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how do you respond?
Old 05-03-2017, 06:11 PM   #1
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how do you respond?

I have friends and family that seem to have a hard time with our early retirement. We are mid 50s and there seems to be animosity towards us now that we are done. Have any of you had this happen to you and if so how did you respond? My own father, who is 90 says he feels awful about our decision and hopes I change my mind. He feels you he purpose out of working...I told him I have purpose in living...
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:12 PM   #2
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Smile and nod?
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:17 PM   #3
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Offer to lend them some dough?
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:42 PM   #4
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No experience with this, but I didn't retire until 63. Family will always be family. Friends are another thing. I would have a problem staying friends with people that had issues with my financial and work situation.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:55 PM   #5
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Well, there are many folks on this forum who would not consider a mid 50's retirement to be early.

It's not uncommon for people to have a hard time understanding something that isn't perceived as "normal" in their world.

But in the end, who cares?
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:58 PM   #6
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I say go with the 'smile and nod'

I, like everyone else here, is happy for you. But the resentment you are getting is not just because your are mid-50's. I'm 64 and I'm still getting comments about my retirement next month. like I must have money, what would you do with your time, I wish I could retire (from people older than me), and so on. My answer is that I have 16 years until I'm 80. that actually shuts them up. (We all here realize '80' is not the end of life, but to they type of non-thinkers giving me a hard time, they think it is).
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:59 PM   #7
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The majority of friends and family are/were civil servants so the ones that get the sideways looks and questions are the ones that are still working after 20 or 25 years of service.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:06 PM   #8
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If i were blessed with having a 90 year old father, i would tell him what ever made him happy. If he wants you to go back to work ,you tell him he was right, and you returned. They missed you so much they gave you a raise and 2 more weeks vacation. Then thank him for his great advice. Everyone else, who cares what they think.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:17 PM   #9
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Maybe I have a jaundiced outlook on life. But here goes.

In my opinion no matter what you do in life, there are going to be mean people who are bitter and envious and try to say tactless and inconsiderate things about your decisions. Often these are relatives or those we thought were our friends, and this can be disappointing.

I generally just withdraw from them, do not make the effort to experience the negative emotions they are heaping on me, smile weakly, nod, daydream about something else, and when polite and possible I try to change the subject, converse with someone else, or leave.

You aren't going to get them to approve of your life and accept what you did, because it doesn't fit in with their self narrative. You can't change them. What you CAN do is keep it from raining on your parade.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NoOneGetsIt View Post
I have friends and family that seem to have a hard time with our early retirement. We are mid 50s and there seems to be animosity towards us now that we are done. Have any of you had this happen to you and if so how did you respond? My own father, who is 90 says he feels awful about our decision and hopes I change my mind. He feels you he purpose out of working...I told him I have purpose in living...
We retired in our mid-50s too, but have not experienced any of that, but who knows what people say behind our backs. I'm not sure how my dad would have viewed my retiring at 56 but he retired at 59 so I don't think he'd say much.

I really feel I have more purpose in retirement than working. When I was working I sometimes felt like I was paid well to help rich people get richer. Now, I do some volunteer work, do small projects for friends and family, etc.

While nobody has asked, if they asked me how..... I would just say that I can do it because I saved and had some investments that worked out well... no need to disclose that they were just boring index funds.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:27 PM   #11
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We're DINKs, so with friends it's pretty easy to wave away. If I felt "animosity" they would not be friends for very long. Assuming you aren't bragging or talking NW or anything - that would be gas on the fire.

With your Dad, that's really too bad. My parent both retired in the last <10 years, and we've discussed our progress towards the ER goal quite often. I think they have some sense of pride that they raised a kid smart enough to plan and save and do well enough along the way.

Your Dad being 90 though is a different era. If you are comfortable just lying and saying "you're right, I'm going back to work" - great. If not, don't argue with him, find some way to let him know he's right and you will consider it, but it's ok and not to worry.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:40 PM   #12
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...

I generally just withdraw from them, do not make the effort to experience the negative emotions they are heaping on me, smile weakly, nod, daydream about something else, and when polite and possible I try to change the subject, converse with someone else, or leave.

....
Yep. We aren't retired yet, but some parts of the two couples in our city who likely would have been seen as our closest friends got to being a bit passive aggressive as our final date got closer. We last saw or spoke to them in January and haven't made any effort to schedule anything. Life's too short.

