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Old 10-04-2013, 09:14 AM   #21
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ER Eddie - thanks for the book tip! I just went and purchased "Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto" for my Kindle. BTW, there's also a newer book called "Party of One: Living Single..." which based on a quick glance appears to be directed at single people in a world of people with partners.
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:54 PM   #22
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ER Eddie - thanks for the book tip! I just went and purchased "Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto" for my Kindle. BTW, there's also a newer book called "Party of One: Living Single..." which based on a quick glance appears to be directed at single people in a world of people with partners.
You're welcome. If you enjoy good writing, you'll probably appreciate hers. If you've read other books in the area, you know that most are readable but not well written. That is because most of the authors are primarily psychologists. She is different -- a bona-fide writer -- and it shows.

Another difference is that most authors in the area speak with a fairly careful, balanced, and measured voice. She is much more direct and opinionated, less constrained and balanced. I find that interesting, but others may be put off.

She covers territory that other books do not, and she says things in ways that other authors do not. She spends a lot of time talking about the value of solitude. She does not use the word introvert but calls us "loners."

She can be a bit extreme sometimes in her exaltation of lonerdom, and I can't read too much without a certain loneliness settling over me; I also think her book stirs up unsettled issues for me, so I can only read portions at a time. She can get a little extreme in her exemplars, too, discussing high-level creative types and desert ascetics, to the point where I have a hard time identifying.

Overall, I recommend it, though, especially for introverts with a bit of a creative/artistic streak. The second book you mentioned is by a different author. Sounds like a more typical self-help book to me, geared toward people who want to feel good about being single. I haven't read that one.
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:54 AM   #23
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I have gotten pretty comfortable with living alone but at first it was a challenge (college sweetheart husband died 10 years ago). I am still working full-time but plan to retire from my government job July 2014 when I turn 60. I think having a job to go to every day really saved me 10 years ago as I went from never living alone, to abruptly living alone, as the story of my life was childhood home to college dorms to first apartment after marriage.
I feel pretty confident that I will keep in touch with a handful of friends from my office with lunches, occasional movies, meeting for drinks after work and the like.
I currently visit my gym 2-3 times a week but might step that up a bit to 4 or 5 times a week. I will also travel more for extended periods of several weeks or months, especially since my little dog died over the summer. I am holding off getting another dog for a couple of years due to the wanting to travel moew thing, but I think my next dog will be a larger breed that needs lots of walking and exercise. I might consider a pup from the shelter and do the obedience training classes.
A few years ago I had thought I might split my time evenly between PA and a house I owned in FL but sold the FL place a year ago after I became guardian for a disabled cousin residing in a personal care home here in PA after my aunt died. I think I will be pretty firmly rooted here in PA due to the guardianship responsibility.
In any case, I have long had season subscriptions to the Pittsburgh symphony, the Opera and two theater groups so I have something going almost every week-end. I have some out of state first cousins I visit on occasion (and one who visits me regularly...am leaving for PIT in an hour to pick her up). I traveled to Ireland last year and to Scotland this August with a second cousin who lives a couple of hours from me, and I anticipate doing more of this with her. I have an adult son whom I see 2 or 3 times a year, too, wherever he is working, currently NYC.
To sum it up, I won't have any trouble keeping busy, particularly if I eventually add in a regular volunteer gig of some sort or another.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #24
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I've been single all my life, so retiring single doesn't bother me at all.

And I've never been the kind to forge close bonds with people at work, so I don't tend to miss working around people. To me, they're just teammates and acquaintances (or troublemakers), not true friends. I've only got one couple I consider close friends with whom I worked at a previous company.

Also (and this is probably unfortunate), I tend not to maintain a lot of contact with people when I move. I think that's because of a mix of both me and them are so busy with work and life in general, we all just don't reach out and maintain contact. Plus, I'm not a social networker. I've never been on (and have no plans to ever be on) Facebook or Twitter, so that's not an avenue for me to maintain long-distance friendships.

