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People who can't or won't retire.
Old 09-07-2016, 08:16 PM   #1
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People who can't or won't retire.

Over the course of events this week I've come across a few people who have dramatically different views on retirement than I do.

Sunday night we had a dinner party... the couple we invited over are highly successful. They run a venture capital firm, they've made mega-millions, she's dabbling in politics, he writes a column for the local newpaper on business, entrepeneurship, etc... plus is CEO of a firm, and sits on the board of half a dozen other firms. They're in their mid-60's. They definitely can afford to retire, and are of an age where it wouldn't be considered *early* retirement.

(These folks are very nice - but definitely in a different social strata than I normally travel.)

The husband was SHOCKED that I was retired. I was too young, I must get bored, I was doing a disservice to myself and the world by not "contributing". I pointed out that I was happier than I'd ever been. (And this was confirmed to him by my sister and my husband.) He still felt I should be working.

Today, I volunteered at my son's high school, checking out text books for students. The librarian and I were talking about retirement in between classes coming in... Her husband has qualified for full retirement from a municipal agency - his pension is maxed out and won't get any bigger. She won't "let" him retire. She mentioned concern about benefits and worries he'd mess up the house if he were home. He wants to retire. She gets amazing benefits from the school district so the benefits argument doesn't fly. Then she said she wanted to retire - and didn't want him underfoot - therefore he needed to keep working. I asked if their pensions would cover their bills - the answer was yes. I was shocked by her wanting to control him that way - but I kept my mouth shut.

Normally I fly under the radar when out and about - but in the past 3 days I've run into folks who absolutely, emphatically believe I'm too young to retire, and that they want to control when other people (around them) retire.

No skin off my back. I'm still retired and happy.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:31 PM   #2
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There are a lot of people like that, more than those who retire early. When I retired, my co-workers and employees were shocked that 1) I am retiring so early, and 2) I have enough to retire (living in Bay Area). The truth is, many of those who were shocked at the news have more money than I have and in better financial position to retire than me.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post

No skin off my back. I'm still retired and happy.
Exactly.

It always amazes me that some folks just can't resist telling others what they think is best for them, and why (even though no one asked them for their opinion). I generally try to avoid people like that.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
... I was too young, I must get bored, I was doing a disservice to myself and the world by not "contributing". ....
That one always confuses me.

Would it not be better for society as a whole, to retire and open a job opportunity to someone else (create upward mobility), who will likely spend their earnings back into the economy, thus generating more demands for goods and services, and drive even more economic activity (as opposed to a saver / investor).
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:08 PM   #5
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They definitely can afford to retire, and are of an age where it wouldn't be considered *early* retirement.
Maybe, maybe not. It is interesting in our metro area how many houses went on the foreclosure market in pretty expensive neighborhoods (the ones where CEOs, sport stars and news anchors live) within a year after the recession hit. This implies to me they had a pretty high run rate and no savings. It is not uncommon to hear about once wealthy people in the news going bankrupt.

There is some reason why your being retired invoked such a strong reaction in your dinner guests that probably has nothing to do with you since you don't know them well and they don't have to support you if your plans don't work out. Lack of money, lack of hobbies, jealousy, perceived rejection of their lifestyle or ?
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
There are a lot of people like that, more than those who retire early. When I retired, my co-workers and employees were shocked that 1) I am retiring so early, and 2) I have enough to retire (living in Bay Area). The truth is, many of those who were shocked at the news have more money than I have and in better financial position to retire than me.
But they probably spend more.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:24 PM   #7
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I think people who are against retirement perceive it as sitting in a rocking chair getting old. Many of these people have very little identity or social connections outside of work so they can't imagine what they would do. On the other hand, those of us who are motivated to RE probably have lots of interests and are not as motivated by power and money.


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Old 09-07-2016, 11:53 PM   #8
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Perhaps Rodi the issue is you look too young and attractive, perhaps dress more shabbily and forgo bathing would help

Seriously, I have seen the same thing, I do occasional work for a fellow that owns a company. He delayed collecting SS until he hit 70, he runs the company and they bring in enough to employ 10 people and still have a huge amount left over for themselves.
He has no need to work, but he works pretty much every day, and so does his wife.

My work means "I see the books" so I have to be vague here, as it's not based on opinion/guesswork.

I've known him for years, so I know they don't spend a lot, he finally replaced his 20 yr old car, because his wife refused to drive it.

