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Telling family and friends: 1 day to go!
Old 04-29-2008, 06:45 PM   #1
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Telling family and friends: 1 day to go!

.. continuing my thoughts as I approach ER
If you are interested, you can see my previous posts here:
http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...-go-35193.html

Days to go: 1
State of Mind today: Happy

Telling Friends and Family

I told my close friends about our plans over a year ago and they have been extremely supportive. They know that this is ER for us, understand our concerns and have been great about it.

As I said in the first post, we still think of this as a "break of undetermined length", so we have been telling our family, neighbors and acquaintances that we are taking a one year break and then will decide what to do next.

I just don't feel comfortable explaining - especially to family - how we can afford to do this. Is that a cop-out or what? Again, they have all been very happy for us. Our neighbor told us that there will always be food at her house for us .. I think she's a little concerned.

The only people who freaked out a bit were my in-laws. My FiL worked 35 years in the same company and retired there and my MiL is a full-time home-maker. They didn't get it at all and were really worried that we would not be able to find a job when we needed one etc. etc. However, they slept over it and sent us a very nice message the next day telling us how proud they were of what we were doing etc. etc. very supportive.

How did your friends, neighbors and family take you ER news? Do you have more courage than me () and tell them the whole truth? Please share!
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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How did your friends, neighbors and family take you ER news?
I think most coworkers were envious.

My neighbor (who is my age and works in a factory) would retire in a minute on $20K or so if only he could get medical insurance.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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"How did your friends, neighbors and family take you ER news? Do you have more courage than me () and tell them the whole truth? Please share!"

I never really told anyone. I just didn't work. Well of course that raises questions. I told those who asked, the others I didn't. Most were fine with it. Others stopped talking with me. Get used to answering "what do you do all day". You can have some real fun with it. When I used to get my haircut I loved making up stories for the ladies.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:08 PM   #4
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I haven't explained how I will be able to afford to ER, and I'm sure that some people assume that I inherited from my mother (true), and that I couldn't retire next year otherwise (not true!!!!!). Oh well. Who cares what they think: I know otherwise.

A friend of mine at work asked me how long it would be, today. I raised my index finger to indicate one year, and asked him how long it would be for him. He raised nine fingers. It was one of those poignant moments since I know he wants to leave.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:31 PM   #5
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Most people took it well but when some just couldn't figure out how I did it, I just said taking the single route made it possible. Which is true. And when some made comments to the effect that I would be bored, I just said I might do some part time work at some point. That was more of a cop-out to get them off my back. I didn't really care what people thought but it was an easy way to end the conversation.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
As I said in the first post, we still think of this as a "break of undetermined length", so we have been telling our family, neighbors and acquaintances that we are taking a one year break and then will decide what to do next.

I just don't feel comfortable explaining - especially to family - how we can afford to do this. Is that a cop-out or what?

How did your friends, neighbors and family take you ER news? Do you have more courage than me () and tell them the whole truth? Please share!
We are several years from FIRE, but we are thinking we'll probably take a similar approach...telling people we are taking a break/sabbatical to travel or something. Part of it is not wanting to explain how we would be able to afford to FIRE.

However part of it is a little fear that we won't succeed, and thus if we have to go back to work it will just look like we planned it that way.

Another part of it is feeling a little guilty about all that we have and knowing how much my siblings would want to be in my shoes. I know we all make choices in life, but sometimes I feel like other factors besides choice are involved - for example if you have a mental illness or addiction (such as my siblings) it sure does make it more challenging to make the right choices in life which lead to FIRE.
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:24 PM   #7
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quoting walkinwood.....

Telling Friends and Family



I just don't feel comfortable explaining - especially to family - how we can afford to do this. Is that a cop-out or what? Again, they have all been very happy for us. Our neighbor told us that there will always be food at her house for us .. I think she's a little concerned.



How did your friends, neighbors and family take you ER news? Do you have more courage than me () and tell them the whole truth? Please share!

