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Old 07-21-2010, 01:18 PM   #61
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Just for you...don't show it to anyone else....

(FD, I promise not to post any more songs or pics of my feet)
Hey BBB, stop right there!!
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:27 PM   #62
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Hey BBB, stop right there!!
but...but...I promised.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:41 PM   #63
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but...but...I promised.
Never mind what you promised. Theyīll end up asking for a side view. And then a rear view, and after that.....? Rascals, all of them!

Err.... those arenīt diamond studs, are they....?
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #64
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Err.... those arenīt diamond studs, are they....?
But of course...diamonds and leather are a girl's best friend. Now don't get me started on studs!
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:52 PM   #65
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I also hope to pull the plug in my late 30s, in 7-10 years. I will be going the "sabbatical" route, or will be simply "taking a break."

Most of my friends are currently 28 - 32, and they will not understand retirement, even though I've been hinting at it for years. For example, when we talk about our careers in 10 years, I often say, "i'll be retired in Guatemala by then." Then everyone laughs and thinks I'm joking. Most of them are just starting out in their career, some don't have stable employment. I don't want to make them to feel bad about themselves or inflict more pain.

I will probably still be doing something even after I FIRE, so I guess I can always say I'm working on house projects or taking classes somewhere. DH and I don't plan to tell anyone about our financial situation, except for perhaps my in-laws, who love their jobs, so they will not be jealous to hear that we can retire early.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:54 PM   #66
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After reading the posts here I'm starting to think that your age, or your stage in life, has a lot to do with how you approach the issue of explaining your FIRE, and how your friends react to it.

When you and your friends are 35, w*rk- and family-life haven't fully kicked your ass yet, and you probably haven't really grasped your own mortality yet. So if someone announces he's retiring, good for him.

When you and your friends are 55, retirement is on the horizon for most of you. If you break free a few years before me, good for you. Save me a seat at the pool.

Ah, but the 40s.... W*rk- and family-life have beaten you down so far that you go to sleep praying for relief, if you can sleep at all. Your body starts to protest if you push it too far, and for the first time you realize that you won't live forever. Yet you're spending your healthiest remaining days doing unpleasant things for unpleasant people. Retirement seems so far off and so expensive that it's not even a pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel. But you cling to sanity by reminding yourself that all your peers are enduring the same thing. If they can make it, so can you. It's a national and familial responsibility, a "normal" phase of life.

And then you hear one of your friends, that guy who never seemed to have much to begin with, is suddenly exempt--permanently exempt--from everything that's tormenting you that will continue to torment you for years and years to come.

What can he say to you that won't cause deep, deep resentment and threaten your friendship?
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:12 PM   #67
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What can he say to you that won't cause deep, deep resentment and threaten your friendship?
"I am taking a sabbatical."

"I am going into rehab for a while."
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:19 PM   #68
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I also hope to pull the plug in my late 30s, in 7-10 years. I will be going the "sabbatical" route, or will be simply "taking a break."

Most of my friends are currently 28 - 32, and they will not understand retirement, even though I've been hinting at it for years. For example, when we talk about our careers in 10 years, I often say, "i'll be retired in Guatemala by then." Then everyone laughs and thinks I'm joking. Most of them are just starting out in their career, some don't have stable employment. I don't want to make them to feel bad about themselves or inflict more pain.
Probably a smart move to refer to your possibly permanent spell of unemployment as a "sabbatical" or "taking a break". Hey, maybe somebody would make you an employment offer you can't refuse during your "sabbatical". I would potentially take something early on in FIRE if it fell in my lap, the money was ridiculously good, and the terms were good.

I'm curious how many of the posters that say "be completely honest and who cares what other people think" also ER'd in their 30's? ER'ing in one's 40's or 50's is a lot more common among people I know of versus ER'ing in one's 30's. Plenty of public safety and military jobs allow retirement for those in their 40's, and even the standard 30 year career in a civil service position can lead to people retiring in their late 40's or around 50.

Having others know that I have ER'd in my 30's will lead them to the obvious conclusion that I'm pretty wealthy (which would be a truthful conclusion). But I don't necessarily want to let everyone know just how wealthy I really am (for different reasons).

I think if I were retiring in my late 40's instead of mid-late 30's I'd probably be more honest since most wouldn't really be surprised. I would still be an outlier but not a "freak of nature"!
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:31 PM   #69
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We are experiencing this too. DH is officially retired about 7 weeks now and each time I say to someone that he's "retired" it's sounding a little more concrete. So many people here are unemployed that it's not unusual to see folks not working. But retired is a whole other concept.

If someone asks about it I say that he was aiming for retiring in 2013 but his job was eliminated and we saw it coming and prepared for it so he was able to retire a few years earlier than planned.

