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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-11-2007, 07:54 PM   #21
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Re: Secret Retirement?

I read a couple of early retirement books which warned against letting people know you retired early and suggested making business cards to give people when they ask what you do.

Mine is going to be "Leisure Consultant". I have only one client: me.

I foolishly disregarded the advice in the books and told some friends I was retiring at 39. One of them laughed and said "can I borrow some money?" I know he was joking but it immediately turned me off and brought home the wisdom from the books.

I also have a business councilor I've been seeing for years. It helps for a young CEO in a pressure-cooker environment to be able to bounce off things to an uninvolved party. First, she congratulated me. Then, a couple of sessions later, she said I was "too young to retire and I know you're going to find an idea for starting another company." The next session she informed me that her rate was going up 100% because I no longer qualified for her sliding scale (ignoring the fact that retirement actually means my income is more fixed and I have to budget myself more than when my company paid me).

At our next session she will be informed I have found a new idea for a company and as a result I will no longer be in need of her services. I'm going to be a leisure consultant!
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-11-2007, 09:14 PM   #22
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Yeah, that grabbed my attention too.

Lemme put that into perspective for the rest of the board. Assuming that their retirement even remotely resembles the Jan 2007 pay tables, which anecdotally I believe it does, that works out to roughly $81K + $56K per year. Plus a full COLA and full Tricare health insurance, which will cost the pair of them a total of $40/month (plus a $12 copay) until they're Medicare eligible.

It's not about the money. If they're still working full time then I bet it's hard to spend it fast enough.
I think it is habit - he met his wife in college - They went into the service together. They are both very focused/intense people - I don't think retirement was even considered. They are in high pressure positions now (esp. Bro)....he is turning 60 this year......I am going to ask some questions and try and get a feeling for what they are thinking. I did'nt consider ER this early seriously till March of 06 and that progressed quickly. Who knows - maybe I'll find out he's ERed on the "sly" also

Doubt it!
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-11-2007, 09:52 PM   #23
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Here's the first draft of my 2013 retirement speech.

"For some time now I have been interested in independent consulting and behavioural finance. My vision for the next phase of my career is to focus on independent consulting and strategic management of closely held investment and philanthropic funds. I look forward to expanding my personal horizons in these areas of enterprise.

Thank you all for coming, and goodnight".
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-12-2007, 09:15 AM   #24
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Re: Secret Retirement?

"I have not told my family yet.... I still am not comfortable telling them. A good example is my brother and his wife. He was w/ the Navy for 30 years and retired as a full bird Cl. and his wife 30 years Navy out as a Major and they both still work full time.... I am not comfortable answering - not their business. I am not going to lie....but will employ the "don't ask - don't tell approach. I do plan on asking my bro WHY he keeps working tho!"

"It really bothers me that I can't share such a great development in my life w/ my family...."

OK... if I read all the above correctly.... your position is that your brother's choosing to continue working is fair game for you to assualt. But your choice NOT to continue is a taboo subject for even their knowledge, let alone their discussion.

Might this seem unfair to you in any way?
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-12-2007, 09:20 AM   #25
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Re: Secret Retirement?

I am still about 5 years from FIRE. I appreciate everyone's comments on this issue. Being better informed, I am proceeding with plans more discretely than I would have otherwise and will probably handle actual FIRE differently as well.

Thanks for your insightful comments.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-12-2007, 01:51 PM   #26
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Re: Secret Retirement?

I was proud of being able to retire at 48. The day I
gave notice, I sent out this email at work -

--------------------------------------------------------
I am submitting my resignation effective
Friday, Oct 20 2006. Transitions of duty
are being arranged with <*****>.

While I have greatly enjoyed my 8+ years
at <*****>, I am just not social enough to fit
into the new XP environment. So, to end
my career on a high note, I have decided
that now would be a good time to retire.
--------------------------------------------------------

I have also told all others that I know. Most
seemed happy for me, a couple showed some
not-quite-hidden resentment, and a few have
ask how I did it (advice on 72t's, investing in
general, health insurance, etc.). Overall, no
negative consequences from disclosing my
new status.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-12-2007, 06:53 PM   #27
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Re: Secret Retirement?

