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Family history of ER?
Old 10-23-2008, 10:04 AM   #1
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Family history of ER?

My wifes family thinks that it is wrong that I choose to not work. That one can never have enough money or things. Thankfully my wife does not share this feeling. She tells them that we are fine and have plenty.

My family on the other hand is full of what we would call early retieres. Both my grandfathers were living off of their rental properties when they were in there late 50's. My father sold off his construction co when he was 57. I remember telling my dad that I planned to ER at 50 and he reminded me that my uncle did it at 48.

One thing that does set our families apart is that my family has always LBYM. My grandfathers were very self reliant and cheap, probably learned from the depression. My father would not think of borrowing money for anything that could not make him money. My father still does not have a credit card.

My wifes family on the other hand thinks that if you die owing money that you have won. When I chose to pay off my house they though that was the most folish thing that I could do. Not that I could invest the money and get a better return. That I could blow the money and enjoy it now.

I just wonder if other ER's have similer backgrounds. I'm not sure what happend to my wife, she is the black sheep in her family.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:37 AM   #2
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i'm the first to pull it off.
Mom was born in 1927 and had to be independent since age 16. she taught me how to stretch a dollar and live within our means. of all the siblings, i was probably the best off with respect to career earnings & benefits and am definitely the most frugal saver and investor. i can make Mr. Lincoln cry.
all siblings are caught up in the live-for-today mentality and are in debt.
the only flak i caught was from former cow*rkers, whom, i suspect, still think i lost my mind by resigning instead of waiting and doing the "early-out" route, which was not guaranteed to happen. oh well...
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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I have a family history of "work until death". These were, for the most part, frugal LYBM people who left healthy sums behind.

  • GGF still worked his farm until death at 102
  • Both GF's died before retiring, one in his 60's, one in his 80's
  • One great-uncle retired in upper 90's and died a few months later.
  • F died in his 50's (working)

Our generation is different:
  • DS and I both retired at 58
  • Brothers in early & mid 50's are planning to go soon.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:24 AM   #4
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My parents retired at 58, with modest savings, some house equity, and one decent/one not-so-decent pension. They took SS at 62.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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My father plans on retiring at 62(basically living off SS with a little sum saved to supplement), both paternal grandparents retired early, maternal grandmother was a housemaker but maternal grandfather didn't retire until his 70's. Aunts and uncles are a mixed bag as well. DH's side plan on early retirement (some have even managed it) but all should have a very comfortable retirement. No one would be really put off by us retiring early.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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.....One thing that does set our families apart is that my family has always LBYM. My grandfathers were very self reliant and cheap, probably learned from the depression. My father would not think of borrowing money for anything that could not make him money. My father still does not have a credit card.
........................
I just wonder if other ER's have similer backgrounds. I'm not sure what happend to my wife, she is the black sheep in her family.
My Dad & Grandad both instilled within me the fact that I should find a job that I could work at for as long as I needed to, and that offered good pay AND benefits, so that I could retire at the earliest possible time in order to be young enough to enjoy retirement! Grandad retired from his real factory job at 63, but continued to run his own businesses for another 10 years because he loved what he did. My Dad retired at 62 from his factory job, and spent the next 10 years traveling and enjoying his hobbies....he had to quit traveling in years 11-12 due to illness. Mom retired at 60 from muni gov't....at the same time Dad retired....she said she refused to be the 'bread winner'.

Most of Grandad's peers worked into their mid to late 60's at the local factories, so he was sort of an ER guy. Dad's peers mostly stayed to 65, so he slightly ER'd. Mom was the first full-fledged ER candidate in the family at 60. And I did have a great-uncle who pulled the plug in his 40's....he made his millions in the oil business in Texas, then returned to his roots in south-central MO and proceeded to squander his wealth and thoroughly enjoy life until the day he fell over dead in his 70's.....nearly broke (less than $6000 after the estate was settled)...he was always one of my heroes and role models! Hope I can follow his lead!
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i'm the first to pull it off.
Mom .......... she taught me how to stretch a dollar and live within our means. of all the siblings, i was probably the best off with respect to career earnings & benefits and am definitely the most frugal saver and investor. i can make Mr. Lincoln cry.
all siblings are caught up in the live-for-today mentality and are in debt.
I can certainly relate to that!!! I'm the youngest of three at 51....one 57, the other 60. I LBMM and save up for what I want and for what I want to do. They spend like there's no tomorrow, and they believe that credit is king! Neither have had steady or well-paying jobs, both have switched jobs fairly often....low paying to low paying....neither have had decent benefits at any of their jobs, and neither have had decent retirement benefits at any of their jobs. They seem to have been living life for the moment, and not looking toward any future security. Now that they're nearing or in their 60's, they've just begun to look and worry about what's ahead for them. BTW, neither are mental midgets, as both graduated from college in the top percentile of their class (brother was cum laude). I've taken some college classes, but it wasn't/isn't my bag....I don't like school....never did.

