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Old 03-21-2009, 10:00 AM   #41
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and why would you want people to think you are retired when you (by your own admission) are working? that gives people who read your posts the wrong idea about your perspective.
The distinction to me is a very clear and sharp one. I work between three and five days a week because I want to. I am not working because I have to. If I stay home and watch Discovery channel, or go fishing, or go for a walk along the C&O canal, the retirement income will pay the bills. All I have to do is keep breathing and the monthly checks will come in.

But I tried all that for several years and learned something. I didn't like it. The income from the post-retirement job is all play money, and I get to meet and associate with people I would not otherwise run into. What I found out is that we could have lots of free time or lots of spending money, but not both.

I have no idea where this path will lead. But in the meantime it works for me, it works for DW, and I have the option of deciding not to work at any time. And that option is priceless.

So, to me, I am retired.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:05 AM   #42
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I don't have to, but I work about 20 hours a week and set my own hours. I consider myself financially independent and semi-retired. I am not retired.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:26 PM   #43
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The distinction to me is a very clear and sharp one. I work between three and five days a week because I want to. I am not working because I have to. If I stay home and watch Discovery channel, or go fishing, or go for a walk along the C&O canal, the retirement income will pay the bills. All I have to do is keep breathing and the monthly checks will come in.

But I tried all that for several years and learned something. I didn't like it. The income from the post-retirement job is all play money, and I get to meet and associate with people I would not otherwise run into. What I found out is that we could have lots of free time or lots of spending money, but not both.

I have no idea where this path will lead. But in the meantime it works for me, it works for DW, and I have the option of deciding not to work at any time. And that option is priceless.

So, to me, I am retired.
What you describe ("I am not working because I have to. ") is FI, not RE or even retired. FI means having enough financial resources so that you dont have to work for money to continue to support yourself. Retired means not working for money (there are other things involved in the definition of retired that are not really necessary to this discussion). And there is a big difference between the 2 (i.e. working). Would you consider Bill Gates or any of the other billionaires that continue to work, retired? Neither does it mean enjoying the work you do for money. Enjoying the work you do for money is a huge plus but it doesnt mean your retired. BTW working part time is at best semi-retired and at worst under employed depending on the circumstances.

The problem with you using a definition of retired (or any word for that matter) that is not widely accepted is that when you write something, people who dont know your definition of retired (and think it means something else) can easily misunderstand what you mean as well as your perspective. I hope you aren't deliberately trying to mislead people but even if it isnt deliberate you are likely misleading some.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:36 PM   #44
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what u describe ("I am not working because I have to. ") is FI, not RE or even retired. FI means having enough financial resources so that u dont have to work for money to continue to support urself. retired means not working for money (there r other things involved in the definition of retired that r not really necessary to this discussion). and there is a big difference between the 2 (i.e. working). wud u consider bill gates or any of the other billionaires that continue to work, retired? neither does it mean enjoying the work u do for money. enjoying the work u do for money is a huge plus but it doesnt mean ur retired. btw working part time is at best semi retired and at worst under employed depending on the circumstances.

the problem with u using a definition of retired (or any word for that matter) that is not widely accepted is that when u write something people who dont know ur definition of retired (and think it means something else) can easily misunderstand what u mean as well as ur perspective. i hope u rnt deliberately trying to mislead people but even if it isnt deliberate u r likely misleading some.
JDW: Maybe it's just me, but I have difficulty reading posts that don't spell out the words and/or lack capitalization and punctuation.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:38 PM   #45
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JDW: Maybe it's just me, but I have difficulty reading posts that don't spell out the words and/or lack capitalization and punctuation.
It's not just u. I don't do textspeak.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:16 PM   #46
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JDW: Maybe it's just me, but I have difficulty reading posts that don't spell out the words and/or lack capitalization and punctuation.
Maybe it's the "FIRE snobism" in that message that is bugging you:

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what u describe ("I am not working because I have to. ") is FI, not RE or even retired. FI means having enough financial resources so that u dont have to work for money to continue to support urself. retired means not working for money (there r other things involved in the definition of retired that r not really necessary to this discussion). and there is a big difference between the 2 (i.e. working). wud u consider bill gates or any of the other billionaires that continue to work, retired? neither does it mean enjoying the work u do for money. enjoying the work u do for money is a huge plus but it doesnt mean ur retired. btw working part time is at best semi retired and at worst under employed depending on the circumstances.