I told family and friends that I retired and they were happy for me. I had always said that I was retiring at 55, but went at 53 with the early out. They also knew that I had worked for almost 33 years with the government and had worked several jobs before the gov, so there was not any jealousy or snide comments. I did get the, so what are you going to do after your retire, comment quite a few times.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-12-2007, 07:41 PM   #28
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Re: Secret Retirement?



My family "worries" about me : (with a very hard edge), so I see no point to telling them what I really have. Don't even want to go there and have those types of conversations. Maybe when I was 18 or 24, but not at 44.



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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-12-2007, 08:58 PM   #29
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kate
My family "worries" about me : (with a very hard edge), so I see no point to telling them what I really have. Don't even want to go there and have those types of conversations. Maybe when I was 18 or 24, but not at 44.
Gotta know your family and your relatives.

My father (retired at 53) has never said anything less than "Life is good!". He still swaps an occasional stock tip with me, although at age 73 I don't think he's keeping score any more.

My FIL (lump sum at age 60) has expressed considerable vocal concern over the years about "us crazy kids". At first I thought it was typical kibitzing but it gradually dawned on me that I wasn't helping by bringing up Berkshire Hathaway, stock market valuations, asset allocations, SWRs, Trinity, Bernstein, Guyton, & Bernicke. Debating the concepts of shorting stocks & margin investing was way outside the pale. Maybe I even accelerated his "flight to quality" in 100% Treasuries & CDs.

Finally one day he was on a greatest-hits reprise of his "I don't see what there is to this (insert consumer service here), I could do the same by (insert tedious manual labor here) and I don't see why you guys are wasting your money!"

My short-fused spouse counterfired "Because our investment portfolio is worth (insert all-time record high here) so we can afford it, and and we'd rather spend quality time with your granddaughter!" Everyone quickly retreated to neutral corners. Say, how 'bout that tradewind weather we've been having lately?

That day pretty much ended the investing & frugal-living discussions. Years ago my spouse used to talk on the phone with her mother and afterwards joke about "being back in the will" but I think that was the day both sides of the document decided that it was no longer required.

So maybe it's safer to talk about surfing or your latest trip or how much time you're spending doing the things you've always wanted to do... or to just not seek them out for those conversations in the first place.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-12-2007, 10:43 PM   #30
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Re: Secret Retirement?

I'm more concerned about my parents. They live 5 hours away. A couple of days with them is all I can spend with them. I do have 3 brothers and a sister
who visit them etc. But I'm the only one who is single and no kids. I think they would expect me to come around more often and maybe even travel with their senior citizens group (as my mother as hinted in the past). Nord's in-laws sound like my parents in a lot of ways. Neither of them seem to be able to help throwing in a zinger now and then. But how long can one reasonably keep such a thing quiet?
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-12-2007, 11:10 PM   #31
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Re: Secret Retirement?

:P
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-13-2007, 12:56 AM   #32
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaintosea
But I'm the only one who is single and no kids. I think they would expect me to come around more often and maybe even travel with their senior citizens group (as my mother as hinted in the past).
Oooh, trapped on a bus with a generation gap.

I'd have to be motivated to do that out of love. Filial duty or financial incentives just wouldn't cut it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaintosea
But how long can one reasonably keep such a thing quiet?
I guess the trick is to let it come out slowly over the course of a couple years. Eventually someone will ask "Hey, when are you gonna get a job?!?" and your answer would be something like "Eh, the last couple years have gone pretty well so I've stopped looking. Say, how 'bout them Warriors?"
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-13-2007, 06:57 AM   #33
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Interesting thread. My immediate family has been supportive. They know I have a good pension and that DW makes good money so it doesn't surprise anyone that we can pull the plug. All of my siblings are in OK shape and either retired or could retire if they want to so they are not trapped in jobs they hate. With friends and acquaintances I am out front about my status but avoid any gloating. It is impossible to know their circumstances and I don't want to rub any wounds. I avoid mentioning actual dollar amounts with everybody.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-15-2007, 08:26 AM   #34
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Well .... the family knows I retired and that I get a pension. What they don't know is that I get more than one pension or that I have a 401K (thrift savings) that I haven't touched. I know them and they would be trying to figure out how to spend it for me if I let them know.

