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What Did You Say?
Old 06-07-2012, 08:20 AM   #1
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What Did You Say?

For those who are or soon will be FI&RE, what did you say when someone asked "what are you going to do" or "where are you going to work?"

My situation. I'm 50 years old and three months away from retiring from active duty after 27 years. I'm extremely grateful for everything I've received and feel honored to have served our country including three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

All of my peers have stayed in the DC area and transitioned into some federal govt or contract job and there's nothing wrong with that if that's what interests you. But for me, joy will be leaving DC for the simpler life closer to family and friends.

We're moving to the country in Northern Michigan, having a new house built as we speak on our little 40 acre parcel on a dead end road ... and no mortage...yeah! One child just graduated from NYU and will be staying in the DC area and the second will be a senior in the fall at MSU - GO SPARTANS!

Thankfully, we're all debt free and financially comfortable. We've done well saving our entire lives for this very day, made "mostly" good investment decisions, lived below our means mostly on my income (DW stopped working outside the home 15 years ago to homeschool our kids). We lack for nothing and we'll continue our volunteer work and mission work to Haiti. That plus plenty of touring, hunting, fishing, camping etc.

For me when I get asked that question, because they can't believe I'm retiring, I'm not always sure how to respond. Usually I just say "I'm not sure ... I have so many things that I want to do that I just might not have time to work...but we'll see."

What did you say?
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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"What will I do?........Whatever the #@*& I want!"

My response when quitting work at age 46......and nothing's changed in the subsequent 23 years.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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You don't owe anyone an explanation. No, really - that is the notion that you need to understand. As long as you are financially independent, your life is your own. You are retiring, end of discussion.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
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For those who are or soon will be FI&RE, what did you say when someone asked "what are you going to do" or "where are you going to work?"
I was 61, so it was easier for me to explain. Still, I got that question quite a bit. I told them that I planned to do the same things that I normally did on the weekends only. Then I would amplify about how I planned to go to the gym every day, and to sleep late, and to move north, maybe write a book just for fun and to see if I could do it, and so on.

I found that after I got to about the third planned activity their eyes would glaze over and they would wander off. I think they meant no harm by asking. They probably were just trying to imagine what their own retirements would be like.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:23 AM   #5
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I get it.

I've mentioned to a few co-workers that I'm actively planning/saving/etc so that I can retire soon. Like you, I'm 50. Most people think I must be really wealthy. (I'm not). I've just saved aggressively and have low expenses. Most don't understand why I'm working towards having my mortgage paid off in 2 years and have a budget that will let me retire once that happens.

I also get the confused questions about "what will you do?" Since I have school age kids, still, I usually say something about being a super-mom... that shuts them up. In reality, I may pick up some other, part time job... but it won't be engineering... I'm too burnt out. There's definitely some resentment from my coworkers that I'm in a position that when the layoffs come, I won't be scrambling as much they do. (And layoffs are likely.)
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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Aviator - thank you for your service! Your retirement is well-earned.

Since you are moving from the concrete jungle to a place many of your colleagues can't even imagine, it may be hard to explain how busy you can be in a place like that - so may not be worth trying.

I said that I was looking forward to putting more time into my volunteer work and to have more flexibility to travel, and that I might do some teaching or consulting. Mostly my colleagues were jealous.

Best wishes for everything to go well with your new house (I can't imagine building a house and not being there to supervise!) and your transition into retirement!
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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Best wishes for everything to go well with your new house (I can't imagine building a house and not being there to supervise!) and your transition into retirement!
Thanks for the well-wishes. We got lucky and found a local builder, highly regarded for quality craftsmanship, who I would trust with my life .... and obviously with my house. Can't wait.

Great responses so far....keep 'em coming
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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Tell them you are going fishing on your new boat:
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:10 PM   #9
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+1 to what travelover wrote and thank you for your service.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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There were few questions when I announced my retirement. Two weeks notice in the middle of a meeting, the boss handing out crappy important assignments.

After mouths falling agape, and long pregnant silence, my answer to the question was: I have far too many hobbies, and w*rk has been a major cramp in my lifestyle.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:00 AM   #11
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After mouths falling agape, and long pregnant silence, my answer to the question was: I have far too many hobbies, and w*rk has been a major cramp in my lifestyle.
Good one! Thanks
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #12
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I'm not retired yet but my thought is: w*rking is so inconvenient.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #13
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After mouths falling agape, and long pregnant silence, my answer to the question was: I have far too many hobbies, and w*rk has been a major cramp in my lifestyle.
This was pretty close to how I responded. Because I had been working part-time for the previous 7 years, and only 2 days a week for the most recent 17 months, I had already built up a decent set of outside activities/hobbies. Therefore, going from working 2 days a week to zero days a week was not a big change to my overall lifestyle, except that I would be able to partake in those activities/hobbies more often and without any obstructions such as the frequent scheduling conflicts from that darned "work getting in the way" all the time!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:44 PM   #14
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You know . . . when they ask this question the are asking 1 or both of 2 things:

1) How can you financially do this? Don't you still have to work to make and spend money? Why not stay with this job?
2) How are you going to be a productive member of society? You are not just going to sit and do "nothing" are you?

I told them that I've always had a life and friends outside of work. You can see the confusion in their eyes when they try to figure this out or realize that they don't have a life or identity outside of work.

LBYM and have a real life. This is the key to a successful ER and the confidence to take ER without worrying about what others think.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #15
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My response is "anyone who does not know what to do if they did not have to work needs to get a real life"
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #16
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I guess my workplace must be different. There, the impertinent questions revolve around "So, when are you going to retire?"

My reaction: Take deep breath - remind self that some people were raised in barns by moo-cows - smile, and say, "Gosh, I have no plans any time soon."
Raised-in-barn responds, "But you've been here even longer than I have!"
My reaction: Remind self that I have only so much time in a day, and this sort of person doesn't deserve any of it; excuse myself to go to a non-existent meeting.

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Old 06-08-2012, 09:19 PM   #17
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The last time someone asked what I would do once I retired, I replied "Drink heavily and complain about young people today. How 'bout you?"
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:51 PM   #18
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@Gumby - LOL! Good one!

Aviator - thank you for your service - you have earned retirement!
I haven't retired yet, but plan to at 58. My response, "It will be nice not trying to cram living life into a 2-day weekend!"
I wish you all the best. Congratulations!
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:26 AM   #19
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I rarely get that question anymore. Probably because I look like an old retiree now. But when I do, I just say 'I finally found something I'm good at....doing nothing'. Most just laugh and go away.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:57 AM   #20
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Great job, and thank you so much for your service.

My response to "what are you going to do all day" is "anything I want to". As far as where I am going to work, well, that is what retirement is: not working.

I retired a little later than you, but still "early" at 2 months shy of 59, but still.
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