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jealousy and guilt
Old 07-31-2008, 06:52 AM   #1
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jealousy and guilt

ever been verbally attacked by someone jealous of your early retirement?
ever feel guilty for not working while spouse is still working?
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:56 AM   #2
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Not attacked, but one older sister did express envy, and commented that having a younger brother retire made her feel old.

Since I went back to work now DW has expressed guilt that she is not working. But she IS - she's going to school to finish her BA degree. That sounds like work to me.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:38 AM   #3
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ever been verbally attacked by someone jealous of your early retirement?
ever feel guilty for not working while spouse is still working?
"No" to both questions.

While I have relatives that probably "wonder" how I retired before they did, none (as of yet) have commented on it.

My DW remains at w*rk, even though she said (and our retirement income plan) was set for her to retire a bit over a year ago. She now plans on working till sometime next year. Why? Even though she understands that she is "financially ready", she is not "emotionally ready". Hey, I don't care - whatever she wants to do.

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Old 07-31-2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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When I gave up my job I also gave up guilt !
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:28 AM   #5
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ever been verbally attacked by someone jealous of your early retirement?
ever feel guilty for not working while spouse is still working?
-----

Ever consider marriage counseling at the point of retirement?

-----

I go by the old saw that people think about me far less often than I might imagine; don't have time to care what they think.

When I gave notice at w*rk, I found a quiet time to tell SO that nothing would change.... Essentially, I don't plan to become a "cheap b*stard" right away.

People close to me have asked, and I went ahead and said, "yes, I will be OK financially." Even though I think it is none of their business, I will relieve them of the worry and I might need to seek help sometime.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:42 AM   #6
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ever been verbally attacked by someone jealous of your early retirement?
No. But, if I did, I would probably say "thank you for your comment mam/sir...may I have another?"
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ever feel guilty for not working while spouse is still working?
No. My DH works in his office and puts gas in his car. I do everything else.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:48 AM   #7
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If they became envious of me when I got there, I'd remind them of all the money they lost to affluenza and keeping up with the Joneses.

As for me retirement if my wife is still working, I've worked many years while she hasn't been working (and we have no kids) -- so I don't feel like I'd be milking it; I paid my dues. I just hope that she eventually finds a job she likes reasonably well with decent benefits. That would make it easy for me to FIRE even sooner.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:43 PM   #8
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ever been verbally attacked by someone jealous of your early retirement?

Yes, in a passive aggressive sort of way. Because I belong to a professional organization and consider myself semi-retired, people have commented "Must be nice."

Or, more annoyingly, "I'll never be able to retire." Poor baby!

But even my hair stylist who is my age has commented "Must be nice" and not in a "nice" tone. I'm changing my hair stylist.

I find the comments so unpleasant that I usually avoid the conversation by just telling people that I work at so and so, doing so and so, even though it is very part-time.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:49 PM   #9
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Back in the old Motley Fool Retirement forum days I used to read a lot about this issue. It hasn't happened as much as I was expecting.

Since I recently moved to a new state, I'm in the process of getting to know my neighbors. The "what do you do?" question comes up frequently. I just say I'm retired. When they say "but you're too young" I just say not in my opinion, and roll on. I don't know what they think, if anything. I guess their opinions just aren't that important to me.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:20 PM   #10
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My in-laws think it is terrible that I early retired. They were here on the 4th and complained that I wasn't making money. My wife told them that we were fine but they replied that thats just stupid. You can never have too much money. My wife and I have been married for 28 years and never asked them for a penny.

My side of the family thinks it's great.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:14 PM   #11
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ever been verbally attacked by someone jealous of your early retirement?
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My in-laws think it is terrible that I early retired.
One of my older siblings (who will be working into their 60's or early 70's) made some fairly snide remarks concerning my ER. A couple weeks ago they said, with kind of a sneerful chuckle, something to the effect of "We can't hardly afford heating oil this year, and we're both still working. So with the cost energy skyrocketing, and you on your fixed income, I wish you good luck finding a decent job to help afford the increases." I told them that financially, I'm sitting pretty.....besides my net pension is giving me 91% of what I'd be bringing home if I'd stayed working, plus I have investment income also.......therefore there'd be absolutely NO reason for me to even consider getting back into the work force. I followed that with "So how's your job working out?" (low paying...long hours)
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I go by the old saw that people think about me far less often than I might imagine; don't have time to care what they think.
I too "don't have time to care what they think." I'm too dang busy living life!!!
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:49 PM   #12
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When they say "but you're too young" I just say not in my opinion, and roll on. I don't know what they think, if anything. I guess their opinions just aren't that important to me.
When I meet people who retire early, sometimes I say "you're too young," but it's in a complimentary sense--that they have accomplished financial independence at such a young age. I guess it depends on how you say it.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:25 PM   #13
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even if the master of subtle guilt, my jewish mother, hadn't wised me up to guilt long ago, i'm way too comfortable with myself to be subjected to any generic guilt trip by others. but while an affect of their guilt trip depends upon a reaction by me, there's not a whole lot i can do about someone's jealousy. i can only control me, not them.

