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Old 11-02-2015, 04:04 PM   #21
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I don't even try explaining anymore. If someone comments " How can you be retired at your age ", I lie, & just tell them I inherited some money ,then get the " Oh, that's so lucky, bla, bla,bla etc". I don't wast time trying to explain LBYM, saving, working 60 hour weeks for decades, etc.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:08 PM   #22
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Why do folks fret and anguish so much over getting consensual validation from family, friends and co-workers over their FIRE plans? Everyone has their own views on how to live their lives and I wouldn't expect others to always totally agree with how I'm living mine.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:16 PM   #23
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I don't wast time trying to explain LBYM, saving, working 60 hour weeks for decades, etc.
Of course many, including me, would consider working 60 hours a week for decades a problem. The real answer is earning a living doing something you really enjoy and that allows plenty of opportunity to spend your time as you wish all along.

We all have to do what we have to do in order to provide for life's sustenance, no argument there. But 60 hours a week, especially if it's spent doing something you'd like to get away from, is a mighty high price to pay for not being able to come up with a more clever way to do it.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:23 PM   #24
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Of course many, including me, would consider working 60 hours a week for decades a problem. The real answer is earning a living doing something you really enjoy and that allows plenty of opportunity to spend your time as you wish all along.

We all have to do what we have to do in order to provide for life's sustenance, no argument there. But 60 hours a week, especially if it's spent doing something you'd like to get away from, is a mighty high price to pay for not being able to come up with a more clever way to do it.
Point well taken,

I never did come close to a good Work / Life balance. When I was younger, much of the OT was voluntary , but I wanted the $ In the last spot, It was usually mandatory, and I did not want it.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:25 PM   #25
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To be charitable to those stuck at w*rk, let's face it. It is probably jealously. Or disappointment with themselves that they did not plan and sacrifice to achieve what you have. So they make up stories to make themselves feel better about being stuck at w*ork, like not wanting to be bored, or wanting to "contribute" by working at megacorp or megagovernment. And they buy another lottery ticket so they can dream about getting what you've got. (I just turned 50, and am telling the boss on Friday that I'm gone in 26 weeks.)
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:34 PM   #26
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To be charitable to those stuck at w*rk, let's face it. It is probably jealously. Or disappointment with themselves that they did not plan and sacrifice to achieve what you have. So they make up stories to make themselves feel better about being stuck at w*ork, like not wanting to be bored, or wanting to "contribute" by working at megacorp or megagovernment. And they buy another lottery ticket so they can dream about getting what you've got. (I just turned 50, and am telling the boss on Friday that I'm gone in 26 weeks.)
Looking around at other people and what they do with money, it just astonishes me, so I guess this is a fairly unusual group. BIL's sister retired a few months ago from a federal job with a six-figure pension, I figure she's on easy street, right, because I sure would be. Nope, she complains that she has a $6,000 annual shortfall to make all her payments, so what does she do? Takes out a loan.

I just can't relate to that.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:44 PM   #27
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Most of what I hear in response is complaints about how they wish they could cut back, too. They groan, "Man, that sounds great. I wish I could do that." Then they talk about their financial obligations. I just nod my head. I wish they could cut back, too. But they are trapped by their earlier decisions and lifestyles.

Fortunately, I haven't gotten any of the dismissive comments yet.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:55 PM   #28
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I had a magic moment a few years back. went to a birthday party at a fancy cupcake place. Really nice. Family and I rolled up in our 2005 Honda civic and parked next to BMWs, Mecedes, Lexus, you get the idea . Personally I love this cause it's funny.

At the end of the party we all leave and I jump in the Honda. I could FEEL people thinking "you drive THAT?"

I'm not exactly badly paid and its not a secret the company is doing very well and I was a pretty early employee.

But that is a microcosm of why some people are RE and others simply can't understand it.

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Old 11-02-2015, 07:29 PM   #29
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I FIRE'd last year at age 56. I got the usual "how did you do it?" My answer was, "I didn't marry it, I didn't inherit it, and I did not win the lottery." Trying to explain LBYM is just a concept so far from people's comprehension.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:51 PM   #30
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One other thing we are hearing...."oh, you can retire early because you don't have kids." A friend of ours went on to even say 'I'll be working most of my life to pay for college for (his 7 yr old).....during the same conversation we were having, to help his wife talk him out of spending $800k on a 48 ft catamaran to be able to spend more time with his family and possibly put it up for charters (he's never even been on a sailboat!)


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Old 11-02-2015, 08:42 PM   #31
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Sounds pretty familiar. Especially the "OH YOU DON'T HAVE KIDS" mantra. If I had a $1 for every time I heard that, I would have retired at 35!
I always agree with people who say that, because a) it's partially true -- we would have substantially less money if we had raised children; and b) it makes them feel better.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:25 AM   #32
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I always agree with people who say that, because a) it's partially true -- we would have substantially less money if we had raised children; and b) it makes them feel better.