It's never bothered me, it's just a fact of life. Plus, whenever I move, or get involved with new activities, I've always managed to surround myself with new friends. Although they're probably not going to be life-long friends, they're still friends.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:18 AM   #25
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ER Eddie - thanks for the book tip! I just went and purchased "Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto" for my Kindle.
Thanks from me too. I have only read the first few pages, and see what you mean about her approach being quite extreme though I have to say, she is describing me quite accurately. I have upset many people in my life who could not understand that just because I like them does not mean I want to "hang out" with them. One of my best friends is similar to me in that regard. He is also deadly scared of offending people, so he makes multiple excuses and apologies when turning down invitations, working himself up into great anxieties over the whole process. I don't apologize for myself as much and as a result, I seem to annoy/upset/ turn people off more. I don't want to offend anyone, but it is next to impossible to get someone who is anything less than very introverted to understand that being alone is a wondrous and joyful state of being for me, and their prolonged presence would muddy up the fantastically serene canvas that is my life of joyful solitude..

The only exception in this is my SO, who I talk to every day and see about once a week. Without her I would feel lonely.

One of the things that concerns me is that I think if I tried to describe my nature to others, it would make me sound as if I am a cold person with little or no empathy for others, and that is not the case at all.

My cats understand though, I think............
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #26
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Thanks from me too. I have only read the first few pages, and see what you mean about her approach being quite extreme though I have to say, she is describing me quite accurately. I have upset many people in my life who could not understand that just because I like them does not mean I want to "hang out" with them. One of my best friends is similar to me in that regard. He is also deadly scared of offending people, so he makes multiple excuses and apologies when turning down invitations, working himself up into great anxieties over the whole process. I don't apologize for myself as much and as a result, I seem to annoy/upset/ turn people off more. I don't want to offend anyone, but it is next to impossible to get someone who is anything less than very introverted to understand that being alone is a wondrous and joyful state of being for me, and their prolonged presence would muddy up the fantastically serene canvas that is my life of joyful solitude..

The only exception in this is my SO, who I talk to every day and see about once a week. Without her I would feel lonely.

One of the things that concerns me is that I think if I tried to describe my nature to others, it would make me sound as if I am a cold person with little or no empathy for others, and that is not the case at all.

My cats understand though, I think............
That is pretty much me too; although, I no longer have cats. No pets allowed in the apartment I live in now.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:52 AM   #27
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The only exception in this is my SO, who I talk to every day and see about once a week. Without her I would feel lonely.

This is the "all the eggs in one basket" approach so favored by married men. To me it has risks. Girlfriends (and wives) can leave, die, undergo personality changes, fall in love with another man or perhaps a woman, etc. One of the things I really appreciated after my divorce is that I no longer had to ask myself "will my wife be offended or challenged by my friendship with this woman, or will she just really not like this guy that I like to hang out with"?

I just don't want to deal with a person's insecurities, although to a lesser degree the same concern is present with a girlfriend as a wife. The only difference is if she gets pissed and leaves it only leaves a hole in your heart and not your bank account too. Which, for a self financed retiree, is a pretty big difference after all. I have never known a guy with money who couldn't find a woman, but I have known guys with little money who were SOL with women. I think it likely that if they had more chutzpah they would be more successful, but for many older men with little money, that is not an easy thing to pull off. Older men with poor finances can feel emasculated.

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Old 10-05-2013, 01:18 PM   #28
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My wife and I are both introverts (we do talk to each other though, lol) One thing not explicitly mentioned here is the positive influence of the Internet over the last decade for people like us. It is so much more interesting to interact on your own terms with people on the Internet with the same interests than with the dolts at work or in your own village/neighbourhood. Forums like this or blogs have led to more interesting people than I am likely to have met in a lifetime.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:21 PM   #29
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My wife's the extrovert, I'm the introvert.

My wife has lately asked me if I know the alphabet as we're on the way to dinner. IOWs, she wants me to say--something. And when in-laws are with me and I say something stupid, MIL tells me to go back in my trance.

I think it takes a certain amount of bravery to live in one's own skin. That's why we're constantly filling it up with TV, booze, you name it so we don't actually have to ever commune with ourselves.

Boredom is OK too. If we allow it to happen, we can look at our situation and ask what it is that we really want to do. How people say retirement is a bad thing, and that they want to work for the rest of their lives is truly sad.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:40 AM   #30
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I'll be retired in 2 months, 2 weeks (but who's counting? ME!) and I already know I won't miss work. I will miss the fun convos I have had with work friends but I can easily meet them for drinks or lunch. I hope to be moving about an hour and a half away where one of my best friends since we were 11 lives. I won't know anyone but her but I make friends easily and all my other besties will visit. I am social but I love being alone so loneliness is never an issue. Two dogs, two cats so I'm busy with that and a lot of my hobbies are solo endeavors. Moving to a college town so activities abound.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:07 PM   #31
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Are introverts more likely to be drawn to ER?

