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Friends and family canít relate
Old 07-09-2018, 07:30 AM   #1
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Friends and family canít relate

I know this has been discussed previously, so this is really just me venting.

In the past few years Iíve decided that I just donít want to work much longer. My career just no longer interests me, to the point of making me mildly depressed at having to go to work every day. It really has become a struggle, and for my own mental well being I need to retire. Iím on the cusp of FI, and honestly I could retire today, but want to save just a little more money so that I donít have to decrease my post RE spending very much.

Iíve been working very hard at downsizing, cutting expenses, redistributing savings, etc. A large portion of my mental activity revolves around setting myself up for RE.

The irritating part is that this thing (FIRE) that is very important to me, occupies a lot of my thoughts, drives my actions, simply cannot be discussed with anyone. My friends either canít relate or just donít want to talk about it because they arenít anywhere close to being able to retire. My family members either think Iím crazy or are jealous. My mother, whom Iíve always been very honest with about my financial situation, just got remarried. When I had the usual finance conversation with her, I could feel the resentment from my new step father, as if he thought I was just bragging about it. So now I canít even discuss this with my mother any more.

Itís just frustrating that family and people that I consider good friends really are not interested in hearing about something that is very important to me, while I always try to show interest in whatever they are passionate about.

Thanks for listening. Lol
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:33 AM   #2
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If you care to, why not discuss it with your mother without your step-father being present?
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:53 AM   #3
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You found us. You can discuss it here all you want.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:53 AM   #4
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I hear ya! Luckily we live in an almost all over-55 community, so I can discuss with the neighbors since most of them already are retired. But I can't discuss with anyone else - jealousy really rears its ugly head.

Also, while still on the payroll, I took advantage of the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and got five no-cost sessions with a social worker who specializes in over-55 folks. Sometimes it's just good to have someone to bounce things off, and she's also helped me map out what I want to do with myself after my last day of employment.

Good luck. Kind of sad to have something so exciting in the horizon and you almost feel guilty about it, huh?
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:01 AM   #5
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When we retired a couple that was 10 years older than us got really jealous and our 16 year friendship didn’t survive. They work from home and always said they never wanted to retire. I was 58. She left me a message at work telling me not to do it. It was really weird and they were jealous of our small pensions despite inheritances which we never had.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rlhendren View Post
I know this has been discussed previously, so this is really just me venting.

In the past few years Iíve decided that I just donít want to work much longer. My career just no longer interests me, to the point of making me mildly depressed at having to go to work every day. It really has become a struggle, and for my own mental well being I need to retire. Iím on the cusp of FI, and honestly I could retire today, but want to save just a little more money so that I donít have to decrease my post RE spending very much.

Iíve been working very hard at downsizing, cutting expenses, redistributing savings, etc. A large portion of my mental activity revolves around setting myself up for RE.

The irritating part is that this thing (FIRE) that is very important to me, occupies a lot of my thoughts, drives my actions, simply cannot be discussed with anyone. My friends either canít relate or just donít want to talk about it because they arenít anywhere close to being able to retire. My family members either think Iím crazy or are jealous. My mother, whom Iíve always been very honest with about my financial situation, just got remarried. When I had the usual finance conversation with her, I could feel the resentment from my new step father, as if he thought I was just bragging about it. So now I canít even discuss this with my mother any more.

Itís just frustrating that family and people that I consider good friends really are not interested in hearing about something that is very important to me, while I always try to show interest in whatever they are passionate about.

Thanks for listening. Lol
I've had mixed reactions discussing FIRE. I am in my 30s. A lot of people say "good luck" with an eye roll. Other's get noticeably irritated when discussing money and finance, and others will share the goal.

I think there are three camps...

1. Those who understand what it takes to FIRE and work towards it
2. Those who do not understand FIRE and have trouble discussing finance
3. Those who do not understand FIRE, got lucky, have lots of money but also don't understand the mechanics but also don't really need to.

I don't talk to a lot of my struggling friends about my FIRE desires. I may mention something like don't forget to save some for tomorrow. Even that statement can irritate people so I generally just don't speak about it.

Most do not believe me or don't care when I mention it. The older folks tend to take the side of "what will you do when you get bored?"

I think being free to do what I want for an extra 15 years beyond FRA will give me plenty of time to settle any boredom.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:04 AM   #7
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OP, your post is exactly why many of us hang out here.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:07 AM   #8
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Not quite sure why you feel the need to talk about it to people who have expressed a complete lack of interest, (perhaps your friends/family perceive it as bragging?).

If your numbers work...I'd say do it...but don't discuss it.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:14 AM   #9
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True friends and relatives should be proud that you have had personal success and lived below your means long enough to obtain financial independence. There should be no hint of jealousy.

And just because someone has ER, everyone should've proud of them. It just gives more time in life to do good for others in a charity way.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:15 AM   #10
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OP, your post is exactly why many of us hang out here.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:15 AM   #11
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We simply don't talk about it with anybody in real life. That's what websites like this are for! Even once I fully retire I might pretend I am still "consulting."
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:17 AM   #12
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Some folks don't understand unless they are in the same situation.

