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Old 02-04-2012, 08:11 AM   #41
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Thanks to everyone who responded! I'm realizing my awkwardness when asked about work is just part of my own adjustment to not working anymore, and reinventing myself in ER.

The reinventing hasn't really happened yet so I still see myself as "a nurse".... (I hope that makes sense)

Something else, if somebody really wanted to know why we planned for ER and made it happen, I would have to tell them about my fathers early death, and how it had a huge impact on me and the way I view life -- as too short to spend it all working. My close friends already know that.... but with new people it's too personal to get into right off the bat.

For now I think I will go with W2R's suggestion.... say I am a retired nurse and now I raise chihuahuas
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:59 AM   #42
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+1 When I first retired at 56 I would guess 70-80% of people would be glad for me (some a bit envious but not at all hostile). Others would seem a little uncomfortable and I generally felt they disapproved from a "you should work at your age" point of view. I had never associated the term loser with that approbation but I think that is probably how they saw me. I think that might be more common in a place like DC with a high proportion of strivers many of whose self worth is tied to their their jobs.
Having recently ER'd, I'm similarly uncomfortable and have got the "you're too young to retire" comment. I'll admit ot being somewhat embarrassed by my good fortune (even though I recognize my good fortune is to a large degree a consequence of what I did or didn't do over the last 35 years). While embarrassed isn't quite the right word, I recognize there are others who have worked as hard or harder than I have but haven't accumulated the wealth needed to RE.

I have thought of telling people that I retired for health reasons - I was sick of working - but that seems too disingenuous. I think I'm going to go the sabbatical/hiatus route for now until I am more comfortable referring to myself as retired.

Actually my boss told me some other retirees from megafirm had told him that they think of it as rewirement rather than retirement. I like that idea.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:42 AM   #43
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Actually my boss told me some other retirees from megafirm had told him that they think of it as rewirement rather than retirement. I like that idea.
Maybe he read this...IIRC it's about working in "retirement" and written by headhunters.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #44
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I guess that I didn't realize that rewirement would involve w*rk!! In that case, I'm probably not interested at this point - I'll refer to myself as on sabbatical instead until I become totally comfortable with telling people that I'm retired.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:20 AM   #45
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Having recently ER'd, I'm similarly uncomfortable and have got the "you're too young to retire" comment.
I tell people "I'm glad there's not an age limit" and "I wouldn't save retirement for old age"...

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Actually my boss told me some other retirees from megafirm had told him that they think of it as rewirement rather than retirement. I like that idea.
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Maybe he read this...IIRC it's about working in "retirement" and written by headhunters.
That book is a thinly-veiled job-search manual written by people who can't even spell ER.

I want to read the job-search manual written by an ER who got an offer so good that he couldn't stay retired. Unfortunately Jacob Lund Fisker and J.D. Roth are being castigated for either being too poor to stay ER or too rich to have the credibility.

Until then, I'd make do with Marc Freedman's "Prime Time" and "Encore".
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:43 AM   #46
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One thing I have sometimes told those who say, "You are too young to retire" is this:

"They say youth is wasted on the young. I say retirement is wasted on the old!"
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:04 AM   #47
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That is Carlos Gardel, the King of Argentine Tango singers. He died in a plane crash in his mid-forties.
Very cool and romantic avatar, Ha.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:46 PM   #48
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One thing I have sometimes told those who say, "You are too young to retire" is this:

"They say youth is wasted on the young. I say retirement is wasted on the old!"
I love it!!! Great response.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #49
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Occasionally get the question, what do you do for a living. My answer, I don't. Usually followed by a long and pregnant silence by the questioner.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #50
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I used to get questions when I was in my 40s now that my hair is white. I don't get many question anymore and I answer the question what do you do for a living? with "as little as possible".
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #51
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Like a lot of others here, I've played around with different answers. To increase the confusion, I was unemployed for an extended period and then segued into ESR after realizing that perhaps I didn't want to go back to work after all - at least not to a full-time career-type job.

