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Old 03-02-2015, 04:34 PM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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I'm backing off a bit, but still tell people I'm a retired software developer. I've been one for just too darn long to get over it.

I even have this license plate (I like that it's bit of a double entendre):
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:38 PM   #22
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So how long did it take you to go from being "I am a banker/lawyer/plumber/mechanic/accountant/teacher" to "I am Betty/Joe?Rashmi/Vladimir/Julio/Patience"?
15 or 20 minutes.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:18 PM   #23
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I was going to say, "About one second", but the reality is I never personally identified with that thing I did for money. I was merely "in" that world, not "of" that world. I always found it amusing and a little sickening whenever I'd see the old timer careerists confusing their personhood with their pay grade. And especially when they'd confuse other people's personhood with their pay grade. I thought them stupid people. Contemptible for trying to pass as adults. Sick children. Silly-assed twits.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:19 PM   #24
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I always identified with my work, and when I was younger never thought there would be any reason to retire. Feed forward a few decades and those things that excited you so much when you were young don't excite quite as much anymore. And throw in much less tolerance for B.S., posturing, and politics and finally FI and you get to that retirement point. Still it was difficult for me to disengage my mind and a part of my identity with what I did. So for about a year before I retired I prepared myself mentally, joined this group and talked with others about it. Now 11 months in, I don't identify with my previous life at all. For the first few months I told a few associates I was taking a sabbatical or leave or something, so as to no make them feel too bad. But now I just say retired. I am over it, and excited about all the new travel and things I am doing. So for me, about a year before exiting, and under a year afterwards and I am over it, a completely new me. And I love it!
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:36 PM   #25
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FIREd almost 8 years...and I will still refer to myself as an Engineer or just a techno-geek. I enjoyed my profession, just not the politics of the place I ended up w*rking.
I would never allow anyone to change the pride I have in accomplishing what I did in the c*reer phase of my life.
I continue to use my techie skills in my daily life, but obviously not for a paycheck. I'm a born problem solver and a visualizer of solutions to make things more efficient and easier to perform.
Current example...my gardening buddy's aluminum snow rake has some serious design drawbacks. He and I are going to put our heads together and design a better one. I view this project as a fun challenge.

When I run into former cow*rkers, they ask me what I'm doing with myself, am I doing contractor techie w*rk, consulting etc.

I just smile and say, "Any damn thing I want to do."
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:47 PM   #26
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15 or 20 minutes.

About the same for me. I only worked a day or 2 a week for a year prior to retiring, so I didn't associate myself much with work when I retired.


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Old 03-02-2015, 09:02 PM   #27
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I was laid off from a defense contractor in 1990. (Along with half of San Diego, it seemed.) I hadn't realized how much my identity/ego was tied up in the fact that I was an engineer (unusual for a woman back then.) I truly hated that feeling of loss of identity. That lay off helped me realize that I needed to have my identity and ego tied up in a lot more than my career.

I haven't been retired long so it doesn't really come up often.

I guess I still identify a bit - see my signature line. LOL
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:25 AM   #28
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While discussions of work may be a common conversation starter in America, I am told that in much of Europe such inquiries are considered quite rude, akin to asking how much money someone makes. I don't consider those asking to be rude, but definitely would welcome a cultural shift towards the European model.

It seems there are two schools of thought, neither one correct, that you either DO what you do or you ARE what you do. (examples- "I farm." vs "I am a farmer." or "I murder people with axes." vs "I am an ax murderer.").
My father, who was in the same profession as I, clearly was in the latter camp, always insisting people address him by his professional title.( no, it was not ax murderer)...while I identify more with the former notion that the job was what I did, not who I am. It should be unsurprising that I retired early (and so far happily) while he worked into his 80ís and only stopped when health prevented his continuing. Naturally his retirement has been a journey from one doctor to the next, basically a slow descent into greater disability and health decline. But he would no doubt claim that his healthy years of working were just as happy for him as my early retirement times are happy for me, so far.

If you truly identify yourself by your job, I would think that predicts for a more difficult adjustment in retirement.


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Old 03-03-2015, 01:50 AM   #29
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It honestly took me a several years.. I recently switched from saying that I am retired to calling myself an investor.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:24 AM   #30
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A lot of interesting and thoughtful responses here - thank you. One issue seems to how to identify yourself in social situations. The other angle I am interested in is how you see yourself.

An example: in December, towards the end of a two-week trip in Mexico, I was walking along a beautiful beach, and didn't my mind wander to a serious problem facing my organization, how we could solve at least part of the problem, and how I would pitch it to the org's head.