Luckily, family on both sides apparently have no issues, despite very wide income/education gulf in many cases (granted, we see our families only once or twice a year...). Perhaps the issues with friends were that they realize they could have been in our shoes, but weren't?

E.T.A.--mid-50s as well.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:42 PM   #13
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You can't change them.
+1 But you can change friends.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:56 PM   #14
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I really feel I have more purpose in retirement than working. When I was working I sometimes felt like I was paid well to help rich people get richer. Now, I do some volunteer work, do small projects for friends and family, etc.
+1 Anyone who is doing volunteer work and/or projects is working. Working on their own terms, but working nonetheless. Society needs to get over the idea that only paid work counts.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:02 PM   #15
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Smile and nod?
That's what I do - it's a badge of honor to me
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:03 PM   #16
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I have friends and family that seem to have a hard time with our early retirement. We are mid 50s and there seems to be animosity towards us now that we are done. Have any of you had this happen to you and if so how did you respond? My own father, who is 90 says he feels awful about our decision and hopes I change my mind. He feels you he purpose out of working...I told him I have purpose in living...
Too bad. But I hope you clearly see that it is his problem, not yours. If he wants to be miserable over your decisions - well, that's his issue, not yours.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:14 PM   #17
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Being FI allows for choice. I expect you are not sitting at home doing nothing. If you are contributing by volunteering your time, (this would include helping neighbors with chores for example), you are making a contribution that you may not have been able to make while working. We need people who now have the time to help with various projects.

But, even if this is not part of your lifestyle, I agree with many of the previous posters that it is a choice you worked hard to make. That was not an easy decision that probably required some sacrifice.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:17 PM   #18
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I've read about this phenomenon here on this forum for years. I was very happy to experience it first-hand recently now that I'm retired. I smiled and nodded, as I really didn't give a frak about what that particular person thought. My internal voice simply said, "Sucks to be you."
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:31 PM   #19
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I have friends and family that seem to have a hard time with our early retirement. We are mid 50s and there seems to be animosity towards us now that we are done. Have any of you had this happen to you and if so how did you respond? My own father, who is 90 says he feels awful about our decision and hopes I change my mind. He feels you he purpose out of working...I told him I have purpose in living...
We retired at 58/57 (in 8th year now). When we decided we could pull the plug on the work-a-day world, we just quietly pulled it off. We didn't tell anyone, and life went on - without work. Our daughters knew, but both sides of the family were not told. Family gatherings eventually were our downfall.

My brother found out about a year later at a funeral when they invited us over after New Years. I was hesitating over the invite due to wintering in Florida for Jan/Feb (we do every year since retiring). His wife pushed and said pick any day in January - we're open. When I apologized for the fumbling for an answer, and told them we're retired and spend Jan/Feb in Florida, she sat down and didn't talk to us. He is a partner in an Architectural firm (and still working). My other Brother and Sister got wind of it also at that time.

DW's family found out when they decided to have an Aunt's luncheon in February two years later. We were wintering in Florida again and DW had to turn down the invite with the story. Our daughters did attend.

After both sides learned of our early retirement, we came to feel somewhat shunned by them (DW's more than mine). I earned a good living after finishing college while on the job, but we've always followed the LBYMs lifestyle. We've also moved for multiple positions across the U.S. None of our relatives have moved from their original residences/areas, and none have retired early (most are not yet retired, although most are our ages).

Always tried to keep a low profile (financially) with them, but we bought a SFH in a gated 55+ community since moving back home to retire. They've all been here, but we haven't been there much, if at all. We try our best to fit in and everyone is friendly at family gatherings, but the closeness isn't there anymore.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:53 PM   #20
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I have two siblings who've straight up said, "It's not fair." I have another sibling who, with her DH, do their best to emulate the positive things we've done on our journey to retire early, while trying to avoid things that they've seen didn't work out so well for us, etc. They call for advice on investing and paying down the mortgage, and stock options. Guess which of these are hard workers? Guess which do their best to live below their means? Guess which are more careful with their purchases?

You got it...the hard workers and savers are the ones who try to emulate our positive experiences. The ones with the toys are the ones who prefer to work just hard enough to get by and pay the minimum required on their CCs.

Sure, some of us are more fortunate than others, and have had excellent opportunities. But then again, there are opportunities that those who are prepared can take, while those who have not prepared, must pass. When you are feeling outcast, because you have been able to retire away from the hamster wheel and into living life, remember that. You prepared for the opportunity to bail out while you could still enjoy life. They have not. Misery loves company. Don't let them have the privilege of your company, because you no longer need the misery.
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