I think it's the challenges, the control over things, the winning or success of a good job that keeps him working, because they already have more $$$ than a normal couple would need in many lifetimes, and that is without even considering selling the business which is worth a very large amount.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:56 PM   #9
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I believe most people are afraid of losing their income source. Others either love their job too much or don't know what else to do if they quit their job. It takes certain personality to retire early, and they are happier for it. I feel sorry for those who hate their work but continue to work despite they have enough to retire.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:07 AM   #10
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It was many years ago, but when I was working at mega there was a merger... the two heads of a division were butting heads and there was no real winner on who was going to take over...

Well, CEO brought in a person in his 70s... had many MANY millions and was retired... but he wanted to 'get back in the game'.... his pay was probably a couple mill a year... he was a terror to work for... spent a huge amount of time working and making his top people do the same...

I could never understand why he wanted to do that... except for the power trip there was nothing in it for him...

So, yes, people think differently....



BUT, if I could be on a couple of boards and get the pay that these guys get for little time spent, I would do it... I think it would be exciting and not a huge time consumer....
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:42 AM   #11
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If people enjoy what they are doing why wouldn't they want to continue doing it? If they don't think they would enjoy a life not involving their profession why would they leave it? I don't think they should argue that everyone would get that much enjoyment from it, but obviously it remains important to them.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:39 AM   #12
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I think the issue is a matter of motivation. Some people are motivated by time , other people are motivated by money. If money is more important you work your life away for the almighty dollar and never understand why someone would want to stop working. If time is more important you plan your great escape from the workforce and when you finally make it you live happily ever after never understanding why anyone would want to keep working.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:18 AM   #13
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The things she fears, really can be a problem (someone underfoot all the time, doesn't do things the way you are used to, creates more mess than used to be created) but the whole idea of one spouse "letting" the other one retire (unless they said it in a very ironic way, the way some parents laugh that they'll never let their kid get married, move away, etc.) is cringe-worthy.

She sounds creepy.

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Her husband has qualified for full retirement from a municipal agency - his pension is maxed out and won't get any bigger. She won't "let" him retire. She... worries he'd mess up the house if he were home. He wants to retire..
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:28 AM   #14
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I think people who are against retirement perceive it as sitting in a rocking chair getting old. Many of these people have very little identity or social connections outside of work so they can't imagine what they would do. On the other hand, those of us who are motivated to RE probably have lots of interests and are not as motivated by power and money.


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This checks with what many people have said to me. At least half the people I discuss retirement wth say something along the lines of "I'll never retire, I'd be too bored."

I think that shows a lack of imagination, but whatever.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:55 AM   #15
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Maybe, maybe not. It is interesting in our metro area how many houses went on the foreclosure market in pretty expensive neighborhoods (the ones where CEOs, sport stars and news anchors live) within a year after the recession hit. This implies to me they had a pretty high run rate and no savings. It is not uncommon to hear about once wealthy people in the news going bankrupt.
+1

There's lots of 'wealthy' people who are one paycheck away from disaster. We know quite a few.

I often tell the story of people where DW used to work, making $600K a year and bumming $50 from her the day before payday. They had nothing in the ATM!

Then again, some people just lack imagination and can't visualize life without a job. This is often a 'new money' situation. Old money folks always had some uncle/cousin/acquaintance who 'never worked a day in his life' while living in Palm Beach.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:23 AM   #16
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Fortunately, an ER doesn't need to hear too much from this sort of person, since people who are saying those things spend their days in the office, so an ER tends to be surrounded by other ERs most of the time, and other ERs obviously don't talk or think like that.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:49 AM   #17
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I think that such people are well-intentioned, sincerely believe their thinking is correct and want to share it as a favor to you. That is why when similar people come up my sidewalk with pamphlets in their hands, I'm not home to answer the door.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:06 AM   #18
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I was happy to retire from education (59). My DH retired at 62 and was asked to join another company at 63. He was delighted and enthusiastic. At almost 68, I became quite ill and he retired so we could move closer to better medical. A year later - they asked him do some consulting. He was delighted. He loved his job and still "stays in touch". Yes, he has other interests and activities. I guess it depends on your "passion".
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:50 AM   #19
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How about the two people who are running for president? They are very close to 70 years old and are very rich and have almost everything.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:01 AM   #20
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Fear.

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