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Old 08-15-2009, 02:16 AM   #41
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I use to get the you are too young to be retired, along with the what do you do all day. I guess the hair is completely gray now so I don't get that question as much.

I think I'm retired, followed by the I use to do X, and decided to take a break for a couple of years, which has not stretched to 10 pretty much stops the questions. Thinking about the handful of times I've really gotten interrogated on the subject, my guess is most of the time the person is jealous.

I think next time, I will tell them that I am thinking of starting a second career helping people plan for an early retirement, and would they be interested in my services
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:03 AM   #42
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Like Rich in Tampa, I'm semi-retired at a percentage - I'm now up to a retirement rate of 20% - off Fridays. People do ask me what I do on Friday's. So far its just work around the house and yard. Its funny that retired people never ask me what I do all day
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:39 AM   #43
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Why don't you tell them that you are a "private investor"?
I'm semi-retired. A conversation is like a game of pitch and catch. You get asked a question,
"What do you do?",
then you answer, "I'm a scientist",
and then you throw the ball back with your own question, "What do you do?" They will answer, "I work at ExxonMobil. What kind of scientist are you?"
"Oh, I do ..... Are you in finance at XOM or are you an engineer?"
"I'm in human resources."
....
Back and forth.

If anyone is surprised by early retirement, I tell them that I can help them with their expenses and investments so that they can retire as well. That usually gets them to change the subject.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:11 PM   #44
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I use the Private Portfolio Manager when people ask what do I do. That usually causes a change in subject because most people have no idea what to ask next.

We travel a lot and sometimes the conversation drifts to how do I perform when away from home. Then we talk about online banking and trading. Sometimes we talk about VOIP.

I sometimes ask people what is it that you are passionate about that you would like to spend more time doing? Most early retiree prospects do not hesitate with their answer to that one.

(When I am in the mood to shock, I tell them that I am independently wealthy. That is usually a conversation stopper.)
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #45
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Sometimes these questions get my DH's goat. A time or two he's said, "I sit around the house eating Cheetos all day."
(that's part of a joke, but I'm not tellin' the rest of it here)
That hasn't stopped a few other former members (so to speak) from sharing their humor... but just as long as your DH washes his hands, I'm not askin'.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:46 PM   #46
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From a Retired Member

I forgot that I'm a former retired member and here I am back at work inserting again.

Some people are cool with an unvarnished honest answer about ER...Most are not.
Depends on their circumstance and their personality.
Depends on your age.
There is no easy answer.
You have to find the one that makes sense for you.
One that you'll be comfortable with.
One that won't come back and bite you.

I've tried all kinds of answers over the last 8 years.
"I'm in money management". "I work with computers".
"I get up with nothing to do and try to get it all done".

My advice now is to just tell it like it is in a humble way.

As to what do you do all day - I don't recommend that you say you're with their spouse while they're at work or some other flippant answer.

An honest answer - if you're embarassed by the answer then right there is some motivation to go out and get some things to do you're happy doing and talking about.

Give the answer and get the conversation moving on to other subjects or about your questioner. If the person persists and keeps bringing it up on future contacts, start avoiding that person if you can, if you can't, then stop talking to them.

These questions don't come up much now that I'm more retired looking. When it does, I answer this way the way that I wishd I had done from the beginning: I'm retired, so I do retired stuff. That usually gets a good reaction. If they want details I tell them what I'm really doing - learning web design, taking classes, volunteering, traveling, doing stuff I didn't have time for when I was working, picking up after Lilly the basset, and doing whatever I feel like that day. If they want to know how I'm able to afford it, I tell them it took lots of hard work, planning, and goal setting.

There's my 2 cents - put it in you retirement account.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:06 AM   #47
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That hasn't stopped a few other former members (so to speak) from sharing their humor... but just as long as your DH washes his hands, I'm not askin'.
Thank heavens I'm not the only one that has heard that joke. It was feelin' kind of empty in here..............
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:53 PM   #48
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Thank heavens I'm not the only one that has heard that joke. It was feelin' kind of empty in here..............
Ok, clue me in.
Gauntlet drops...corrupt me if you can.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:23 PM   #49
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Ok, clue me in.
Gauntlet drops...corrupt me if you can.
A guy goes to the doctor freaking out....

guy: My (insert private body part here) is turning orange! I can't understand why this is happening!

doc: We'll figure this out. What do you do all day?

guy: I just sit around the house eating Cheetos.

Ahem...case solved.

(this is the short/edited version..)
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:32 PM   #50
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A guy goes to the doctor freaking out....

guy: My (insert private body part here) is turning orange! I can't understand why this is happening!

doc: We'll figure this out. What do you do all day?

guy: I just sit around the house eating Cheetos.

Ahem...case solved.

