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Old 10-26-2010, 05:26 AM   #21
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Hello Emeritus - in my opinion the same can be said about many professions, including law, medical, engineering etc.

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Old 10-26-2010, 06:30 AM   #22
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We recently attended an open house for my nephew and his new bride. Several of us were drinking at the basement bar when the ER subject came up. I asked DW's cousins husband how his retirement was going. He explained how much he liked it. He asked how mine was. I said I wasn't really retired, that I just work when I want to. DW's friend piped up - "You have an extremely unusual work arrangement". I like the sound of that - so that's my answer whenever the subject comes up from now on.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:49 AM   #23
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I will be ESRing, so I expect is will be less of an issue. In any case, we will be relocating to a college town so it is likely that it will cut down on a lot of the questions.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:29 AM   #24
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What are you going to do Nords when your family members and friends will google the title of your book (title in your footnote), find your true identity, and read your postings here about them ?
I don't think I need to do anything. What they read here on the board is pretty much what they've already heard from me face-to-face or in e-mail.

Spouse frequently reads this board (Hi, honey!) and my kid doesn't care because she's heard it all before. The shipmates I post about here have heard it all before, too, and it's all factually correct-- both the good and the not-so-good. I'm pretty sure I'm not the first one to deliver the news, either.

Frequently I'll post about it a shipmate's ER issues here because they're not really persuaded by talking with spouse or me, or uncomfortable with the subject, and the process of writing a post forces me to work on a more persuasive way to present the situation. I'm also hoping that someone else will have encountered a similar situation and have a better solution.

I used to wish my parents-in-law would read my posts about them so that they'd be able to parse through them to comprehension. It turns out that it's easier (and probably healthier) to no longer care what they think. They've heartily earned everything I say about them here, and a good bit more that I won't post about while they're alive. Their investment decisions certainly carry a number of warning lessons for early retirees.

One of the (several) reasons I decided to make the book a non-profit project is because I didn't want my relatives to think that we were on the skids and looking for financial assistance... but they already suspect that from our lifestyle and attire.

I'm marketing the book on my blog and Facebook and Twitter under my real name, and it's probably slowly permeating through the Internet, but so far it's difficult to detect that there's a lot of readership. I find that subscriptions are the way I prefer to keep up with other blogs, but mine hasn't garnered any subscriptions yet.

The next step is to start marketing on military websites and doing more on LinkedIn. I've had a LinkedIn account for a while (USNA classmates) and it'll be interesting to see what happens when I change my profile from "Independent Investment Management Professional" to "Author".

Please let me know if there's a specific post or topic that you think I might prefer to retract. I consider things pretty carefully at the time I'm posting them, and I'll certainly never talk about Jolie Bookspan again on a public forum, but I don't remember each & every post.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:42 AM   #25
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Joke time

of course as an academic if you say you are a retired professor the question is always

"how could they tell?"
That's not a joke, IMHO.

I did not have the opportunity to attend college/university (Uncle Sam had other ideas, at the time).

However, I did get to go to a local college, starting at the age of 40 (through my employer).

I found it was easy to ascertain those "Profs" who taught full time vs. those that were "Adjunct instructors". The tenured professors talked about what could be - the Adjuncts not only spoke of what could be, but what was reality in the "real world" ...

I would think that retired tenured professors act the same way in retirement as they did in their "salad days" (e.g. "lost")...
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:57 AM   #26
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I found it was easy to ascertain those "Profs" who taught full time vs. those that were "Adjunct instructors". The tenured professors talked about what could be - the Adjuncts not only spoke of what could be, but what was reality in the "real world" ...
I know professors who use their tenure security to commercialize their research via entrepreneurial risks.

But these types of people are unlikely to ever retire, let alone ER...
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:06 PM   #27
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I know professors who use their tenure security to commercialize their research via entrepreneurial risks.

But these types of people are unlikely to ever retire, let alone ER...
In that case, I tip my hat to them. They are probally able to apply what they teach in the classroom, and that's a good technique.

