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Old 02-21-2015, 10:06 AM   #21
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I enjoy coming back to this forum regularly, I'm aiming to bail out of the rat race this summer.

I have one thing that keeps bothering me though, why do I constantly seek other peoples approval for my retiring early at age 52.5yrs.I desperately want my wife, parents and friends to say, 'go for it, good for you'.The response I get is, 'you are far too young, what will you do with your time, you will become lazy, your life will have no structure or meaning, a monthly wage is a great thing and you will miss it badly'.

I just want someone to say 'well done, enjoy yourself, I envy you'.

Have any others felt this way before pulling the plug?
Many people feel threatened when they cannot accomplish the same thing someone they view as their peer can. If it matters to you, you could point something out to them that makes your situation different, such as you did not have children to support or you saved a lot of money by bringing your own beer to pubs (as you mentioned in an earlier post).

The big red flag to me is why your wife is not on board with your plan. I would definitely try to figure out why not.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:11 AM   #22
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The big red flag to me is why your wife is not on board with your plan. I would definitely try to figure out why not.
+1
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:24 AM   #23
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Congratulations on being early-retired! I am a little envious because you have retired at a slightly younger age than I could.

I got/get nothing but congratulations and envy over being retired. I do hear "you're too young to be retired," but that's just people being nice about a lady's presumed "youth," LOL. (It won't last). And people are aware that I have hobbies to keep me busy, since that is how I meet people these days - at the gym or online hobby forums.

Nobody has ever suggested we wouldn't have enough money. Frankly, it amazes me that people would even get into someone's business to that level. I would not put up with it. Are you inclined to take what people say to heart? Ever hear of the "room theory"? Probably not, since I just made it up on the spot. It goes like this: You can be the floor, and let them walk on you; the walls, and just listen without saying anything; or the ceiling, and be above it all.

I do find some people seem a little disappointed that we are homebodies, not traveling all the time. I think that is, as others have said, a reflection of people's sense that life lacks meaning and savor unless filled with Facebook-worthy activities.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:38 AM   #24
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I try to keep in mind when people criticize my choice, they are really reflecting on their own lives, not mine.
That is so true!
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:42 AM   #25
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Ever hear of the "room theory"? Probably not, since I just made it up on the spot. It goes like this: You can be the floor, and let them walk on you; the walls, and just listen without saying anything; or the ceiling, and be above it all.

I like this a lot! You should write a book.

To the OP, congrats! Well-done on being in position to retire so young. I'll be 4-5 years older than you when I pull the plug, but would definitely do it sooner if I could make the finances work. Enjoy it!
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:50 AM   #26
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Many people feel threatened when they cannot accomplish the same thing someone they view as their peer can. If it matters to you, you could point something out to them that makes your situation different, such as you did not have children to support or you saved a lot of money by bringing your own beer to pubs (as you mentioned in an earlier post).

The big red flag to me is why your wife is not on board with your plan. I would definitely try to figure out why not.
My wife is from Japan and believes that we should all do 18 hour days!
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:52 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Evergreen View Post
I enjoy coming back to this forum regularly, I'm aiming to bail out of the rat race this summer.

I have one thing that keeps bothering me though, why do I constantly seek other peoples approval for my retiring early at age 52.5yrs. I desperately want my wife, parents and friends to say, 'go for it, good for you'. The response I get is, 'you are far too young, what will you do with your time, you will become lazy, your life will have no structure or meaning, a monthly wage is a great thing and you will miss it badly'.

I just want someone to say 'well done, enjoy yourself, I envy you'.

Have any others felt this way before pulling the plug?
Maybe your wife and parents are not sure you can afford to retire and are worried about what the future will bring to you and your wife. Are you comfortably set to retire, financially speaking? Completely financially independent, unquestionably so? If so, then maybe there is a communication gap. It is true that if one quits at 52.5, in many occupations it is very difficult to go back to work due to age discrimination so maybe they want to be reassured that you won't need another job, ever. And then, there is probably a culture gap between you and your wife (and inlaws) that is sometimes a problem for international marriages, but you would know best how to deal with that.

As for friends...

I think that friends' reaction to an announcement like this is very indicative of who is really your friend and who is just someone you know. In my opinion a real friend will realize how very hard you worked at saving and preparing for retirement, and will be happy for you because you reached your goal (even if he/she doesn't have the same goal in mind).

So, maybe these are just casual acquaintances and not friends. Nothing wrong with that! But just let them be,with their silly envious thoughts which ultimately mean nothing to your happy retirement.


Speaking of which, CONGRATULATIONS on reaching your retirement goal!
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:11 AM   #28
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My wife is from Japan and believes that we should all do 18 hour days!
Then you have a really big problem.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:32 AM   #29
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I do find some people seem a little disappointed that we are homebodies, not traveling all the time. I think that is, as others have said, a reflection of people's sense that life lacks meaning and savor unless filled with Facebook-worthy activities.
+1 They are sure in a different headspace than I am, anyway.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:44 AM   #30
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I had only one person my age say I was too young. A few months later he collapsed at work and died.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:45 AM   #31
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Congratulations for being able to bail out of the rat race at your age. That us a great accomplishment. Buy just because you can, it doesn't mean that you should.

What are you bailing into? Have you figured out what retired life will look like for you other than not working? If you don't, you're not ready.

If you have a list of hobbies and interests you want to pursue, courses you want to take, volunteer opportunities to explore, travel destinations to discover, books to read, cakes to bake - whatever - then you should be good to go. And then you can tell the naysayers that you want to do much more with your life than work, and you can afford to. That should shut them up.

Being out of line with your wife is a bigger concern. Maybe she needs to see your post-work plan to be able to understand what your doing.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:55 AM   #32
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Congratulations for being able to bail out of the rat race at your age. That us a great accomplishment. Buy just because you can, it doesn't mean that you should.

