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Old 06-18-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
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I am 5 w*rk days away from ER as I write this. Our receptionist sent out a flier from my retirement gathering a few days ago. I thought I was getting a lot of questions and well wishes before!!! Anyway, I have noticed that I also get a lot of advice. I should start a business, get a consulting job, work longer, go to church, go back to school. Sheesh! Just about everything under the sun. I know most of it is meant well, but darn there sure are a lot of people concerned about what I do in retirement.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
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I know most of it is meant well, but darn there sure are a lot of people concerned about what I do in retirement.
If you think it's bad now, then in six more workdays you'd better shut off your phone ringer and put your e-mail on vacation auto-answer.

People mean well, and it makes them uncomfortable to realize that you'll be spending all day doing things that they can't possibly imagine spending all day doing.
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:19 AM   #3
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Yes, people just mean well. When my colleagues got news of my resignation (I still have one month to go) and some worry I will be bored. Some say, if ER does not work out, I can always go back to work! My boss' first reaction was "...but...what will you do?.." I guess I must have been giving an impression of being a workaholic with no other interests in life. In any case, I just take all these "concerns" in stride and smile and say if I ever get bored, I'll call them at work and chat!
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:51 AM   #4
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Sounds like the suggestions that you're getting on what to do with your free time is just what those people would do it they could retire. Luckily YOU get to decide what YOU want to do!
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:15 AM   #5
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Well, I've got some more advice - ignore those people.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:30 AM   #6
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I'm retiring at the end of 2011 at age 54. I've probably discussed this at work at lot more than I should. But I get the same questions.... What am I going to do all day? I'm too young to retire! I used to tell people that when I was 12 years old I didn't dream about being where I am and doing what I'm doing now. Now I just tell them I'll probably retire and get bored in 6 months to a year and then find another job.

The scary part is that a lot of the folks that bailed out a few years ago are now back contracting with my company or wish they were...... And I'm pretty sure they don't need the money. Of course, the double dip income is probably pretty hard to pass up.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:31 AM   #7
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No doubt there are a few some that have some concern... but most are curious and using your situation as context for their own question (what would I do).

Quite a few are jealous. A few are figuring... perhaps hoping... that you are making a foolish move and will come crawling back (so their predicament is validated).
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:01 AM   #8
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They are very likely jealous as Chinaco suggests. They don't want to admit to themselves that they aren't able to retire and you are. Plus some of them are finding it hard to visualize how your job tasks will be accomplished without you there to take care of them. They are not really talking to you - - they are talking to themselves, in a sense.

I got a lot of advice that I should consult, and even some probing from management concerning possible consulting work, eventually, in retirement. In their dreams! I just responded that my agency didn't have enough money to hire me as a consultant, and neither did any other company - - and laughed. I had to do that several times with several different levels of management before it stopped. Yes, I burned bridges but those were bridges that I was determined to burn and I have absolutely no regrets that I did that.

When people asked me what I planned to do, I would recite a list of about 20 different things (take up the piano again, go back to college, move north, grow roses, blah blah blah) none of which I have done. If the list is long enough it will eventually shut them up.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:10 AM   #9
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I semi-retired at the end of April (work one day a week). I can honestly say that I haven't gotten any negative comments or questions at all. I do get a few people asking what I have plans to do but I don't have the sense that they can't imagine what I will do. Rather, they are just interested to hear what my plans are.

The other thing that is interesting to me is that a lot of people have expressed envy. I also received a lot of congratulations which was sort of disconcerting! One time I was at work for my one day a week and someone saw me and called my name and said "The envy of the firm." I thought this was sort of interesting in than many of the people expressing this kind of thought are people who I would have thought could retire if they wanted to.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
I am 5 w*rk days away from ER as I write this. Our receptionist sent out a flier from my retirement gathering a few days ago. I thought I was getting a lot of questions and well wishes before!!! Anyway, I have noticed that I also get a lot of advice. I should start a business, get a consulting job, work longer, go to church, go back to school. Sheesh! Just about everything under the sun. I know most of it is meant well, but darn there sure are a lot of people concerned about what I do in retirement.
What this points out is that people do not know how to communicate -the first step is to listen to what you want.
They projected their life onto yours and told you what they would do.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:37 AM   #11
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Congratulations on pulling the plug!



When I left Megacorp, I didn't get many questions about 'what will you do all day', nor was advice given. I guess they figured the 'little missy' would stay home and knit.

When DH called it quits, he got over a hundred emails and phone calls congratulating him. Most of the responses were, 'Congratulations and I'm jealous!'