Good point. If I'd had kids maybe I would have only saved 65% of my after tax income instead of 70%, and maybe I would have retired at 49 instead of 47. 🙂


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Old 11-03-2015, 12:37 AM   #33
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Why do folks fret and anguish so much over getting consensual validation from family, friends and co-workers over their FIRE plans? Everyone has their own views on how to live their lives and I wouldn't expect others to always totally agree with how I'm living mine.

It's not fretting and anguishing so much with me. It's that the dynamics of relationships and family events have changed so much. I am the youngest of 4 siblings. All of my older siblings work, a couple of them absolutely hate their jobs and complain constantly. Meanwhile I am retired and just do as please all day. It has changed the relationships and increased tension during family gatherings. Former "friends" don't seem as interested in getting together as they used to. Others can't seem to help but drop in little "digs" about my retirement. All of this even though I have been very low key and modest about it myself.

Don't get me wrong, I am not at all interested in going back to work. But yes the reactions of others to my accomplishment is most fascinating to me.


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Old 11-03-2015, 09:01 AM   #34
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If I followed the advice of my peers and concerned myself about what others, including family, thought of our choices, we would not have been FIRED at 58 and spent half of our time in the last several years travelling.

I have never really understood this desire for consensual validation. Never really had it. My spouse did when we first met but she came from a small, conservative town. After 40 years of marriage/living with me she has just about lost all of her desire for consensual validation as well. I think that it has the capability to act as a huge boat anchor in one's working and personal life.

I attribute our lack of desire for this validation as a key reason why we FIRED at 58. Don't know that I am a contrarian but I don't 'go with the flow' when my gut and my head tell me otherwise. We know that there are still some folks who think we sold our home, downsized, and moved into a rental in order to blow our home equity money. There is no point to clarifying this for them so we just do not bother.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:19 AM   #35
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Why do folks fret and anguish so much over getting consensual validation from family, friends and co-workers over their FIRE plans? Everyone has their own views on how to live their lives and I wouldn't expect others to always totally agree with how I'm living mine.
I would not say I fret but yes, what my children, significant other and parents think about my life is important to me.

I love the support from my family and if I'm going to take the good I have to accept the bad.

now coworkers are different.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:31 AM   #36
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When I meet folks who learn that I am ER (which started in my mid-late 40's) , I have learned to use the following tact to minimize the alienation that may result.

1) Mention taking a year off to take care of parents with health needs as only child. I realized that I was in no hurry to go back after the year was up after being away from job for such a long time.

2) Mention the volunteer work for various organizations that I am involved with, suggesting that it can actually feel a lot like a traditional day job.

3) From the financial point of view, I mention that DW and I were dual career with no kids. As such, I imply that it would be much more difficult to do if we had kids so as not to make them feel bad and give them a reason to rationalize how this is possible.

The truth, of course, is that it is the result of the cumulative effect of a lifetime of decisions, which would be a much more divisive response.

On the other hand, I did have enough mathematical background to model all of this in my mid-20's so my motivation was different than the masses in that I could easily see the opportunity cost of every dollar spent (ie decisions along the way).

Our culture in this country is very much defined by what we do for a living and we have been collectively sold a bill of goods that we need to spend $ on products/services to convey that we are successful to others or risk being ostracized. This is actually probably much more the case in social circles where children are involved.

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Old 11-03-2015, 09:59 AM   #37
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Although we aren't retiring for about 10 years, when I am 57, I know my family will be happy for us. My dad retired when he was 57, my aunt retired when she was early 50s. Our whole family (including sister/BIL) are LBYMers. They'd probably think it was weird if we DIDN'T retire early! Everyone in the family knows of our plans already...
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:25 AM   #38
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Not retired yet either, but my dear 80 year old mother has said numerous times won't you be bored? Actually no. Plus I love the line if I am going to be bored I would rather it be somewhere other then at my job.
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:00 AM   #39
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It's not fretting and anguishing so much with me. It's that the dynamics of relationships and family events have changed so much. I am the youngest of 4 siblings. All of my older siblings work, a couple of them absolutely hate their jobs and complain constantly. Meanwhile I am retired and just do as please all day. It has changed the relationships and increased tension during family gatherings. Former "friends" don't seem as interested in getting together as they used to. Others can't seem to help but drop in little "digs" about my retirement. All of this even though I have been very low key and modest about it myself.

Don't get me wrong, I am not at all interested in going back to work. But yes the reactions of others to my accomplishment is most fascinating to me.

For closer friends, I mention that if they discount the "80% of pre-retirement income needed" offered by the Financial Planner industry AND don't assume 0 for Social Security then they may be much closer than they believe. If they are truly interested, I will share how I minimize expenses with no real pain.


Many of the friends, however, are employed by same MegaCorp as DW. As such they need a minimum of 30 years of service to qualify for a big DB pension bump so they will need to ride out their time (often 5-10 years).

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Old 11-03-2015, 11:17 AM   #40
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<snip> However, what we didn't expect (highlighted by redduck) was how our family, friends and co-workers react with the news of us retiring early and traveling the world.<snip>
How could you not expect it? You've been a member of this forum since 2005. This topic (reactions to ER) is a frequent theme.
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