I always cry that it is so tough being a pensioner, got to watch those pennies and clip those coupons, that's why I live in a rural community and heat with wood yadda yadda yadda. So far the smoke screen has worked they only ask for money once in a while and they are polite about it. I don't ever plan on telling them how much I have even under duress.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-15-2007, 08:31 AM   #35
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
Oh, I thought by secret retirement you meant not telling the boss

I was worried someone had found me out.

In my current position, I consider myself almost retired by comparison to my prior life.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-15-2007, 10:42 AM   #36
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Like Nords, the biggest worries came from parents who lived through the depression and have not enough faith in financial markets or securities values to 'get' SWR. For them, the only way to be safe is to keep working. Even generous portfolio levels don't seem to assuage their worry, so we just ignore it.

For anyone aside from parents, I still find the avocation/ semi-retirement approach makes this whole conundrum go away. All the folks in town now know either that I write or sculpt -- ads for kids portraits in the local paper work wonders -- which not only piques their interest, but fills up the slot in their minds that might otherwise need to get filled with 'lazy bum' or 'morally suspect' or the like.

So maybe invest in a $50 ad or two in the local paper for "Leisure Consultant"? Who knows, you might become the first on the Board to stumble onto a new ER-friendly part-time income stream helping the frustratingly-employed to see the light, at a healthy hourly consulting fee! 8)
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #37
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Re: Secret Retirement?

I've decided the best thing to do is to get "laid off" again and not be able to find a "comparable position." I'd then be free to take advantage of my time "between jobs" but not be considered so "rich" that I must be able to fund the wants and needs of my extended family. Periodically, I'd have to complain about being short of cash and hint that I might need a loan.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-15-2007, 01:29 PM   #38
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Re: Secret Retirement?

I have found that it is best to keep as many folks in the dark about my retirement status. Sometimes I leave for "work" in the AM, sometime in the PM, sometime weekend etc. This vague tactic came in handy just the other day when I was asked by an officer in an organization that I belong to if I would attend a meeting for him that would have required me to make a 100 mile trip to attend a 2 hour meeting that would be unproductive and boring. My response :"Oh man, I'm going to be Dallas next Thursday and Friday so I can not make it." Him:" I understand, you know I never seem to understand your work schedule."
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-15-2007, 03:03 PM   #39
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Being an engineer I have the option to "consult." I've thought about registering as an engineering company in Texas. That would let me work contract but also create what appears to be a "real job." Some vacation traveling could be stretched into "sales trips" if I made a legitimate sales call. The downside is that I'd have to generate some income.
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Re: Secret Retirement?
Old 04-15-2007, 07:02 PM   #40
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Re: Secret Retirement?

Those approaches might work very well in fields that you don't actually have to "retire" from, like lawyer, doctor, engineer, or software designer. Even if you haven't earned any money from its practice for decades, you're still your avocation. I don't know if that's good or bad but it's certainly a ready-made response.

Somehow it just doesn't sound right to say "I'm a submariner" or "I'm an intelligence collector" or "I'm a missile shooter!." Even "I'm a retired engineer" sounds evasive. So I say "I'm retired Navy. Submarines."

That's usually all the explanation that's necessary. Civilians apparently have little trouble believing that after retiring from the military you're entitled to do whatever you want, presumably under the assumption that you've earned it. Other veterans, however, seem to be our own worst enemy-- "Yeah, yeah, I know that, you slacker, but what are you doing NOW?"*

If I get the "Sure, but whaddya DO all day?" interrogation I respond, variously, "I'm a surf bum", "We're raising a teenager", "I enjoy working on our home & finances", "I'm being paid $36K/year by the federal government to evade paid employment", or, my favorite, "I'm taking it easy for a while and enjoying my life. What do you do all day?"

Good update on an old thread topic, MTS. Thanks.

*Ooh, I like that paragraph. That's goin' in the book...
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