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Old 10-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #21
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It's funny. Most people that know we FIRED at age 50 just accept it. There may be some questions and a little envy, but for the most part it doesn't come up.

My mother, on the other hand, is brutally nasty about our "wealth". She lived with her last husband for 30+ years raking in the money based on his Army Col. pension, plus both of their SS payments. Then he died, the pension went away (no survivorship), and all she has is his (higher) SS payment and a small VA benefit, plus some savings. When I ask her why they didn't set things up so she would be better taken care of, she says they planned for her to die first, because his family was long lived and ours isn't. The fact that he was a smoker seems to have been ignored. I'm so flabbergasted by that (seemingly serious) answer that all I can do is stare at her blankly. All it would have taken is a slight decrease in spending and a life insurance policy. She's not eating cat food, but it's definitely a big change.

So now she's always making nasty comments about how rich we are and how all her friends have flat screen TVs and golf carts to ride around in, and things like that. We tried buying her a few nice things, but it never stops. I have explained to her that we may have a (relatively) lot of money, but we don't get pensions and it has to last us 40-50 years, so we're not living live the Trumps.

None of that matters, and the envy and nastiness keep on coming. It's gotten so bad I no longer expose DW to her venom, and my calls and visits are getting fewer and farther between. It's not the way I would prefer things to be, but it takes both sides to make a change, and she doesn't seem interested.

I think if you get exposed to people who envy your choices so much, there's little to do except limit your exposure to them. Luckily, most friends and acquaintances tend to be more polite than family members.

I can relate. We have to hide what success we have had as much as we can from the inlaws who definitely have the jealous bug. They are not hurting in the least, just favor their son over their daughter. They are keeping him and his family up still but cannot give them enough to match us though we just live a normal live. It hurts DW a lot as she feels punished for working hard as their favoritism towards her brother is very evident. I just tell her to be glad we made it on our own and do not have to take their handouts. I can only imagine the strings attached to the handouts.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:44 PM   #22
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Hmmm...
We avoided the problems, by living in a large tent in a pubic campground for the first five years of retirement. It actually worked to our advantage, since old friends and neighbors would come by with food, just to help out. Biggest problem was in not having a mailing address, but that worked out too, since it cut down on bills.

No envy there.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #23
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The next time she said something nasty, I'd tell her point blank that she either drops the hateful attitude, or go her own separate way.

Maybe I'm too independent for my own good, but I have no patience for nasty friends and relatives, or people who only exist to push my buttons. I'll tell them to go to hell and never talk to them again, if that's the way they want it.

Probably one reason I'm still single...I don't like people who push my buttons, and would probably walk out on somebody the first time we got into an argument
Wow. Sounds like you might discount most human beings. I am glad I have family even though they may be trouble sometimes. No one is perfect.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:26 PM   #24
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No resentment here, either, and I got out of the rat race at 45, just a few days shy of 5 years ago.

The people other than close friends and close relatives include those in my volunteer activities and hobbies. In the volunteer activites, they are happy for me because I became able to more easily schedule my time to work with them, so they are benefitting. With the hobbies, most of them are in their 60s, 70s, and 80s so they are retired and are glad I can join them not only as a fellow retiree but can more easily spend time doing those hobbies more often (like with the volunteer work).
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:47 PM   #25
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No one that we know or are related to has a clue what our NW is. Many of them would probably be shocked to find out. If they resented us for our wealth, that's their deal, not mine.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:15 PM   #26
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No issues of this kind with family, friends or colleagues (a bit of "you'll be bored" and "what will you do all day").

Although I have not experienced it with the MFA faculty and students, I am a bit sensitive to the fact that all of these people are writers or aspiring writers and it is very very hard to make a living as a writer (a lot of the faculty are teaching in order to supplement what they make as writers and most of the students are working full or part time for financial reasons). So, I don't tell them I am retired - I tell them I am taking a career break for two years to pursue the MFA while doing some consulting (which is true - I think I must have worked for about four hours this month).
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:47 PM   #27
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I've never acknowledged to others that I've achieved FI, and if the context calls for it, I imply that I might go back to w*rk at some point.
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:38 PM   #28
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I opened the link,read the fluff and decided I am sorry she is making any money off her writing. It was pretty awful. Does that make me jealous or just cranky?
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:25 PM   #29
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I have run into it. My brother's new wife has brought it up in front of others which has made me uncomfortable. She has also made light of my small condo, ironically since she does not seem to realize there is a direct connection between my LBYM lifestyle and my financial independence.

Years ago, when I was first putting my FIRE plan together, I told a few friends about my goals. They were overtly hostile. And this was years before I had any money saved, it was just a plan!

One of my best friends is a little baffled and I think envious. I don't flaunt my lifestyle, but the truth is I have not had a full time job in over two years. After awhile people begin to notice this and that I don't act worried about it in the least. So they figure it out eventually.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:23 PM   #30
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I imagine that when he hears me talking about my situation, he compares it to his own and feels a bit disappointed. I try not to mention it too much.
Many people are able to supress the urge to discuss their personal finances and life style choices and enjoy the company of others without going on and on about their own superior FIRE situation. But for some FIRE focused types, it's not an easy thing to do because they've become a tad bit obsessed with successfully completing the accumulation stage and moving on. But it can be done.

Many of our friends seem to be financially better off than us. They have nicer homes, travel more, drive nicer cars and, importantly, retired much earlier. We know this by observation. They don't talk about it and we appreciate that. The fact that they can be so gracious in this regard despite the fact they traveled the road to FIRE much more successfully than DW and myself is a key part of what makes them such good friends!
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:46 AM   #31
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Harley, I think the part of the story that I could not find in your post was: What is the family history? If Mom was very generous with you when she was married to the Colonel, then that would be different.