Little bro (me) was able to ER because I heeded the words of the family elders.....Grandad, Dad, Mom, and the family Tycoon. I found a decent job with decent pay & benefits....and stayed there as long as I needed to. I lived life as it came to me, and enjoyed nearly every minute of it....NO regrets, but didn't run a muck and live paycheck to paycheck.....or worse (mostly anyway...there were a few years of living way above & beyond my means, but I reeled that in and repented of my wicked ways). In my sibling's eyes, I'm the black sheep of the family because, even though I'm the 'baby', I was able to retire looooong before they ever will be able to.....they're both planning to have to work into their late 60's or early 70's! Yikes! That has to suck big time!
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:05 PM   #7
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One thing I forgot to mention.....Mom is in her 21st year of ER, and still going like gang busters! She only slowed down a little for 2 years in order to care for Dad while he was sick....then she hit the bricks running again! Her nickname is Granny Go-Go!
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:09 PM   #8
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My dad retired at 57, but he got a deal most folks my age can only dream of.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:31 PM   #9
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My father and my father-in-law both ER'd in their late 50s, both in the early 1990s.

My FIL has passed on a lot of his ER-lifestyle ruminations. However lately both paters have evinced disturbing behavior over the state of their finances. In my in-laws' case it's their own darn fault but for my father I hope it's just his Ohio farm boy Depression-era humor shining through.

Spouse was raised with much more financial/investing education than I ever had. She passed it on to me, inadvertently creating a budgeting/savings monster. To some extent our kid is fantasizing about making it a third generation, but I'd prefer that she find an avocation she loves.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:55 PM   #10
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I've only had 2 family members retire before age 62 and they only retired because of very healthy pensions. I don't count my mom who "retired" at age 51 due to health reasons. She still does some freelance writing from home but is physically unable to work outside the home. My dad plans to retire at 62 even though I don't see how they possibly can. I'm the only person anywhere in my family that has a real LBYM attitude. I hope to retire, or at least semi-retire, before I reach 50.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:02 PM   #11
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No family history of it here. Dad worked until he died at age 62, Mom worked until 64 as a secretary. My older sister retired at 62, but for health reasons. Younger sister retired earlier this year, but only because she could with a divorce settlement from a 20-year marriage combined with a small pension from her job.

Maternal GF did retire early, but only for health reasons - he was a railroad brakeman, his eyes were going bad, and the subsequent loss of income caused quite a bit of stress in the family. Paternal GF retired at 65, he worked in a paper mill.

I just got lucky, and at age 22 started a career with an agency that had a great retirement plan, which I didn't even think about much until my mid thirties. If it hadn't been there I probably would have made other plans though.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:13 AM   #12
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There is a history of financial trainwrecks throughout both my and DH's family tree. We are yet to encounter anyone who can live within their means so absolutely no hope of any living below their means. If we are to believe from what we hear from siblings, we are only in the position we are because of "luck". My dad died at 58 working thru to the end and left an estate valued at $115 before funeral expenses. My mother probably has a negative net worth of $10s of thousands due to her continued support of my sister. Sister earns good money and is real smart when it comes to IQ, but is severely deficient when it comes to common senses. Pushing 50 and has nothing to her name, lives on credit. Brother and his spouse spend faster than it comes in, a new credit card is a new opportunity to buy something else they don't need then moan about being broke. We bailed them out once and within 3 mos. they financed a new car for $50k.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:56 AM   #13
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Dad retired in his early 60's. Mom never worked. My eldest brother retired at 62 when things got intolerable at work. Number 2 son, "the smart one", retired at 50 with three kids still in college. My younger sister retired from teaching at 53. I'll be out at 57. Looking at my extended family there's a lot more interest in early retirement in my generation than in my parents' generation.

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Old 10-24-2008, 12:55 PM   #14
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Looking at my extended family there's a lot more interest in early retirement in my generation than in my parents' generation.