[end quote]

Walkinwood,
We retired in 06 at 46/57. We never intend to work for wages again. Any friends or family close enough to ask got the whole truth from us. Not any amounts but just the basics. We have not had any negative repercussions from answering truthfully just envy and good wishes. We saved our money, invested early and often and were lucky to have been employed for 25 years each with a company who does have a non COLA pension plan and some retiree insurance. We are lucky and still rejoice in our freedom daily.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:17 PM   #8
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A friend of mine at work asked me how long it would be, today. I raised my index finger to indicate one year, and asked him how long it would be for him. He raised nine fingers. It was one of those poignant moments since I know he wants to leave.

I bet he wanted to raise a different finger when he found out you only had a year to go.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:33 PM   #9
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A very old friend asked if I plan to wait until 65 to retire. I hadn't planned on telling anyone but blurted out, "I may not last until June." A couple of months later her parents (age 85 and 94) let me know that retirement is too expensive before age 65. I get dead silence from close relatives. It would be nice to have supportive people around. Ironically, the most likely ones to be supportive are the people I work with, but I won't tell them until the last minute; my experience with them has been that that kind of news would bring out the friendship between us.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:11 AM   #10
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[quote=walkinwood;650679...How did your friends, neighbors and family take you ER news? Do you have more courage than me () and tell them the whole truth? Please share![/quote]

Family knew about my plans to ER at age 55ish for years. They were very supportive as they knew what I went through with the j*b for so many years. They understood my need to get out walking or being carried out.

Friends and co-workers were supportive and most also understood. It was my turn to "snatch the peeble from the Master's hand...". It was time for me to go.

Folks I don't know are the ones that seem the most surprized. The most common comment is "you are too young to retire." Whatever!

Go for it and tell the world. You worked for it and deserve it.
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:57 AM   #11
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However part of it is a little fear that we won't succeed, and thus if we have to go back to work it will just look like we planned it that way.

Another part of it is feeling a little guilty about all that we have and knowing how much my siblings would want to be in my shoes. I know we all make choices in life, but sometimes I feel like other factors besides choice are involved - for example if you have a mental illness or addiction (such as my siblings) it sure does make it more challenging to make the right choices in life which lead to FIRE.
We too are concerned that we may have to go back to work, which is why we think of this as a "leave". I am not that concerned about anyone else's reaction if we need to go back to work. Ironically, I'm concerned about their reaction to our amassing the money to ER.

My brother has an adopted, autistic son and he gave up his career (wife had the more promising job) to care for him. His first question to me was "Is there a health issue?". His next one on my replying in the negative - "When are you coming to visit?". If anyone should be envious, it is he, but he's so happy for us!

Thanks all for your posts. Its good to know that I'm not alone in this predicament. And thanks for the advice too.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:29 AM   #12
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I bet he wanted to raise a different finger when he found out you only had a year to go.
I'll bet he did!

He is six years younger than me, but has reason to be very fed up with the working world. I think many of us can relate to that sentiment.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:54 AM   #13
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Count me in as one whom is NOT envious, but happy for you! Now go do all the things you always wanted to do, but w**k got in the way...........
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:00 AM   #14
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Count me in as one whom is NOT envious, but happy for you! Now go do all the things you always wanted to do, but w**k got in the way...........
FinanceDude speaks for himself, me, I'm crying in my beer with envy for you! Today's the day! Enjoy, go wild!
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:18 PM   #15
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Congrats!

My neighbor sees me out all the time and asked me what it is like to be layed off. My MIL thinks it ok - she now has a family member to talk retirement related stories with. My friends think i can do it only because we have no kids.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:30 PM   #16
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walkinwood,

Congratulations! Hope you thoroughly enjoy ER. You've earned it!

Telling family and folks is one we struggle with! I have discussed the possibility of doing so with some but it has only brought out a lot of resentment to the point we have become isolated.

Will have to make up a story when it comes time!
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:09 PM   #17
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Walkinwood --
Congratulations, and welcome to the next, best part of your life!

As for people's reactions, you can't control what people are gonna think, so don't even try. In my case, I let family and friends know FAR in advance that I was planning to retire at the end of 2006. When folks asked "Why?" I would respond, "Because it's time for me to go. I want to do something else."

That "something else" was pretty open-ended and people could form their own opinions. I still can't stop smiling, and I've been retired now for 17 months!
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