The ones left behind said all they wanted to do was hang on a little longer to receive full retirement benefits. They just wanted out and doing/not doing anything was better than being there. It was/still is not pleasant at Megacorp.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:39 AM   #12
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I semi-retired at the end of April (work one day a week). I can honestly say that I haven't gotten any negative comments or questions at all. I do get a few people asking what I have plans to do but I don't have the sense that they can't imagine what I will do. Rather, they are just interested to hear what my plans are.

The other thing that is interesting to me is that a lot of people have expressed envy. I also received a lot of congratulations which was sort of disconcerting! One time I was at work for my one day a week and someone saw me and called my name and said "The envy of the firm." I thought this was sort of interesting in than many of the people expressing this kind of thought are people who I would have thought could retire if they wanted to.
I was working only 2 days a week when I retired in 2008, so your story is a lot like mine. It wasn't a big shift either for me or for my coworkers to go from seeing me twice a week to never again. A lot of my work had been getting shifted to others as my work hours dwindled from 20 in 2001-2007 to 12 in 2007-2008. I had been working on one big project which I barely finished on my last day.

As to the reactions by others, they ranged from "Don't leave us!" to "What will you be doing now?" to "I wish I could retire at your age!" to "How do you have enough $$ to be able to do this at age 45?" Many of my coworkers already knew of my weekday, midday volunteer work which would continue in my retirement.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:41 AM   #13
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Most of it is positive, maybe 95%. There are a few negative types (you're too young, you'll get bored, you're letting your family down, etc.) Most of those come from people that will never retire or just don't understand my pension situation.

The rest are well meaning. I think some of the above comments are right. They are projecting there desires onto me. Others are probably genuinely worried. Most congratulate me, ask what I'm going to do and then suggest something, usually something they hold near and dear. A few have suggested that I not retire. When I explain there is not reason to stay because I am eligible for my pension and staying gets me know further benefits and that I have outgrown my job, they just shrug there shoulders.

Last week we had another guy retire with 45 years of service. Mind you, he hasn't been increasing his pension benefit for a decade. He was hired in the old days when you could get up to 90% with 36 years. Add your pension contribution back in and subtract the cost of going to work (clothing, fuel, car expenses, etc) and he could have retired 9 years ago with something close to 100% of his take home pay while working. Maybe he loved his job (I didn't know him), or was afraid, or who knows. Even if he loved his job, he could have done it somewhere else and double dipped. Crazy!
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:36 PM   #14
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I've been bored before, but I've never thought being at work was the antidote...
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:49 PM   #15
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I've been bored before, but I've never thought being at work was the antidote...
Heck, work is usually the source of my boredom. Opportunities to be creative, spontaneous, imaginative and/or just have fun have become scarce.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:50 AM   #16
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I know most of it is meant well, but darn there sure are a lot of people concerned about what I do in retirement.
Just go home, take a nap for however long you want to, and it will come to you.

And do try not to be too smug about it with your hard-working friends and relatives.
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:07 PM   #17
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Just go home, take a nap for however long you want to, and it will come to you.
Naps of indefinite length are a big part of my day since my FIRE. It's a great physical and mental stress reducer.

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And do try not to be too smug about it with your hard-working friends and relatives.
This is a very important point. I've learned that even if you're trying to help someone who has asked for it, someone talking about his/her FIRE success just comes across as smug. There's no winning.

“Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.” John Maynard Keynes
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:06 PM   #18
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This is a very important point. I've learned that even if you're trying to help someone who has asked for it, someone talking about his/her FIRE success just comes across as smug. There's no winning.
I have become sensitive to this. Not so much with co workers, who get it because they have similar opportunities, or younger folks, since they already know they have decades to go to FIRE, but more with the people I know have no pension or savings and will have to work until they die, essentially. I am not ashamed of my ER, but I realize they may not appreciate my now found freedom as much as I will, and in fact will resent me for it.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:44 PM   #19
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The people I interact with most often benefit from my being ER. My ladyfriend benefits because I have more time to see her, also can take deliveries of mailed packages to her, and have chauffered her around when she was ill and could not drive. My best male friend and I can now get together often on mights during the week instead of mainly Fridays. My dad (retired since 1994) benefits similarly to my male friend.

Those involved in my midday, weekday school Scrabble volunteer work benefit because it is easier to schedule visits to thei clubs. And those I get together with my weeknight dancing benefit because I can dance on any night now. So they all appreciate my added freedom and flexibility.
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