Here on the ER board most of us are comfortable discussing money and lifestyle and LBYM, etc. I'm finding that in real life most people aren't like that. I get the feeling that I'm giving too much info. Except for talking about this with my dad. He gets it. Then again, my mom keeps asking DH if he's found work yet and "what do you do all day"? And she asks if I'm going to work full time now. My BIL (NJ resident) asked DH if we'd be moving in order to downsize. Nope, it's cheap enough to live right here where the house is paid for and taxes are $200/month.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:59 PM   #70
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Here on the ER board most of us are comfortable discussing money and lifestyle and LBYM, etc. I'm finding that in real life most people aren't like that. I get the feeling that I'm giving too much info.
I completely agree.

When the next guy up the line from my supervisor found out that I was retiring, he stopped by my cubicle to chat. It was a very pleasant chat for me, with him reminiscing about my accomplishments. Then he asked about the timing of my retirement - - why now? I just knew he didn't want to know about my LBYM, long term planning, TSP, other investments, paid off house, etc, so I just said "Well, it was the first day after I was eligible to retire. I decided that since I have my finances in order, why not?"

That was really all he wanted to know. He didn't want to know the details of my finances, but just wanted some reassurance that they were in order. Some people are just worried that the retiree might be quitting a perfectly good job in a time of high unemployment without thinking it through.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:28 AM   #71
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Alright, I replied to my friend and told him I was about to take a sabbatical.

He shot back a few questions:
1) what will you do all day?
2) when will you go back to work, and in what industry?
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:39 AM   #72
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Alright, I replied to my friend and told him I was about to take a sabbatical.

He shot back a few questions:
1) what will you do all day?
2) when will you go back to work, and in what industry?
1) What you do on weekends
2) Don't know, don't care
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:47 AM   #73
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Alright, I replied to my friend and told him I was about to take a sabbatical.

2) when will you go back to work, and in what industry?
Question number 2 is probably what I would ask an old friend I was catching up with. "What are your future plans?"
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:02 AM   #74
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Somehow everyone believes we were lucky although it is really life choices we made years ago (no kids, live frugally). One reason some of the "friends" may be staying away from us is that we remind them of the life they wish to have but don't - which increases their dis-satisfaction with their job & life.
I believe it. Certainly I have encountered similar negativity from people who are obese and in poor health: they believe that those of us who are in decent shape are simply lucky, and have no comprehension of the time and effort involved in an exercise program.

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Alright, I replied to my friend and told him I was about to take a sabbatical.

He shot back a few questions:
1) what will you do all day?
2) when will you go back to work, and in what industry?
If this person was a very good friend years ago and you trust him, then by all means enjoy an honest and non-judgmental dialogue about your plans. Sometimes it can be very helpful to gain another perspective.

If not, I see no reason for you to have to justify your decisions to him.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:25 AM   #75
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When I left work it became much easier to distinguish friends from acquaintances. My friends were the ones that said things like "good for you and congratulations". We see each other frequently and they have been genuinely curious to see how it goes with me, and they use that for their own plans.

The others - well, we just sort of drifted apart and can't seem to find time for each other, and I've never really had any desire to understand the reasons for their suspicions.

Family members as well.

Life is too short to worry about this stuff.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:16 AM   #76
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FIRE has been a goal of my wife and I from day one. Our desire was reinforced in my early 30s when a health problem cropped up forcing me to realize my mortality and family responsibilities. I was able to redouble my FIRE efforts for a time.

8 years have passed since then, and the health problem recently caused me to move to half time work. Some of you might call me semi-FIRED. I don't since it wasn't by choice. It is a blessing in disguise, as I get more time with my young children, and to enjoy a slower pace.

This has slowed our FIRE plan. We now hope to completely FIRE in our mid 50s. Yet I count us as very lucky. We currently have a networth (including house) in the mid six figures. This despite relatively low household income. Working in the nonprofit sector is not a key to wealth! If we were not attempting to FIRE we wouldn't have had the savings and conservative expenses that now allow me to work part time.

I look across the street every day at my neighbor, and good friend, with the large house, etc. Big hat, no cattle. His house is underwater, he has too much debt, and no savings. Finances are a constant stress on his marriage and life. A few weeks ago the subject of retirement came up. He commented that he didn't think retirement was realistic anymore. "I plan to work until SS kicks in, or they bury me. Probably both." 34 and he has given up. Since he asked I told him we had a plan and hoped to retire after putting our youngest through school. I could tell he thought I was nuts. Maybe I am. But at least I am trying. If others ask I'll also tell them my plans. I don't view it as a secret, and don't care what others think.

I thank god I wasn't in his position when life forced me to slow down. I couldn't have done it. Our FIRE plans have enabled us to maintain a comfortable home (our 1st, bought 13 years ago), with no debt (except mortgage), and very little financial stress despite my need to change employment status.

