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Old 08-07-2013, 09:24 AM   #21
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I really appreciate all the replies. Sometimes I struggle with the "nice guy" syndrome. Don't want to appear to be gloating so I kind of downplay the advantages sometimes with some people.
But then, how much of a "nice guy" is the other person if he doesn't accept that you are happy in retirement and then asks you to go beyond what you have already said about enjoying your retirement, and tell him how you are "Really" doing? Is this just in order to make you confirm his preconceptions that you are not "Really" happy? Even if he is wrong? This sounds manipulative and doesn't sound like "nice guy" behavior on his part, to me.

So, since he specifically ASKED for the truth after I already told him how I was doing, I'd tell him in no uncertain words how I am really doing. Maybe that is not nice, but the question itself does not seem not all that nice either IMO.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:25 AM   #22
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What am I really doing?

Spending too much time on early-retirement.org!
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+1
I'm not sure how to interpret this.

Should I be offended?
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:29 AM   #23
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I doubt there is one interpretation of "how is retirement really?" Sometimes we read too much into things like this, sometimes not.
  • Some are jealous unfortunately
  • Some would like to retire (and maybe worry about filling their time), and they're just curious and want more detail
  • Some aren't interested in retiring (yet or ever), and they can't believe you're really happy
  • Some are just making conversation, don't "read" something in that isn't really there
  • Any number of other reasons
I give the same answer you do basically "it has it's pros and cons but overall has been a great decision" - because IMO it's absolutely true. Retirement is not better than work in every single way, but on balance it's preferable to me at this point. If folks probe further and you don't want to answer, I'd just reiterate the first answer. It's been a while since I've encountered this, but it's easy enough to just move the conversation to another topic after you've confirmed your initial response (once)...

And if their further probing bothers you, it may be them, or it may be you. If you let it bother you beyond the conversation itself...why?
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:29 AM   #24
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Then there is this moment when they stare me in the eye and maybe say something like "you seem to be adjusting to retirement well" but then comes "Tell me, how is retirement, REALLY"??
I got that early on from a few people. There was no satisfactory answer. It mostly ended up being a wedge that came between us, because they just refused to accept my passive but positive responses. My conclusion was they were either fearful of or unprepared for retirement and were projecting that.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:35 AM   #25
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I got that early on from a few people. There was no satisfactory answer. It mostly ended up being a wedge that came between us, because they just refused to accept my passive but positive responses. My conclusion was they were either fearful of or unprepared for retirement and were projecting that.
"

As a person still working, I wonder to if some of those asking are people who know they could never ER.They ask that" REALLY" question because their looking for re-enforcement that it is not sustainable, and they are right in staying in the workplace
Mike
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:04 PM   #26
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I am a contractor. None of my friends care.

I expect to say, I am unemployed, or, on vacation. Mostly, I don't plan to be where anyone thinks to ask.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:18 PM   #27
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I've posting the travel adventures and photographs on FaceBook constantly. I don't think there's any doubt in my friends' minds how retirement is really going.

Post: here's a photo of a mother grizzly and her two spring cubs in Denali. This is awesome.

Question: so how is retirement, really?

Answer: you really aren't paying attention, are you?

Lol

I've only been asked if I miss work. My emphatic answer to the negative is generally convincing enough.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:29 PM   #28
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I'm not sure how to interpret this.

Should I be offended?
"Don't worry. Be happy!"
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:33 PM   #29
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Well, I do miss the people I worked with. I stay in touch with about a half dozen still, but I was there a long time and we had lots of fun (and ridiculous!) times. But I was not in a "Megacorp".
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:35 PM   #30
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I do get that question, mostly from concerned parties. I'm young and have been "unemployed" for several years. No one looks at it as "retirement", not at my age. Of course no one has any idea that we are FI, a fact that I do not advertise. So when I say that I am enjoying myself and that I am happy, they just think that I am putting on a brave face.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:43 PM   #31
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I do get that question, mostly from concerned parties. I'm young and have been "unemployed" for several years. No one looks at it as "retirement", not at my age. Of course no one has any idea that we are FI, a fact that I do not advertise. So when I say that I am enjoying myself and that I am happy, they just think that I am putting on a brave face.
Interesting isn't it. When I tell people I retired "at the top of my game" from a high paying career at 57, some assume it's my euphemistic was of saying I was let go or laid off. I don't care what they think at all, but it's interesting how some folks think they "know better."
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:18 PM   #32
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Only been ER now for 1 month, but do feel a little uncomfortable when people ask what I do for work. At 49 with 3 kids, they certainly don't assume I'm retired so that question has arisen a few times. After a few "I'm retired" responses, I find it easier to say "I'm between careers". People seem to accept that better.