In general, a lot of people have cited not liking the interactions at work as one of the main motivations for wanting ER.

In this thread though, a lot of initial responses are about not missing the working life they left behind, as if work was the main venue for their social interactions.

It is for me too and I'm an introvert as well. I know there are a lot of ER members here who attained high levels in their careers. Often, executives are charismatic, more extroverted, can work a room well. So maybe it's not true that introverts are more interested in ER.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #32
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Are introverts more likely to be drawn to ER?

Oh yeah, I think so. I think introverts are more interested in or capable of ER for several reasons:


They're more likely to define themselves internally, by their character or personality traits, rather than by externals, such as the work they do.

They are less likely to spend money on expensive social activities.

They are generally more independent, so they chafe more under the bridle of being "managed" and going along with corporate policies.

They aren't as reinforced by the socializing at work that extroverts find so enjoyable. They can find it aversive and look forward to the time when they can get free of it.

Since they are more independent of social expectations, they are more able to "opt out" of the consumer mentality, adopt frugal habits or simple living, and live well below their means.

Introverts are less likely to have lots of kids, which can be expensive. They may even be less likely to marry, I'm not sure.



Not that extroverts don't aim for ER, too.

We had a poll here not long ago, though, and the vast majority were introverts.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:14 PM   #33
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Are introverts more likely to be drawn to ER?

John Greaney on his Retire Early site has 2 great posts on this:

Is There a Retire Early Personality Type?
Retire Early Personality Survey -- Book Review -- What Will I Do With My Money? by Ray Linder.

(Short answer: "Yes")

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Old 10-08-2013, 08:28 PM   #34
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Oh yeah, I think so. I think introverts are more interested in or capable of ER for several reasons:


They're more likely to define themselves internally, by their character or personality traits, rather than by externals, such as the work they do.

They are less likely to spend money on expensive social activities.

They are generally more independent, so they chafe more under the bridle of being "managed" and going along with corporate policies.

They aren't as reinforced by the socializing at work that extroverts find so enjoyable. They can find it aversive and look forward to the time when they can get free of it.

Since they are more independent of social expectations, they are more able to "opt out" of the consumer mentality, adopt frugal habits or simple living, and live well below their means.

Introverts are less likely to have lots of kids, which can be expensive. They may even be less likely to marry, I'm not sure.



Not that extroverts don't aim for ER, too.

We had a poll here not long ago, though, and the vast majority were introverts.
+1. Well put, Eddie. I would summarize everything you wrote by saying the we ER types are likely to be outliers who don't conform to the conventional norms in many ways. I know I have always been an outlier and that has contributed a great deal to my being ERed.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #35
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Oh yeah, I think so. I think introverts are more interested in or capable of ER for several reasons:


They're more likely to define themselves internally, by their character or personality traits, rather than by externals, such as the work they do........


They aren't as reinforced by the socializing at work that extroverts find so enjoyable. They can find it aversive and look forward to the time when they can get free of it..........

Since they are more independent of social expectations, they are more able to "opt out" of the consumer mentality, adopt frugal habits or simple living, and live well below their means.
I definitely won't miss the socializing of work, but I will miss the intellectual stimulation and feeling that I'm using my skills. I put my name in the "Class of 2014" list because once I vest in some workplace benefits I'll be leaving my job because it's boring and there's a pretty toxic work environment. But I now find myself searching for new jobs. However, my skills are pretty particular and as most of the jobs I would be qualified for need a security clearance and I don't want to get one of those I might retire by default.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:16 PM   #36
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However, my skills are pretty particular and as most of the jobs I would be qualified for need a security clearance and I don't want to get one of those I might retire by default.
Getting a clearance isn't too bad, it takes about 6 months to come through; at least it did when I got mine. The worst part is that for the 6 months you have to be escorted where ever you go if you're in a secured building.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:29 PM   #37
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Getting a clearance isn't too bad, it takes about 6 months to come through; at least it did when I got mine. The worst part is that for the 6 months you have to be escorted where ever you go if you're in a secured building.
True enough, but I'm a dual citizen and don't want to give up my passport, so until that changes a clearance is out for me.
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