When I FIRE'd about 10 years ago, I had friends and family questioning my decision. They couldn't understand the "I'm ready to call it a career part." Fast forward several years. A friend who did some questioning and has since retired herself now talks about how great retirement is and wouldn't have things any other way. Some family members who are still working say to me "gosh, wish they were retired like me."
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:20 AM   #13
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If the message is loud and clear that they'd rather not hear about it, that should be your clear sign.

Let's pretend it's not ER and finances, but say, running. Runners love to talk about running. People who don't run don't care and don't want to hear about it. It's totally boring to anyone that doesn't run. PRs, pronation, newest shoes, new routes, that new gel for long runs - if you don't run you don't care. If you do, you know better than to talk about running with non-runner friends. Or you learn very quickly, hopefully.

So, this is like talking about running but also saddled with finances and competition and economic one-up-man-ship (which is inherent in most anything to do with money), so even more reasonable to avoid.

One thing: You mention several times how ER and finances occupy a lot of your time and thoughts. Perhaps that's a bit much, and perhaps it would help you to think about it less, and then even want to talk about it less?
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:24 AM   #14
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Totally understand this issue. Personally I quit work at 62 and had the $ to make it work out. Most friends and family (whom are still working or canít retire financially) think something is wrong with me. Iíve heard a million time now the question ď when r u going back to workĒ. Iíve found this site provides the discussion and understanding you are seeking. Welcome to the group.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgtest View Post
I've had mixed reactions discussing FIRE. I am in my 30s. A lot of people say "good luck" with an eye roll. Other's get noticeably irritated when discussing money and finance, and others will share the goal.

I think there are three camps...

1. Those who understand what it takes to FIRE and work towards it
2. Those who do not understand FIRE and have trouble discussing finance
3. Those who do not understand FIRE, got lucky, have lots of money but also don't understand the mechanics but also don't really need to.

I don't talk to a lot of my struggling friends about my FIRE desires. I may mention something like don't forget to save some for tomorrow. Even that statement can irritate people so I generally just don't speak about it.

Most do not believe me or don't care when I mention it. The older folks tend to take the side of "what will you do when you get bored?"

I think being free to do what I want for an extra 15 years beyond FRA will give me plenty of time to settle any boredom.
I think your post reveals a little blind spot. You think that nobody could possibly "understand" FIRE and just not want to do it or decide that it's not for them. Why is that?
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:46 AM   #16
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Discussing FIRE is why I spend too much time online. We joined our real life senior clubs when we turned 55 but really most of the other people are 70 or older. Only a small portion of the people we know have retired early and many of the ones that did ER moved to lower cost of living areas. We have more in common with the older seniors in our area these days than we do with the people our age who work all week. And nobody in the senior clubs resents us being retired because they are all retired, too.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
If the message is loud and clear that they'd rather not hear about it, that should be your clear sign.

Let's pretend it's not ER and finances, but say, running. Runners love to talk about running. People who don't run don't care and don't want to hear about it. It's totally boring to anyone that doesn't run. PRs, pronation, newest shoes, new routes, that new gel for long runs - if you don't run you don't care. If you do, you know better than to talk about running with non-runner friends. Or you learn very quickly, hopefully.

So, this is like talking about running but also saddled with finances and competition and economic one-up-man-ship (which is inherent in most anything to do with money), so even more reasonable to avoid.

One thing: You mention several times how ER and finances occupy a lot of your time and thoughts. Perhaps that's a bit much, and perhaps it would help you to think about it less, and then even want to talk about it less?
Excellent point and youíre right - I donít want to hear every last detail about your running experiences because itís not one of my interests. But if I knew that it was really important to you, I wouldnít mind if you talked about it occasionally.

I guess money and finances are just a difficult topic of conversation no matter what.

As for thinking about it too much, youíre right about that as well!
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:48 AM   #18
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OP, just one comment. I noticed that you said you weren't able to talk with your mother about it anymore because her new husband got upset. You said you guessed he was probably envious, which may be true. He's much older than you and has just assumed increased financial responsibility by marrying, which will likely keep him working longer. So envy may be a possibility. But also, he may believe "real men work," so he's getting judgmental about a younger man not doing what a man should do.

In any event, that sounds squarely like his issue. I'm not sure why that should stop you from talking to your mother about your plans/concerns. Unless she makes it clear she isn't comfortable with it, I don't see any reason to cede the ground to him, just because he's got insecurities.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:55 AM   #19
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It’s like telling everyone that you won the lottery and expecting them to be happy for you when they know they will not share in any of the benefits. Some don’t like being shown that it is possible and it forces them to face their own behavior, others will never have the chance for other reasons.

Being concerned with what other people think, probably keeps some working longer
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:04 AM   #20
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We don't live in a society that talks about personal finances and wealth. That is one reason this forum is so valuable. People are naturally curious about other peoples finances. Some people are jealous. Then there are also predators. Real Life is not the place to discuss FIRE.
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