As to whether I'm happy. OMG, are you kidding?
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:51 PM   #33
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I tear up and sniffle, "I miss my cubicle!"
I know what you mean. Sometimes I miss submarines.

Then, I just fill the humidifier with lube oil and set it on high...

http://the-military-guide.com/2012/0...-life-at-home/
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #34
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OK, this has happened to me now three times since I have ER'd so I thought I'd post this. Here's the scenario and is basically the same each time.
I'll meet with a friend for lunch or dinner and we chat about things, including my ER. I'm pretty open and honest so when folks ask me how I like retirement, I don't gloat and have kind of a standard answer like "it has it's pros and cons but overall has been a great decision". Then there is this moment when they stare me in the eye and maybe say something like "you seem to be adjusting to retirement well" but then comes "Tell me, how is retirement, REALLY"??
Not sure how to take this. In a way it seems like they think I am lying to them or hiding something. Or they think that if they get me alone, they can find out the skinny. Not sure. Each time, I was very close to giving some sort of smart-ass answer, but am glad I did not.
Has anyone encountered this? What would be an appropriate answer? I could have some fun with this and say "Really, I'm broke so can you pick up this tab and loan me a few hundred?"
Few people acknowledge that we are retired. Because I was RIF'd from my last j*b and never went back, and DW was RIF'd out of the public sector only one year from qualifying for a modest pension, I think everybody thinks we are on the skids (After a year of searching DW did work at another place 8 or 9 months -- just long enough to get the pension). Fact is that we were FI long before any of this happened.

We never drove expensive vehicles or had all the fancy personal electronics, etc. so we may look poor. Never bragged about our income, or even revealed what it might be.

Sibling #1 is always quoting 401K balance in a very condescending way, saying "I have all that money working for me", implying that we don't have that, which would be false. I usually reply with something like "well, that's good". We have it, several times over, but choose not to rub everybody's face in it.

#2 does not have much, and probably thinks the only way we could get what we have is to rob a bank or win the lottery. I am not kidding about the "rob a bank" line, but will save that story for another thread.

#3's plan was to retire this year in [a relatively expensive city]. Now the plan is to [a less expensive city] at a later date. #3's DW says #3 went through all the calculations and doesn't think they are quite there yet, but is not sure they did it right. I dunno. They make a lot and spend a lot.

I am just the stupid little brother that doesn't know how to tie his shoes.

I have to admit that I have been treated a little coolly by friends and former colleagues -- some but not all. So we downplay the retirement thing.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:36 PM   #35
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Several of my friends/relatives my age (57) are retired. Almost all are former union workers with pensions. They don't get as many "How are you really doing" questions as those without pensions. Some people really question how those without pensions can RE.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:18 PM   #36
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I just tell them, wife has twice the husband and half the pay and that usually gets a chuckle and change of topic. If questions persist I just say, we are debt free and doing what we like and could not be happier.
I love this response!

I tell people who ask that DHs daily decision is, "Do I have to wear socks today?" In other words, he's very relaxed and gets to do whatever he wants.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:55 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
I am a contractor. None of my friends care.

I expect to say, I am unemployed, or, on vacation. Mostly, I don't plan to be where anyone thinks to ask.
+1
Why would a happily FIRE'd person give a thought to casual comments or questions like OP receives?
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:11 PM   #38
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I love this response!

I tell people who ask that DHs daily decision is, "Do I have to wear socks today?" In other words, he's very relaxed and gets to do whatever he wants.
DH sounds like the ultimate LBYMer - even saves on clothing wear and tear and laundry costs!

Since I ERd it seems the only time I wear socks is to golf. (in the summer anyway).
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:31 AM   #39
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I know what you mean. Sometimes I miss submarines.

Then, I just fill the humidifier with lube oil and set it on high...

Sea story: Simulate submarine life at home


Cheers!
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:32 AM   #40
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Remember in third grade when it was finally time for recess and you could go to the playground? Now you know!

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