the problem with u using a definition of retired (or any word for that matter) that is not widely accepted is that when u write something people who dont know ur definition of retired (and think it means something else) can easily misunderstand what u mean as well as ur perspective. i hope u rnt deliberately trying to mislead people but even if it isnt deliberate u r likely misleading some.
As far as I'm concerned, if someone wants to call himself or herself FIRED or ESRd or ERd, be my guest - call it whatever you feel like calling it. Wouldn't worry about someone else's arbitrary definition. As long as you have the secret decoder ring and password to prove you are a member, of course
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:48 PM   #47
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I completely understand and subscribe to Walt34's definition of retired. I too think of myself as retired although I consult 3 days per week. Retirement is a state of mind. I no longer have a "ca*reer"; I no longer care about politics; I no longer need to work; I no longer stress over whether a project or contract will end. In other words, I feel free.

I try to refer to myself on here as semi-retired so as not to offend those like jdw_fire who subscribe to a stricter definition.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:03 PM   #48
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Even if a woman has a very secure and lucrative career, a man who stays at home is judged frequently as a slacker, as a lazy bum, as a loser, as a useless ne'er-do-well and a parasite.

If it's all working out well for the couple, who cares what judgmental people think? I mean, seriously. Is someone writing threatening slogans on their house and burning crosses on their lawn? That's about the point at which I'd start to get concerned about public reaction.
If you get poked at subtly and not so subtly about living off your wife it can be hard not to have it wear on you. May also make it harder to make new friends.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:28 PM   #49
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I completely understand and subscribe to Walt34's definition of retired. I too think of myself as retired although I consult 3 days per week. Retirement is a state of mind.
I think of myself as 6'6' and really good looking. Being tall and good looking is purely a state of mind.

I may just go all the way and coin my own language that no one but me will be able to understand. Voilá, no more pesky comparisons between what I think and what others may observe.

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Old 03-21-2009, 08:25 PM   #50
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JDW: Maybe it's just me, but I have difficulty reading posts that don't spell out the words and/or lack capitalization and punctuation.
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It's not just u. I don't do textspeak.
Just for you 2 texting illiterates, I edited my post. Hopefully now you can just comment on the thoughts instead of the typing. BTW, I dont spell well either, hopefully you can overlook any spelling errors.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:47 PM   #51
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Just for you 2 texting illiterates, I edited my post. Hopefully now you can just comment on the thoughts instead of the typing. BTW, I dont spell well either, hopefully you can overlook any spelling errors.
Thank you for the edit. I tend to go with Rich on this -- call your own situation whatever you want and Walt can call his whatever he wants. As far as I know, there is no ANSI-like central organization setting FIRE standards and definitions. Now if Walt were commenting on his expenses relative to his savings, it might be helpful to know that he also has non-passive income, but I'm sure Walt would make that clear should it ever come to that. In the context in which Walt posted earlier, however, it is irrelevant whether he has income from employment or not. So I am puzzled as to what motivated you to "call him out". It seems unnecessary.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:50 PM   #52
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I tend to go with Rich on this -- call your own situation whatever you want and Walt can call his whatever he wants.
yes there is no law against using what ever word you want to mean anything you want. the problem is that when you do such you mislead the people who are reading what you wrote and you dont have full communication. so is what you are saying is it is ok to mislead or that you are in favor of miscommunication? as an example of the importance of understanding, there has been such controversy on this site over people with pensions giving advice to people in general (and people w/o pensions in specific) about starting their retirement that a new term was invented (SIRE) for people who retire early with a pension. from what i can determine this was done to enhance communication (or atleast understanding). but it seems that you think that calling yourself retired when in fact you are still working isnt misleading at all. hmmmmm i submit to you that someone who retires (without contiuned employment) with a pension is more FIREd than someone who is still working for money even if s/he is FI and yet for clarity SIRE was coined for the former and you seem to be in favor of calling the later retired. i think we all want to be clear and understood, at least i hope so. lets not play any games with words just because your ego doesnt want to admit that you are not or no longer retired.

for clarity and communication sake, why dont ya'll who think you are retired even though you are still working part time call yourself semi-retired on here (provided you actually cut back on work as a voluntary decision, otherwise it would be underemployed). you can call yourself retired everywhere else, ok?

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So I am puzzled as to what motivated you to "call him out". It seems unnecessary.
i "called him out" on this particular thread because his tag line (so it shows up on all of his posts) proclaims that he is retired and it was in this thread where he stated that he is still working.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:13 PM   #53
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If the purpose of this board is to attract traffic and therefore ad revenue, I would say people should be encouraged to do and say whatever makes them happy. They should post whatever they want, since it would all be make believe anyway.