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I think in prior generations they simple went by the ingrained habits of previous generations. It was standard practice to work until you couldn't work anymore. In the pre-SS and pre-pension era it was done because it was a necessity. Now with SS, pensions, 401K's, IRA's, etc., etc., many times folks work longer than necessary because "that's how we've always done it".

Thank goodness for the radicals of the world that have discovered and proven, that ER'ing isn't an evil or occultist practice that one could be burned at the stake for participating in! But it is actually just a new habit to become addicted to, and to pass down to future generations! So in 50 years people will ask, "Why does everyone retire in their 40's and 50's?" And the 'new' pat answer will be because, "that's how we've always done it".
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:15 PM   #15
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My dad retired at 57, but he got a deal most folks my age can only dream of.
Mine did too. Unfortunately his was disability related so he didn't get to enjoy retirement that much. But he did make more money than when he worked. Retired at 57 and died at 83. His last 7 or 8 years was not pretty. Pretty much had to stay on morphine for his severe case of arthritis.

My brother retired at 50 and died at 56. Cancer.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:22 PM   #16
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Both parents retired at 60 (pensions). One set of grandparents retired in their 60's (very good pension), the other set of grandparents retired in their 70's (farmers, no pension, but some savings and SS). Most aunts and uncles retired in their late 50's (pensions, RE investments). Generally all were good savers, and some were down right cheap bastards. So I definitely got the gene. But, interestingly, none of them would consider themselves early retirees.

In fact my parents dislike the idea of us retiring early. They find the idea of ER reprehensible and quasi-immoral. I suspect that my dad would actually like to see me work until I turn 70. He started working when he was 17, so he had to work for 43 years before he could retire. So he figures that I should too. And since I got my first job at 27 (after many years of higher education), then why would I have to stop working until I reach 70? Seventy is the new 60 anyways right?

But it's no matter. I'll keep doing whatever I want to do, which is what I've always done anyways.
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:27 AM   #17
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Grandfather/mother retired in their 50s. He was an Iowa farmer and she was a teacher. Both lived beneath their means, lived modestly and passed along a large inheritance to their sons.


Father retired at 55 yrs of age w/ pension from 26 yrs military, 10 yrs civil service. Mother had small civil service income. Its obvious, but it appears that pensions give you the best chance of ER. I learned from them what paying yourself first, LBYM, and staying w/ a organization offering a pension meant.

Anyone catch the story on NBC news last night - many ERs are returning to w#!k because the value of their401K/IRA/Roth IRAs have plummeted. Bad news.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:05 AM   #18
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My dad retired at 55 to finish building an airport. Not sure financially how they pulled it off but they did. My sister's husband retired 3 times in his 30s, about 55 and then 65.
The market did him in both times, this time he paid off the house and invested more conservatively before the market tanked.

On the other all my grandparents worked until their late 60s more by choice than necessity.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:42 AM   #19
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My dad retired at 55 since his company moved south and he didn't want to go. Not sure what kind of package he got, but I don't think it was anything great. He did unemploymenet for a while until it ran out. He alway was a saver and had plenty of money saved for both him and my moms needs. She is 10 years younger. He passed away at 69 after the 3rd recurrance of thryroid cancer, so at least he got a retirement!

They sold their house in the NE (right before the boom..dooh!) and moved to SC and lived pretty cheaply. Mom continued to work for 10 years at a county school job and qualified for medical insurance. She stopped working a few years after my dad died and moved back north where the family is located.
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:12 AM   #20
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My Mother's father retired from being a pastor at around 65 with a decent pension. They settled down about a mile from us and commenced volunteer work, preaching in small rural churches some weeks, and tending a small garden. That was ok I guess.

My Dad's father was a businessman/farmer/mechanic/store keeper. He only had a grade 3 education, having quit school to run the family homestead after his father was seriously injured. Grandpa never made a lot of money, but he worked hard, and accomplished a lot of interesting things. For example he wanted phone service in the early 50's so he went and got a contract to plant the telephone poles and string the lines from the nearest town to his road. He installed a septic system and indoor plumbing - much to his neighbor's horror. They complained to the health department, who came out and told them to take lessons from my grandfather. He also started a food company that still carries his name nearly 60 years later.

In "retirement" grandpa run a 1 acre garden - there are many third world full time farmers that could only dream of the production he got off that 1 acre! He also helped start two churches, heavily supported a Christian Sat Station, and helped run errands for the company. I don't think he really agreed with the concept of "retirement" but as long as he was having fun, that's ok.

I tend much more to my dad's father then my mom's father. I'll always be investing and doing some business, but I'll only do what I enjoy (as far as possible).
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