However, I found in my limited exposure to the "educational elite" that most did not dwell on anything outside of the local campus.

As an example, I had an adjunct who was the instructor of two levels of law (Business), and was acting as a representative of Bethlehem Steel during their "shutdown" period, over many years.

He was not only able to "teach the text", but also was well versed in contract/labor law as it was part of his practice, and interface what was going on in the "commercial" world.

Not to "down" those whose views are only in the academic world, but IMHO (and actual practice) those who brought some "grit" to the table were much better instructors overall...
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:44 PM   #28
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I am an adhunct professor of public speaking. I definitely TRY to bring my real world experience to the table for my students.

Just yesterday I got to say "Yes, I know random selection of speaking times causes stress and, yes, not being in class the day your name is drawn to give your speech will get you an F. Each speech is 10% of your grade. Yes, I know that seems harsh. No, I get no pleasure in being difficult. Do you think businesses let you skip meetings and re-schedule important product pitches because you have the sniffles?"
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:51 PM   #29
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We discussed this in an earlier thread. I've been a lawyer for 35 years. Law (and some other professions) becomes what you are rather than what you do. Lawyers tend to be very competitive people, and aggressively keep score. What surprises some non lawyers is that the scoring is generally not about money. Anyone can make money. We want everyone to know that we are in a situation where our opinions and ideas are valued. That is why we can pay judges half what they would get anywhere else and still get good people, and why lawyers jump at the chance of a Supreme Court pro bono assignment. Hard to let that go. I certainly can't, which is why I am Professor Emeritus
You should mention that fact that once tenured it is nearly impossible to lose your job at a university. That fact alone has kept many folks in academia, at a time when millions are losing their jobs. Granted, some universities have eliminated "non-essential" departments, thus losing some tenured folks, but their DB pensions are still protected.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:53 PM   #30
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Just got around to reading this thread and although I've used the "I'm semi, early-retired" thing many times, wouldn't a "hard-core" ER person be proud to proclaim they are retired? I know it stirs up all manner of response from others, but shouldn't that be part of the joy of ER?
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:33 PM   #31
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My immediate family and in-laws all know that I early retired with a pension, so there is no need for subterfuge there. What they don't know is that if the pension disappeared, I'd still be fine because I planned, saved and invested for the worst case scenario. Makes for a lot fewer loan requests.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:47 PM   #32
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Just got around to reading this thread and although I've used the "I'm semi, early-retired" thing many times, wouldn't a "hard-core" ER person be proud to proclaim they are retired? I know it stirs up all manner of response from others, but shouldn't that be part of the joy of ER?
I wouldn't consider myself "hard core", but do simply tell people I'm retired. I mention my volunteer work and the fact I'm on the board of a local charity group if they follow up with the "what do you do" question.

I suspect it's a bit easier for me since I'm a woman. We'll see how DH handles it when he retires
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:54 PM   #33
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Maybe he didn't go as voluntarily into his own retirement as I was always lead to believe. Makes me glad I've been LBYM so I could be FIRE on short notice if it ever comes to that.
That is possible. It is also possible that he has seen some downside (not necessarily financial) to early retirement.

People who stay here will in general not express negative viewpoints. They can feel how these would be received, and anyway why bother people with things they clearly do not want to hear?

Your father is different, he truly cares about your well being, not about fitting into a virtual social group.

Ha
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:18 PM   #34
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I wish I could convince my wife that our ER should be deep cover. She plans to tell everyone what we are doing, once we do it. I vehemently disagree, but she is sticking to her guns. We will see what actually happens in 3 years and 2 months (age 49).
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:47 PM   #35
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Just got around to reading this thread and although I've used the "I'm semi, early-retired" thing many times, wouldn't a "hard-core" ER person be proud to proclaim they are retired? I know it stirs up all manner of response from others, but shouldn't that be part of the joy of ER?
I am not a hard-core early retiree. I am not militant about early retirement. I don't even think early-retirement is the best path in life for most people. And I don't feel the need to convince anyone else to retire early. I just don't want to waste time justifying my choices to people who have no business judging those choices. I just want to do my thing and I want people to keep their noses out of it. If it takes a white lie for people to bug out, so be it. If I feel the need to brag about ER, I'll do it here, anonymously.