So in the last 3 years when asked what I do, I've given answers ranging from "Not very much" to "I'm unemployed" to "riding my bike and hanging out with my kitty" to "building radios, contacting interesting parts of the world on shortwave radio with morse code and generally being a bit of a mad scientist" to "walking around the house in my pajamas and occasionally going out in them too." Currently, the most common answer I give is "I'm semi-retired and might work part-time or might not, but my long-term plan is to buy an RV and live in it full-time."

However, now that I am a mature adult (ahem), it doesn't matter how bored I get, there is one thing I definitely will not be doing:

http://www.theaggregate.net/2012/02/...-kills-friend/
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:52 PM   #52
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Reminds me of a time in college in the spring where we and some buddies in an apartment building across the parking lot were each having parties with windows wide open, no screens. One of my less intelligent frat brothers decided to launch bottle rockets across the parking lot (~150') at our friends apartment window. After a few, he actually got one in and you should have seen people scatter!!!
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #53
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One of my less intelligent frat brothers decided to launch bottle rockets across the parking lot (~150') at our friends apartment window.
I do hope he wasn't launching them using the method referenced in the above article
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:53 PM   #54
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When I retire at fifty (3 years from Now) . I will tell those who ask, they let me work as many hours as I wanted. Most worked 40 , I worked 80. So I got done early. good enough.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #55
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DH and I have been ER for almost six weeks, I am 49 and DH is 50. We also moved to a new area so we have been out and about and trying to meet different people. We live in a condo so we are also meeting lots of neighbors.

For some strange reason I feel awkward when people ask "What work do you do?"..... Sometimes I say nursing, but then the next question is "Where are you working"... that's when the awkwardness starts for me. I don't get why I am feeling awkward admitting to ER. I think it's because I don't want people to be jealous.... because unfortunately some people are. Even people in my own family. I feel like I have to "justify" ER even though my DH and I live a fairly modest life.

Has anyone else ever felt like this, and if so how did you handle it?
Well, I don't think it's a good idea to lie to your neighbors the first time you meet them. How weird is it to say you're a nurse if you're not a nurse? If you're not going to tell them the truth you might want to go with "oceanographer." At least that's kind of interesting.

If someone should say "You're too young to be retired" I guess a legitimate answer might be: "I sure hope not."
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:52 PM   #56
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Well, I don't think it's a good idea to lie to your neighbors the first time you meet them. How weird is it to say you're a nurse if you're not a nurse? If you're not going to tell them the truth you might want to go with "oceanographer." At least that's kind of interesting.

If someone should say "You're too young to be retired" I guess a legitimate answer might be: "I sure hope not."
Sounds like you missed this earlier post:
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For now I think I will go with W2R's suggestion.... say I am a retired nurse and now I raise chihuahuas
As an aside, I think nursing is a fascinating career choice! And being a retired nurse is fascinating too. Oh, the stories that a retired nurse must have. That could lead to a great conversation.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:55 AM   #57
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Oh, the stories that a retired nurse must have. That could lead to a great conversation.
But not at the dinner table. Don't ask how I know that.

Sort of like the first time DW went to a police shift party. She left a little dazed. "You guys are all nuts!"
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:12 AM   #58
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I think people place value on what another person's job is or was. Most people's identities come from their job...and not who they really are. The people that ask are trying to size you up as compared to their world so far as salaries go, net worth, social status and such. Garbage truck driver vs doctor, etc.

I am still a working, (fool), but when I retire in less than 2 years...I think I may answer something like, "I retired so I can pursue my real dreams without wasting my time or life anymore". Sounds harsh, but it's the cold hard truth.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:37 PM   #59
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DH and I needed to switch CPAs since ours retired at the end of last year. On Friday we went to meet the new gal that was highly recommended by a friend. The first question she asked was "What do you do"? I have to admit I hadn't heard that question in a long time. I answered "We're retired". Short and sweet. She then said, "I like your jeep". I think I'm going to like her.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:28 PM   #60
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I do hope he wasn't launching them using the method referenced in the above article
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