Or, if she let the Colonel handle everything that would be a reason for the bitterness. She is trying to shame you into taking charge so she doesn't have to worry about it. I have seen this where one spouse is oblivious to the finances, but when that spouse is gone they freak out.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:53 AM   #32
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Many people are able to supress the urge to discuss their personal finances and life style choices and enjoy the company of others without going on and on about their own superior FIRE situation. But for some FIRE focused types, it's not an easy thing to do because they've become a tad bit obsessed with successfully completing the accumulation stage and moving on. But it can be done.

Many of our friends seem to be financially better off than us. They have nicer homes, travel more, drive nicer cars and, importantly, retired much earlier. We know this by observation. They don't talk about it and we appreciate that. The fact that they can be so gracious in this regard despite the fact they traveled the road to FIRE much more successfully than DW and myself is a key part of what makes them such good friends!
Good points. Seems to me talking about one's FI is in poor taste. I have found that Canadians in particular don't like talking about money. On the other hand where you live, cars you drive, trips you take, etc are a little hard to hide. This is why many people tend to make and keep friends who are in similar circumstances. Family, on the other hand, can be an issue. Avoidance probably becomes the best strategy.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:29 AM   #33
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Good points. Seems to me talking about one's FI is in poor taste. I have found that Canadians in particular don't like talking about money. On the other hand where you live, cars you drive, trips you take, etc are a little hard to hide. This is why many people tend to make and keep friends who are in similar circumstances. Family, on the other hand, can be an issue. Avoidance probably becomes the best strategy.
"The richer your friends, the more it will cost you." Words to live by bear in mind IMO...

About 5 years ago, we consciously ended a burgeoning friendship with another couple after a year or two, mostly because they were so much about conspicuous consumption and we lost interest in the game decades ago. We still see them from time to time and catch up, but I'm convinced we're both better off as acquaintances. YMMV
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:47 AM   #34
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There will always be people poorer and richer than oneself. I am neither resentful of those richer, or worried about those poorer except insofar as how they try to change taxes with their votes. Ha
Still w*rking, but +1
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:27 AM   #35
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Hmmm...
We avoided the problems, by living in a large tent in a pubic campground for the first five years of retirement. It actually worked to our advantage, since old friends and neighbors would come by with food, just to help out. Biggest problem was in not having a mailing address, but that worked out too, since it cut down on bills.

No envy there.
Your relatives must have thought you had really gone against the groin ........

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Old 10-27-2013, 11:35 AM   #36
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We retired in our late 50's (retired for 4 yrs now). We live in a single family home in a gated retirement community in the Chicago metro area. We purchased it when I was 55 and still working, after moving back to where our children and DW's family still live. We have no pensions, and live off investments. No one knows our net worth, and it will remain that way until there's only one of us (when our two daughters will then be enlightened). We've always lived below our means, but have enjoyed your average Joe type traveling over the years. Drove rather unassuming vehicles all of our lives (own one 2013 Kia Forte now).

Given that background, I have to tell you that it is the relatives (siblings on both sides) that are always sizing us up at the rare family gatherings.

DW's sisters/sister-in-laws all got insight when they set up a girls lunch in February a few years ago and found out we were in Florida (spend Jan/Feb in Florida). We don't see them that often and we avoid talking about those areas of our personal lives when getting together. We also had our home phone number ported over to a cell phone, so you never know where we are when answering the phone now.

We don't get together with my side as we are somewhat scattered a bit. One of my younger brothers (who is doing quite well in life and a little flashy) invited us over after the holidays a couple of years ago. I stumbled a bit in responding due to having to admit to going to Florida Jan/Feb. His wife starting throwing out dates in January to get us to commit (my awkwardness in responding must have given the impression we didn't want to come over). When I continued and told them we would be leaving for Florida for Jan/Feb - he invited us to come over when we returned (his wife never said another word). We corresponded by email while we were in Florida due to some family issues, and he wanted us to let him know when we were back in town to set up us coming over. I did - it has never happened.

Since retiring early (we were the first in our families to retire, although most are older than us), both sides have become even more distant which saddens us. Friends from all walks of life accept us as we are/always were.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #37
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Your relatives must have thought you had really gone against the groin ........

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Old 10-27-2013, 12:08 PM   #38
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....Given that background, I have to tell you that it is the relatives (siblings on both sides) that are always sizing us up at the rare family gatherings. ....
I feel lucky in that all of our siblings are doing ok - but obviously some more than others. One of DW's brothers and his wife are very conspicuous consumers but he earns good money so I suppose they can afford it. One of my sisters has a nice big new fancy house but they are otherwise pretty frugal and another sister is frugal to a fault (actually probably more driven by BIL). Other than that they are all doing ok, I have no idea as to any of their NW or position to FIRE. I suspect they are curious as to how we are ER but I sense no noticeable envy other than SIL exclaiming rather loudly in a public place "But you're too young to retire!" when she learned that I was retiring but I think her reaction was more surprise then envy.
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #39
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My sister and all of my cousins are probably better off financially than I. Same is true of late husband's siblings. My true friends, the ones I can count on one hand, don't begrudge me my FI as nearly as I can tell. Of course, I could be clueless about what people are really thinking.
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:29 PM   #40
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Since retiring early (we were the first in our families to retire, although most are older than us), both sides have become even more distant which saddens us. Friends from all walks of life accept us as we are/always were.
I'm hoping (and planning) during ER to spend more time with family. As it is now, its pretty much impossible to see family for more than a few days a year (we are geographically distant).
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