I cursed myself for not being able to turn off the work-me and focus on the travelling-me. I realize that this comes from my commitment to my work, but work has always got in the way of travelling and other things that. I really want to do. So I am trying to figure out how I will shut down the professional side of me as I know that when I leave, the org will replace me as they should, and get on with its job.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:17 AM   #31
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I am 66 and retired 10 years. I used to get the you are too young reaction but I now get no reaction to answering that I am retired. Only a few follow up with what did you do but I enjoy following up with a discussion of work. It is an easy way to break the ice. I enjoyed my work for the most part so that affects my willingness to talk about it. I also enjoy hearing what these people did and those who ask always want to tell. I never, or at most rarely, initiate a what did you do conversation.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:36 AM   #32
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I usually reply with I worked at (name of Megacorp). That is a well known name and they rarely ask the followup "what did you do there?". Telling them where I worked is more interesting that what I did (IT).
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:17 AM   #33
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1 year. After that, I've built a new lifestyle. I still have many friends from my professional life who either are still working or have retired early.


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Old 03-03-2015, 08:57 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis65 View Post
A lot of interesting and thoughtful responses here - thank you. One issue seems to how to identify yourself in social situations. The other angle I am interested in is how you see yourself.

An example: in December, towards the end of a two-week trip in Mexico, I was walking along a beautiful beach, and didn't my mind wander to a serious problem facing my organization, how we could solve at least part of the problem, and how I would pitch it to the org's head.

I cursed myself for not being able to turn off the work-me and focus on the travelling-me. I realize that this comes from my commitment to my work, but work has always got in the way of travelling and other things that. I really want to do. So I am trying to figure out how I will shut down the professional side of me as I know that when I leave, the org will replace me as they should, and get on with its job.
I really identify with this. My mind was always trying to solve some problem instead of relax like I was telling it to do. What I did to break the cycle after I separated from work was: 1) planned a patio remodel, then 2) immediately took a three week trip to the other side of the planet. 3) on return was busy every day with the remodel. 4) Then enjoyed the new patio every day until summer was over. 5)Took a couple of more short trips in country this time. Then 6) three months on the other side of the world again (first time ever in my life I had done this).

I have to say now I am totally and completely cured of work. Now I can stay home and rest a while or travel a bit or whatever, and my mind has better things to wander to. And if those people still at my old workplace have problems, well, it's not my problem. But for me, I do feel that having a dramatic plan to break the old work habit made it easier. It feels good to be cured.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:07 AM   #35
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I think I quit identifying myself by my occupation about a week after I got my first j*b. If people asked what occupation paid the bills I usually said something like "I clean bird-sh*t out of cuckoo clocks".
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:42 AM   #36
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I was a kept man always worked for me, no one asked for details.
I sure would like to hear the details.

grasshopper, why would someone want to keep you? What are your obligations as a "kept man"? When did you first realize that you wanted to be "kept man"? If you had a son, would you want him to go into your profession? Who is keeping you: your wife? your girlfriend? another man? Your mom?
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:49 AM   #37
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I remember about a year and a half ago, I tried out the half-truth I thought about using when I do retire..."I'm a financial advisor". After all, I am...they don't need to know that I have only one client...me!

Well, I tried using that once, and got a condescending response of "Oh, so all you do is make OTHER people rich instead of yourself?!"

Needless to say, I didn't become friends with that person...
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How long was it before you stopped identifying youself with your profession?
Old 03-03-2015, 09:52 AM   #38
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How long was it before you stopped identifying youself with your profession?

It took me about 20 minutes. As much as I liked the teaching part of being a teacher, the rest of the stuff overwhelmed the good.


I am retired. I retired to travel more, take care of my health, and spend more time with family and friends. Life is good. My goal is to enjoy today and look forward to the future.
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:04 AM   #39
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In the early and middle parts of my career, part, but far from all, of my identity was tied to what I did for a living. When ER became realistic dream, about 8 years before I retired, I really ratcheted that down, and by the last couple w*rking years, little if any of my identify was tied to my j*b.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:39 PM   #40
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Funny. We were at a very luxurious villa on the ocean south of Puerto Vallarta last Thursday night for a benefit, and, when I met the owner, I asked "What do you do?" and he said he was a lawyer, I said "What made you afford this place?" and he said "real estate apartments".

My tablemates thought I was rude.

But I answer as follows:
I am an engineer by profession.
I am also a successful marketeer, financial planner, software developer, CEO and enterpreneur. I do not often include the whole list. It depends on the questioner.

How I made my money was being a CEO and Entrepreneur.

What I would really like to answer to "What do you do?" is "Anything I damn well want!" but somehow that does not work socially.

Once I characterized my status as being independently wealthy. I mean is that not what retirement means? People said it was arrogant!

So now I respond based on the situational ethics.
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