OTOH, if the purpose is to understand, be understood, and to develop trust that one can accurately interpret what someone else is saying without having to research their posting history, it seems rather obvious that "retired" should mean only one thing-I don't work for money. If you work for money, to a greater or lesser extent you are a worker, not a retiree. You may be 80% retiree, and only 20% worker. This would be easy enough to state, at least in a rougly quantitative way. You may be doing it because you need the money,or because you want to feel useful, or escape Honey_Do's, or meet girls. It really doesn't matter for the purposes of this group, because what most of us want to learn here is "What does it take and how should I proceed, so as to become safely retired?" If your goal is to be safely semi-retired, a different set of questions arise. Like, "Do my skill set and certifications make part time, or intermittant, or return-to-work after retirement work possible? How likely is it? What sort of remuneration can I expect?

But how could we know any of these things without at least making an attempt to make our words and descriptions refer in some reasonably stable way to the world outside our heads?

From long experience on this board, I realize that there are the "professionally retired". By this I mean that for their true profession which is writing, promoting and selling retirement or travel related information., it is important in a PR sort of way for them to be perceived as retirees. The relatively small number of people with this need clearly have to do this, so it behooves the reader to figure it out for himself. But it is really a beakdown in authentic communication for a this kind of mis-identification to become commonplace.

Ha
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:17 PM   #54
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Using definitions that we all agree on makes discussions much, much, easier.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:35 PM   #55
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JDW:

I suspect that where greater precision is required, it will be provided in good faith by those whose situations are not clearly in either camp (at least, I hope that people would do so). But I think you would agree that there are many, many instances where a precise delineation is irrelevant. For example, I doubt that you know at this moment whether I am employed full time, employed part time, laid off, on welfare, retired and sitting on the porch, or retired and now working solely for companionship and drinking money. Similarly, I don't know your status. For purposes of this discussion, those facts simply don't matter.

I do think that your post raises a good issue -- we should strive to be precise about the context for any advice we may give, so that others may appropriately judge whether it might be applicable to their situation. That said, ordinary prudence counsels that we take any advice offered by anonymous internet posters with a grain of salt in any event.

You ascribe differences of definition to ego. That may well be the case, but is is equally possible that others simply choose to define things differently from you and that ego plays no part. I don't know. Frankly, it really doesn't matter to me what people call themselves or why.

So my advice, as an anonymous poster of indeterminate employment status, is to try for a lower level of belligerence in your posting. I think people will respond more favorably to your message if you do.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:42 PM   #56
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OTOH, if the purpose is to understand, be understood, and to develop trust that one can accurately interpret what someone else is saying without having to research their posting history . . .
A very good post.

One minor quibble -- Most people here don't have their employment status in their signature line, so unless you are familiar with them, it will be necessary to check their posting history (to the extent that knowing their employment status matters to the issue at hand).
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:50 PM   #57
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yes there is no law against using what ever word you want to mean anything you want. the problem is that when you do such you mislead the people who are reading what you wrote and you dont have full communication. so is what you are saying is it is ok to mislead or that you are in favor of miscommunication?
Says the guy who couldn't be bothered to type out a full three-letter word.

If you're campaigning for clarity you'll probably get more message across with the standard language & tone used on this board. L33t and textspeak come across much less coherently.

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for clarity and communication sake, why dont ya'll who think you are retired even though you are still working part time call yourself semi-retired on here (provided you actually cut back on work as a voluntary decision, otherwise it would be underemployed). you can call yourself retired everywhere else, ok?
This controversy is rediscovered every few months. Where do you want to draw the line? My pension doesn't pay for all of our spending, so am I fully retired or semi-retired? If I'm spending savings to pay for the excess expenses beyond my pension, am I not considered retired? If I fix a neighbor's leaky faucet for $25/hour, am I no longer retired? What if I'm paid in baked goods instead of money? What if the baked goods were made from scratch by my neighbor instead of being purchased from a retail outlet? What if I don't really see those baked goods as a necessity but rather a luxury? What if I don't eat them at all, but instead give them to my kid in exchange for yardwork?

I'd say that if you have enough money to do what you want, indefinitely but not infinitely, then you're retired. Otherwise you're taking an extended sabbatical or working for luxuries beyond the necessities.