i had a very good, close friend who i believe pushed our relationship over the edge with jealousy of my early retirement. i was and still am, of course, shocked by this though i am not surprised. her character normally sees others as being luckier than herself. also she has never been in the habit of keeping friends, as, outside of her family members, i was the only long-term friend she had.

aware of all that and generally pretty good at keeping friends (i've many still even from grade & high school), i put forth quite a bit of effort to allay her neurosis but in the end it was to no avail. unfortunately, she put into play all her jealousy and her inclination to destroy relationships at a time when i was dealing with the death of my mom and i simply did not have the strength to fight her.

perhaps i could have helped subdue her jealousy with a stronger dose of antidote of some good old fashioned jewish guilt but that arsenal was not available to me at the time. so she won and so we both lost.

guilt is a sharpei puppy: it begins life cute though it grows plain with age. jealousy is a dart frog: always colorful and ever poisonous.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:49 PM   #14
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ever been verbally attacked by someone jealous of your early retirement?
Sure... shrug it off.

If they're friends or family, though, you may need a new set. My father-in-law has grown progressively more conservative in his risk tolerance over the last 10 years. Although we used to have good conversations about stocks and the market, that was eventually replaced by acerbic comments alternating between "Those greedy bahstahds" and "I sure hope you know what you're doing, man." Profitable holdings were dismissed as market performance or the bubbles while individual losses were repeatedly held as a failure of the entire portfolio. But at the same time he's taken their portfolio to 100% CDs & Treasuries, they're getting savaged by inflation, and I think he's just offloading his angst.

Typically we get the "You're too young" comment from everyone else, to which I usually respond "I'm glad I didn't wait until I was old enough to drink, drive, or have sex."

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ever feel guilty for not working while spouse is still working?
Never!

I don't feel guilty that her pension is bigger, either...
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:24 PM   #15
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Only once was I attacked. A guy I worked with and his wife jumped me one night at the country club when I told them I was retiring. They said I needed to keep working as you simply die when you retire. I said "say what?" They kept on with their nonsense and no matter what I said, they implied I was crazy. Well that was about 3 years ago and they are both 70 and still working. The simple truth is they never managed their money very well and they let their kids bleed them for money to this very day.This I know for a fact.

Oh well, I guess this is not uncommon. Some people hate to admit they mismanaged their retirement funds so they make up other reasons why one should not retire. Pretty sad.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:02 PM   #16
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I think my neighbor is envious (age 58 ); he works in a factory and can not retire until health insurance/medicare.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:07 PM   #17
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Many years ago, I had quit work, bought a motorhome, sold house, went traveling in the US. About 2 years later returned from the all contiguous states visits. Was practicing for retirement.

A lady friend took me to a party of the mostly well to do. A matronly lady engaged me in conversation, fascinated by the travel stories.

At one point giving me the look, asked: and just what do you do for a living? My instant answer was, I don't.

Her jaw dropped, the silence was deafening. We left shortly thereafter. My lady companion could not stop laughing for days. Said she, finally somebody got her goat.

Nowadays I don't know if anyone is jealous. Would not care anyway.

The best answer I have ever heard regarding work from a well to do fellow: I could never find a good economic reason to work.
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:51 PM   #18
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People will always be jealous of something, anything you have or have done that they can't. When DW stayed home with the kids we got a chorus of "wish we could do that", when we mentioned our Hawaii plans, even her own mother was on about, "Wish I could afford a real vacation". I've noticed all the know it all elder (well, 40's anyway) males in the extended family ("Plastics!") all of a sudden stopped trying to give me financial advice as the answers to lots of questions weren't what they expected. "What's the payment like on that?" "None, we own the car."

We don't show off, my clothes are by Costco (Kirkland rocks!), but we also can see the speculative stares as relatives try to figure us out, and how we are already more FI then they.

I don't anticipate any issues with my FIRE, since I'll be retiring no earlier than early 50's. I bet it's weird for those of you who pulled it off in your 40's or earlier, but then again, who cares what they think?

Don't any of you simply say, "Investor" or something to that affect when asked about your career? "Self employed" would also work. I mean, heck, managing a multi-million dollar portfolio for safe withdrawals takes some work.
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