Will my health allow me to go back to work full-time in the future? I don't know. Will we be able to FIRE? If I have to continue at half-time I don't know. I think so! I do know that FIRE planning has enabled us to weather bumps that would have derailed many others.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:38 PM   #77
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Congratulations dreamer. This is an exciting time in your life. Achieving this lofty goal will be well worth savouring for the rest of your (still young) life.


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Originally Posted by Onward View Post
After reading the posts here I'm starting to think that your age, or your stage in life, has a lot to do with how you approach the issue of explaining your FIRE, and how your friends react to it.

When you and your friends are 35, w*rk- and family-life haven't fully kicked your ass yet, and you probably haven't really grasped your own mortality yet. So if someone announces he's retiring, good for him.

When you and your friends are 55, retirement is on the horizon for most of you. If you break free a few years before me, good for you. Save me a seat at the pool.

Ah, but the 40s.... W*rk- and family-life have beaten you down so far that you go to sleep praying for relief, if you can sleep at all. Your body starts to protest if you push it too far, and for the first time you realize that you won't live forever. Yet you're spending your healthiest remaining days doing unpleasant things for unpleasant people. Retirement seems so far off and so expensive that it's not even a pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel. But you cling to sanity by reminding yourself that all your peers are enduring the same thing. If they can make it, so can you. It's a national and familial responsibility, a "normal" phase of life.

And then you hear one of your friends, that guy who never seemed to have much to begin with, is suddenly exempt--permanently exempt--from everything that's tormenting you that will continue to torment you for years and years to come.

What can he say to you that won't cause deep, deep resentment and threaten your friendship?
As a generalization, this might apply to many of us here on this board. However, the presumption in this thread is that everyone wants to be like us...retired early, and if they are not, they didn't plan well. Of course, there are many that are really not interested in retiring early for one reason or another. Popular reasons include loving the work, loving the social aspect of work, wanting a sense of purpose/something to make them feel rewarded each day (think of the marathon runner, a lot of the run is painful, but the reward of the accomplishment is worth the pain), status, role model to their children, wanting to live well when young and healthy rather than save money for when the are older and potentially less healthy/have less energy etc. Not all people who lack the savings to retire early did so without a plan. For some, that is their exact plan. Make lots of money, and live like a king for their entire lives instead of a pauper. For many I work with, they have more than enough money to retire at their current lifestyle, and did years ago, but for one or several of the reasons above continue to work.

Several of these scenerios apply to many of my colleagues, and in that sense it actually makes it much easier to tell them that you have decided to retire early. Many of them wouldn't want to be unemployed in their 30's 40's or 50's, so if I ever decide to walk away, I will just tell them the truth. I suspect most would simply shrug their shoulders and think to themselves "She seems happy, but that kind of life is not for me".

Not everybody wants what we want. To each their own.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:42 PM   #78
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Maybe there should be a Retired Early board and a Retired Very Early Board? I retired@57.5, early by many standards. Technically could have retired@55 but have younger son still in college. I got a small ($25K) buyout to retire, not critical but why not take what is available.

I am not sure where I saw the statistic but I think something like 25% of all retirements are health related, I wonder if that is higher or lower for RE folks? My retirement decision is framed by my Dad having a stroke @60 another @62 when he retired, he had a best a couple good years in retirement, he died @70. Now I have had some medical scares, A-fib was identified after a night in the cardiac ward 6 months before my retirement. In the last month I had some spots on my chest which after, mammograms (ouch!), sonograms, and a biopsy the spots were determined to be benign. It again reminded me that life is short(er) now and time to do the more important things in life. We will be rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in a couple weeks.

Now, for some friends & former coworkers it is quite an acceptable response for me to inform them that I have medical issues and I am retiring NOW. I don't tell them that I hope to keep medical issues quite well managed and live to the age of older family members like my Mom who will be 90 this year.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:04 PM   #79
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For many I work with, they have more than enough money to retire at their current lifestyle, and did years ago, but for one or several of the reasons above continue to work.
Where do you work? Big law firm? Investment banking? Corporate executive? Silicon Valley with stock option millionaires? Sounds like a rewarding and lucrative field if so many have reached financial independence yet continue to work.

Of those I work with, only the former president of the company (and majority owner) is financially sound enough to retire. He's almost 70 and has repositioned himself at the company doing things he likes doing, hence he remains here. Of course you have to ask yourself do you really know about other people's finances? I guess there could be a stealth ER-type here that has enough or almost enough but is just working for the health insurance. Who knows?
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:46 PM   #80
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In a small town like the one I live in, everybody kniows your working/non working status. I never bring up the issue of my ER. People resent that public money is spent in ER, which is my case, precisely.

As I think Iīve mentioned before, almost nobody in Spain retires before 65, unless forced to by their employers. least of all civil servants.

In my case, my employer was/is a state owned company sustained by the taxpayers. My company was forced by the European Community to shut down factories supported by public money in order to comply to free enterprise rules. I can understand the resentment. More so in these days, when rumours of delaying retirement from 65 to 67 abound.....
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