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i "called him out" on this particular thread because his tag line (so it shows up on all of his posts) proclaims that he is retired and it was in this thread where he stated that he is still working.
I think Walt has thoroughly documented the reasons that he's retired, the reasons that he's decided to go back to work, and the conditions under which he'll remain employed (or not). His thoughts & decisions are not the type of issues that can be reduced to a poster's profile bio, let alone a tag line. If you know him from reading his posts over the last year or so then you know his story. There's no apparent attempt to deceive, any more than your "calling out" should be interpreted as a display of hostility.

I think you could stand to lighten up a little.

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Using definitions that we all agree on makes discussions much, much, easier.
Yeah, but on this board we can't even come to consensus on a straightforward definition of net worth...
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:03 PM   #58
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JDW:

I suspect that where greater precision is required, it will be provided in good faith by those whose situations are not clearly in either camp (at least, I hope that people would do so). But I think you would agree that there are many, many instances where a precise delineation is irrelevant. For example, I doubt that you know at this moment whether I am employed full time, employed part time, laid off, on welfare, retired and sitting on the porch, or retired and now working solely for companionship and drinking money. Similarly, I don't know your status. For purposes of this discussion, those facts simply don't matter.
my comment was the result of a tag line that appeared in EVERY post walt made and i am just suggesting that it be accurate and truthful so as to enhance communication and understandability

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You ascribe differences of definition to ego. That may well be the case, but is is equally possible that others simply choose to define things differently from you and that ego plays no part. I don't know. Frankly, it really doesn't matter to me what people call themselves or why.

So my advice, as an anonymous poster of indeterminate employment status, is to try for a lower level of belligerence in your posting. I think people will respond more favorably to your message if you do.
i only mentioned ego as it seemed a reasonably possible explanation for making up a definition for a word that to the general population means something different than that poster's definition. i may be wrong, however i dont see how i was expressing "belligerence", and i am sorry you view it that way.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:26 PM   #59
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JDW, I believe the "tag line that appeared in EVERY post walt made" (hint: it's a default signature--you can create one too if you go to your profile page and it will appear with every post you make thereafter until you turn it off) was created by Walt eons ago before he started his part time gig that apparently funds his motorcycle/pickup truck obsessions and he just never modified it. You can PM Walt with your concerns if you want him to change it for you. But I believe he still packs heat in his semiretirement occupation so most of us let him use whatever "tag line" he wants. And if he relies on his pre-retirement skillset there'll be no hiding from him. Just a word to the wise
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:20 AM   #60
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Says the guy who couldn't be bothered to type out a full three-letter word.

If you're campaigning for clarity you'll probably get more message across with the standard language & tone used on this board. L33t and textspeak come across much less coherently.
at least all i am doing is using abbreviations and text speak, not redefining english words. btw is this you showing me how to "lighten up"? you start out your post by insulting me? fwiw i happen to spend more time chatting with people on the internet than i spend posting here. since i am a poor typist i use what ever shortcuts i can when chatting and that habit has spilled over here, PLEASE FORGIVE ME!!!!

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This controversy is rediscovered every few months. Where do you want to draw the line? My pension doesn't pay for all of our spending, so am I fully retired or semi-retired? If I'm spending savings to pay for the excess expenses beyond my pension, am I not considered retired?
based on what i know of your financial situation, yes i would consider you retired. however you dont make any claims to your financial situation in your tag line either.

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I'd say that if you have enough money to do what you want, indefinitely but not infinitely, then you're retired. Otherwise you're taking an extended sabbatical or working for luxuries beyond the necessities.
WTFO nords? you are describing FI (since you dont like abbreviations that means financial independence) not retired. i will repeat, was Bill Gates retired when he was a billionaire but still the CEO of Microsoft? i submit to you that he was FI but not retired. retired is not having a job that pays you money or owning a business where you work. are you trying to enhance communication or just attack me because i said something that you preceived as an assault on a friend of yours?

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I think Walt has thoroughly documented the reasons that he's retired, the reasons that he's decided to go back to work, and the conditions under which he'll remain employed (or not). His thoughts & decisions are not the type of issues that can be reduced to a poster's profile bio, let alone a tag line. If you know him from reading his posts over the last year or so then you know his story. There's no apparent attempt to deceive, any more than your "calling out" should be interpreted as a display of hostility.
he may very well have but only his tag line is attached to EVERY ONE of his posts. and is it ok with you that he has a misleading tag line just because you know him (or his situation) better (more completely) than others? since you know him so well, you may not even read it anymore but what about the newbees on this site that havent read every post here and believe his tag line?
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