(this is the short/edited version..)
Oh, this has some great possibilities for cheap home entertainment...heeheeheee
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:53 AM   #51
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It's getting old telling people I retired from the car business because they automatically think I went broke and had to get out. My business was getting progressively worse each year for the past few years and I could never find a buyer the factory would approve, but during the good years I saved most of what we made and invested it OUT of our business instead of plowing it back into the business lilke most owners do. GM and Chrysler were constantly trying to make us invest in new facilities and spend crazy money on all sorts of stupid stuff, but I always refused to do it and used profits to fund our retirement portfolio. In the back of my mind I always thought these little dealerships like I had would be hard to sell, so I didn't want to invest anymore money into in than I absolutely had to. So, when I didn't want to deal with it anymore I just shut the thing down and walked away.

That's a long story to have to tell people why I retired from the car business at 44.

I haven't figured out what else to tell people when I get the "what do yo do?" question so I don't have to go into all that detail. I think I might just start telling people I'm a self imployed money manager, or maybe a hedge fund manager (all my funds of course!).
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:03 AM   #52
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.... The problem is in some peoples' reactions when I say I'm retired.... and I'm starting to get sensitive to it and overreact.... not good!...
You probably look "too young" to be retired. This problem diminishes with time. As you age, your appearance more closely resembles the image of what people think a retiree should look like -- old.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #53
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IMHO, most people are just making conversation when they ask what you do. Being retired is an interesting answer because most people expect to be able to share that status one day and may actually want to find out more about the reality of it, including what you do while retired, how you planned (or not) for it, etc.

But you can always turn the conversation back to the questioner (e.g., "Do you have retirement plans?", or just start discussing the weather, good books you've read, the questioner's career or the field you formerly worked in if you still care about it, etc.).
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:49 PM   #54
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I went down to Office Depot and picked up some do it yourself business cards for about $16 and printed up a bunch advertising my hobby with an official sounding title. When asked, I say I'm semi-retired and whip out a business card. I actually loaf and play most of the time, but this seems to add a little credulity to the Puritan work ethic that some like to deceive themselves with.

My hobby is nature photography and I've actually generated a few sales this way. If the sales become too troublesome I may have to change the card's subtitle to something more ambiguous, like revolution mediator, explorer, recycling expert witness, or lingerie appraiser.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:23 PM   #55
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Yes, I know the feeling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick S View Post
I've been FI-REd for 4 years now and couldn't be happier.... a little volunteer work.... several hobbies..... and I don't know where each day goes. Life is good.

The problem is in some peoples' reactions when I say I'm retired.... and I'm starting to get sensitive to it and overreact.... not good!

Here's the scenario:
I'll meet someone new... and either the first question or second is: "so what do you do?" ... and I respond with "I'm retired"... and usually then go on to talk about what my partner does or about my hobbies... and that usually works out fine.
.... but the problematic response is: "Oh, so where have you traveled to? Have you been to Paris/ Greece/ Africa yet? When are you going?"

When I respond that I have no interest in overseas travel, then it's questions about either a second home, or, what expensive toys I have .."Oh. so do you have a boat or a plane?"... so I just tell them that I live pretty frugally as I always have.

.... then, they immediately switch to assuming that "retired" means "unemployed" and start thinking of new careers for me.
.... at which point, I get defensive and start talking about having a fairly conservative but very workable financial plan and, when feeling especially defensive, how much will be left when I die (if all goes to plan, that is).

So... with some people.... the presumption is that you either retire when you have more money than you know what to do with, or, you really aren't choosing retirement. I'm living an alternative that they don't seem to see as possible.

I know I can't change their assumptions.... but how can I deal with it differently..... (with a sense of humor that isn't demeaning to them would be best.)

Has anyone else had to deal with this?
Any opinions are greatly appreciated!
Yes, only retired for not even two years and have had that feeling. Not only with strangers but with relatives too. Some think that retired = money to burn so do ask, have you gone traveling around the world. Some say, well, "you aren't too old to still look for a job" (not understanding that's the purpose of retiring in the first place, to not
work anymore).

I have a brother who had been forced into early retirement a few years back. He was retired for a couple of years but is not back looking for work. He says that he'd be too restless not working. Also, since his wife
still works she kinda encouraged him to work again. He asked me how I liked the "retired life" and what do I do. I said, honestly (not being a smart *ss), "I pretty much do whatever I wish to do." Somehow he didn't seem to understand that. Thinking I need to be actively traveling, going places,
not just spendig idle time. When I responded, "the best thing about retiring is being able to do my errands during the middle of the week. Every day is Saturday ", he seemed disatisfied with my answer.

Well, I guess retirement means different things to different people.

Funny thing is, just recently, I heard him saying how he's looking for another job as the current work climate where he was working at was horrible. Nah..I'd much rather do my errands on the weekdays than be miserably employed working.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:39 AM   #56
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I just tell them......'I found my niche in life. Doing nothing. And I am damn good at it.' That usually gets a laugh and the conversation moves on from there. But most new people I meet usually congratulates me on my ER.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:20 AM   #57
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revolution mediator, explorer, recycling expert witness, or lingerie appraiser.
I imagine that a lot of guys would like to have those sorts of job descriptions. Good idea!
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