What are you bailing into? Have you figured out what retired life will look like for you other than not working? If you don't, you're not ready.

If you have a list of hobbies and interests you want to pursue, courses you want to take, volunteer opportunities to explore, travel destinations to discover, books to read, cakes to bake - whatever - then you should be good to go. And then you can tell the naysayers that you want to do much more with your life than work, and you can afford to. That should shut them up.

Being out of line with your wife is a bigger concern. Maybe she needs to see your post-work plan to be able to understand what your doing.
I didn't have any idea what retired life would be like when I retired and wasn't retiring "to" anything at all, so I was pretty scared about that. However, for me that turned out to be a bunch of hooey and I have had an idyllic retirement so far. When preparing for retirement, because I was scared about it I made a list of 24 things I would like to do in retirement. However, I haven't even started on that list yet and I am in my 6th year of retirement.

I did use that list to deal with awkward conversations about my upcoming retirement at work. I could answer the inevitable "But what will you DO?" by saying "I'm going to grow roses, and I always wanted to get an MBA, and I want to learn Mexican Spanish, and I'm going to get a piano and start playing again...". I'd continue with that list until a glazed look appeared in their eyes, and they'd capitulate and say, "Well, that sounds good, I wish you the best".

I haven't actually DONE any of that, though.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:09 PM   #33
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Intellectual and artistic pursuits: guaranteed to glaze all eyes. Doncha know you are supposed to be traveling, eating out, and playing old-people sports with goofy names??
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"I'm going to grow roses, and I always wanted to get an MBA, and I want to learn Mexican Spanish, and I'm going to get a piano and start playing again...". I'd continue with that list until a glazed look appeared in their eyes, and they'd capitulate and say, "Well, that sounds good, I wish you the bes.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:20 PM   #34
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Intellectual and artistic pursuits: guaranteed to glaze all eyes. Doncha know you are supposed to be traveling, eating out, and playing old-people sports with goofy names??
Oh!!!! I hadn't thought of that! I am so clueless. Good point!
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:28 PM   #35
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Are you a middle child? I am. Growing up I was always concerned about being approved of. Apparently that is a "Well known" psychological profile of middle children. As an adult I started caring less and less. When I retired at 38 and in the ensuing years I reveled in their contempt. They can basically go *%#k themselves.

You will get what I call "bad envy". ie "Haters". As opposed to "good envy" ie those who you inspire to move in the same direction. Who needs that? And from those who have more than you, you will generally be held in some sort of contempt. An amateur. A mere "Piker."

I suspect that part of your seeking approval is related to fear of going broke. You wish they'd be on your side in case you need help in the future. Some day if you need help, if some cataclysm happens and you are in need, the people who "do not approve" of you now will enjoy watching you crash and burn and not help you. "Hey! Where's all your millions now?"

I could never count on those people before I retired so why would I want to count them as a possible resource later?

As far as just getting the ol' pat-on-the-back and congratulations....? Hey, success is it's own reward. Other people won't make it or break it for you so why care what they think?
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:35 PM   #36
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When someone close to me died, I put up a post here with a link to a dharma talk entitled, "The Raw Spot".

There is a lot that I liked in that talk, and one line in particular was the observation (said in a humorous way):

"It never occurred to me, but... when you're dead you can't do anything anymore. You really can't do anything anymore."

People who choose to not work in a traditional sense, if they weren't totally burned out for good, find enough to do that fits right for them.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:59 PM   #37
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People in general have a picture of how Retirement should look and outliers like many on this site do not fit the picture. Their reaction is about them. Your need for approval is about you. Find some way to give that approval to yourself.....after all you are FIREing for yourself not other people. Self affirmations may be helpful and reading all the great stories on this site will certainly help. People on this site realize that retirement can be many things and doesn't necessarily have to fit in a preconceived box.
+1. You MUST do what is best for you. You could, conceivably, face another 35-40 years of paid or unpaid activities of YOUR choice, not what you have been required to do for a paycheck. You can now live life the way you want to. I learned that many co-workers were envious of someone having such a prospect.

Also, from recent experience, none of us really knows how many years we have. 2.5 years ago I had a strong hunch I'd better retire 4 years earlier than planned (partly due to the poor health of DH). Now, I am so grateful that I followed that hunch. He passed away last month.....and I'll be forever grateful that I "followed the hunch." We had 2.5 years together without answering to bosses. (Well, he had three, as he retired before I did.) I would not trade those years for anything, and sigh with relief knowing that I could have been working like a maniac the whole time, with little time for DH.

Though it sounds like such a cliché, there are major rewards in "following your heart". Of those who question you, do you sense that any of them have a genuine appreciation for what your "heart" is telling you to do?

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Old 02-21-2015, 01:02 PM   #38
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LitGal, I'm so sorry for your loss, and yet glad you can see the good side of having made the most of your time together.

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2.5 years ago I had a strong hunch I'd better retire 4 years earlier than planned (partly due to the poor health of DH). Now, I am so grateful that I followed that hunch. He passed away last month.....and I'll be forever grateful that I "followed the hunch."

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Old 02-21-2015, 01:19 PM   #39
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Perhaps it's how you're presenting it? Almost without exception most people are impressed when I tell them. I believe it's because I frame it as entering the next chapter of my life (which is true), which I'm very excited about.

I also don't give a damn what others think of me, but that's something altogether different.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:24 PM   #40
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Whenever I am in doubt: I always fall back to constants. One of my principle ones is (and pardon the directness): fu*k em if they can't take a joke.

It is your life, to win, to lose or to draw as you see fit. At least that is how I see it, and continue to play the game.
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