artist than a stuffy fat cat.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:40 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by jacob View Post
I have/had a similar problem. I try to avoid the R-word (because of my age) and any mentioning of FI (because regular people don't seem to relate/understand the idea of living of investment money).

Instead I use my primary (retirement) activity (writing) and say I'm a writer. If they ask how I can possibly make a living doing that I say something about saving a lot of money while I was working. That way they think I'm just using up my savings which is relatable and that I am still "gainfully (self)employed" which is also relatable.
In a couple of short weeks I've opened a new credit card (for better rewards), opened a new checking account, and got an Aircard for internet access while on the road. All of them needed / wanted to know my employment status. The guy at the Verizon store was actually kind of funny. He asks "Are you currently working?" instead of "Where do you work?". I guess it's a sign of the times when you can't assume somebody has a job.

My wife does some freelance writing too, so I may adopt that as an excuse. "We're writers" is a much easier conversation. And I think that is part of it. I simply don't want to have a conversation about my financial status with somebody I just met. "I'm retired" at 39 begs for all kinds of questions I'd rather not get into with perfect strangers. I'm wondering if its better to lie, and then have to have an entire conversation based on that lie.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:48 AM   #51
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I've always been overly cautious not to brag, or to be seen as bragging. When I was employed I never really talked about my job or what I did to people who didn't already know. I always played it down, because even the job description denoted high pay. When asked what I did, I couldn't answer without the other person knowing that I made a lot of money . . . so even answering the simple question "What do you do?" seemed like bragging.
I have this problem now. My wife and I just tell people I work in the tax department. Not that I am the VP. My title is probably inflated anyways, so I avoid mentioning it like the plague. You can kind of do the math since my wife stays home with the kids.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:49 AM   #52
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Nah! UncleMick is anything but a 14-yr old girl. Why would a 14-yr old girl want to masquerade as a, ahem, frugal geezer? Lack of motives here, madam.
Why to coax a 'real frugal' - read rich - to come forth so she can nail him and marry rich - when she gets old.



heh heh heh - a stretch but the best I could come up with B.S. wise this time of day.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:21 AM   #53
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Driving a (functional) beater has another advantage you don't hear much about. About 20 years ago, a man followed a local couple home from a restaurant and shot them dead in their bed, then robbed their house. Detectives learned that he picked them out to rob because of their fine car.

Amethyst
Plus you don't give a rat's patoot about getting a ding, scratch, whatever. I am happy to treat myself to a new car every 10 or 12 years (or longer if it lasts), but once it is past the 5 or 6 year mark is when we get to the truly worry-free stage.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:04 AM   #54
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I've always been overly cautious not to brag, or to be seen as bragging. When I was employed I never really talked about my job or what I did to people who didn't already know. I always played it down, because even the job description denoted high pay. When asked what I did, I couldn't answer without the other person knowing that I made a lot of money . . . so even answering the simple question "What do you do?" seemed like bragging.

Now that I'm no longer employed, I have a different "problem". I have a hard time saying "I'm retired" without sounding like a braggart. I know I shouldn't care, and I'm actually surprised that I do, but I haven't yet gotten comfortable with the idea of telling people I'm retired.
When I was working I used to just say I worked in IT or that I was an engineer for the same reasons. I was never a flashy dresser or drove anything other than run-of-the-mill cars so there was usually no reason for further questions. There was one funny occaision when we were buying some furniture and they had a deal going for 0% interest for 12 months. I couldn't convince the salesman to give us a discount for cash so I said, okay I'll take the free credit. We had to sit with a lady to fill out the credit application and when I told her how much I earned she said "PER MONTH?". "What do you do? I want a job there!". I just told her I was an engineer.

I have no problem saying that I'm retired if asked what I do. I don't look that young so I figure it doesn't come over as bragging, particularly at the current time with unemployment so high.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:11 PM   #55
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Bragger.

I had a couple of work buddies who enjoyed talking about their big...
Be glad it was about things with wheels and windows.
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:02 PM   #56
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Plus you don't give a rat's patoot about getting a ding, scratch, whatever. I am happy to treat myself to a new car every 10 or 12 years (or longer if it lasts), but once it is past the 5 or 6 year mark is when we get to the truly worry-free stage.
I keep hoping some teen driver will run into the passenger side of my old truck - its needed painting on that side since I didn't get through a gate quick enough at the ranch several years ago. Family thinks I'm crazy, because whenever somebody starts edging over into my lane I stay the course and mutter encouragement, "C'mon, hit me, just a little more."
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:58 PM   #57
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I have found it almost impossible to have discussions about either kids or FI without being seen as bragging, except on semi-anonymous internet chat boards and with a very few select friends with similar interests. Managers younger than I and in more lucrative positions are often discussing their new shiny mobiles or the crazy degree of leverage they are achieving with McMansion purchases. I really never found anything constructive to say. They don't want advice and I don't envy their position in any way. I just quietly keep driving my paid for, mechanically reliable, older model vehicle and park a little far away from the shiny row of nearly new money pits. I'm buying FI with my paycheck, and it's a lot more valuable to me than the toys they seem to prefer.

Kids have been problematic. I have a very small group of people with kids in some of the same programs as mine, so we can have discussions about issues and questions. Anyone else is quickly turned off by what is seen as bragging. Makes it very difficult to talk about normal parent conversations when they come up, so I usually find it hard to discuss anything of substance and steer around to something generic or a minor interest of the kid where they are average participants. Awkward, but keeps the contacts and friendships on a much more workable level. Unless someone needs to go to battle with the local school system. Then they know I'm a veteran and we can talk more openly about how to work the system to get what is needed.
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