As people say back in the old country, "to live happy, live hidden".
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:07 PM   #36
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Just got around to reading this thread and although I've used the "I'm semi, early-retired" thing many times, wouldn't a "hard-core" ER person be proud to proclaim they are retired? I know it stirs up all manner of response from others, but shouldn't that be part of the joy of ER?
The point isn't whether or not we're proud.

The point is whether or not we want to continue hearing the words "Yeah, but...", whether we want to keep responding to the implications that we must be rich or liars (or both), whether we want to be used as sounding boards for jealousy & envy, whether we want to discuss "Hey, then you have plenty of time to help us with..." and so on.

The joy of ER comes from not having to put up with these situations.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:11 PM   #37
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Hello Emeritus - in my opinion the same can be said about many professions, including law, medical, engineering etc.
Of course, it simply surprises some people that lawyers routinely value such respect more than money. That physicians and Engineers feel that way surprises few people.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:16 PM   #38
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You should mention that fact that once tenured it is nearly impossible to lose your job at a university. That fact alone has kept many folks in academia, at a time when millions are losing their jobs. Granted, some universities have eliminated "non-essential" departments, thus losing some tenured folks, but their DB pensions are still protected.
OFGS Academics invented the Defined Contribution pension and the vast majority have them Look up the History of TIAA-CREF. I thought your field was finance?
With $15 million, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1905 founded the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) in New York City to provide retirement benefits and other forms of financial security to educators. When Carnegie's original endowment was found to be insufficient, another $1 million reorganized the fund into a defined- contribution plan in 1918. TIAA was the first portable pension plan, letting participants change employers without losing benefits and offering a fixed annuity. The fund required infusions of Carnegie cash until 1947.
http://web.archive.org/web/200308111...TIAA-CREF.html
If you think of being a professor as a job, you have the wrong idea. The pay is low, but the salary is guaranteed. It is a meritocracy (of course merit is defined academically so YMMV). the career is open to anyone who has the talent is willing to take the risk and pay the price. It takes on average 15 years from a BS degree to train a person to a level where they can get tenure at a major research university. That is longer than virtually any other career. Given the high demands and (relatively) low pay, job security and the internal status that comes with academic tenure is key to maintaining our world eminence in academic research. Nobody pays to see the Dean's work. Professors are the lifeblood of the enterprise.

What makes top American academics so special is that they are academic entrepreneurs. Many bring in 2-5 times their salary, and even those who don't are constantly recruiting students and selling the product.
In my entire career I never spent a nickel of state travel money unless I won it in a competitive grant. I got the first NSF grant my department ever got. I never got a nickel to support a graduate student, I brought in all the money to support them.

So its not a job, its a profession and a business. Even today, when I teach, if I don't get enough students I would not get paid. Students are customers, and tough ones. I tell them I have a single goal, to improve their understanding of the field in such way that they become more employable. Every student finishes my course with a personal piece of writing on technology and the law which they can take to potential employers.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:19 PM   #39
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So good to see that pension discussions just crop up all over the darned place around here. Fascinating reading, y'all!
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:23 PM   #40
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The point isn't whether or not we're proud.

The point is whether or not we want to continue hearing the words "Yeah, but...", whether we want to keep responding to the implications that we must be rich or liars (or both), whether we want to be used as sounding boards for jealousy & envy, whether we want to discuss "Hey, then you have plenty of time to help us with..." and so on.

The joy of ER comes from not having to put up with these situations.
Oh, I get it, for sure. I was at a board meeting tonight for a group I'm involved with and at one point, I told them that I was not going to be around for a couple months this Winter and would be in Florida. I got some very odd reactions. One guy who understands just looked at me, smiled and nodded. Another guy says "Aw, you know these rich, young guys...." It is often easier to simply tell people what they will understand and leave it at that.
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