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Seeking approval from others
Old 02-21-2015, 07:10 AM   #1
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Seeking approval from others

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?
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:15 AM   #2
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I've never felt the need for approval (at least on my ER) but I think some people just lack imagination and can't envision a life that doesn't revolve around a job. In a way, sad for them.

If it helps, let me offer my own "Good for you!"
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:23 AM   #3
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As many threads have pointed out there is much jealousy about ER. I'm 43 so the problem is even worse. I plan to say that I am an investor. That's all they need to know.

And yes, most will "envy" you, but not in a positive way. Only tell them what they need to know IMHO. You can only control you, not them.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:35 AM   #4
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I have not pulled the plug, but I imagine you seek approval as there is always external and internal forces at work which pull you in opposite directions. As an individual you want to divorce from the rat race. As a member of society you are being sold a solution that has you working until FRA or even later.

So, you've come to this forum, which is supportive of early-retirement. You've found like-minded individuals here, but the societal influence is still within you. It probably will completely wear off in 52.5 years.

Until then, well done, enjoy yourself, I envy you.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:58 AM   #5
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I think that I have put this post in the wrong forum! Thanks for your support, I expected it as we are all like minded people.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:05 AM   #6
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Try taking an assertiveness course, if you can get permission.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:07 AM   #7
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I think that I have put this post in the wrong forum! Thanks for your support, I expected it as we are all like minded people.
Thread moved.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:10 AM   #8
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I just want someone to say 'well done, enjoy yourself, I envy you'.
I'll give you two out of three. Well done! Enjoy yourself!

I try to keep in mind when people criticize my choice, they are really reflecting on their own lives, not mine.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:12 AM   #9
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I felt that way before I pulled the plug. I knew it would have been impossible for me to retire several years before DW. She wouldn't have allowed me to do that, and she wasn't ready to retire. So I started working part time, gradually (over a 10 year period) working my way down to 1 work day a week before we both retired last year. Worked out just fine. I "worked" up until 3 months before she retired, which was fine with her. I didn't care what anyone else thought.

You're not going to get too many 'well done, enjoy yourself, I envy you' comments because people will be jealous of you.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:27 AM   #10
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some people just lack imagination and can't envision a life that doesn't revolve around a job. In a way, sad for them.
+1... you can't read the label when you're inside the bottle.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:52 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:52 AM   #12
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I just want someone to say 'well done, enjoy yourself, I envy you'.
Ok, I envy you. You're 4 years younger than I am.

That's the best I can do in the envy department.

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Old 02-21-2015, 08:58 AM   #13
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I have had both supportive and not. We all have preconceived views of what life is and what the process is. You don't retire until 62 or later unless you have a job like a teacher, fire fighter or the like where you can qualify for a pension earlier. The presence of this pension (or SS) is the trigger that you're potentially ready for retirement.

I enjoy the technical challenges of work. I don't enjoy the stress, short deadlines, politics...
I have some people who think its great, one noted that I'm their role model. Some don't know what I'll do with my time because I put so much of myself into work. Some say their sorry because I don't have a pension... they don't realize that a pension is not the only way to retire...oops... I'm not calling it that, I call it non-employment.
So... some could be jealous, but many likely have a different pair of dime(paradigm). These people just don't understand.

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Old 02-21-2015, 09:04 AM   #14
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I worked until I was 66 as a high school teacher, but what kept me going was the feeling that I'm contributing, and I could retire anytime I wanted if I wished to. That feeling is liberating in itself. Also, frankly, I have always felt that I needed to be contributing in some way, but as a retiree now, I have several activities with my best friend, my "therapy" dog.

I guess that retiring at your age is great, but if there is not some purpose in that retirement aside from relaxing, then after awhile it becomes meaningless. Just my 2 cents here.

Rob
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
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?
I would suggest most folks DO envy you, but they don't want to admit it to themselves or to you.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:12 AM   #16
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I guess that retiring at your age is great, but if there is not some purpose in that retirement aside from relaxing, then after awhile it becomes meaningless. Just my 2 cents here.
+1
this is not really about dealing with the topic at hand -- getting/needing other's approval.. but I expect very important for enjoying non-employment. ( I'm NE/ER at the end of the month.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:12 AM   #17
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I would suggest most folks DO envy you, but they don't want to admit it to themselves or to you.
You are similar age to me David, how has it been for you?
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:27 AM   #18
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You are similar age to me David, how has it been for you?
When I meet new people, and they ask the question "What do you do?", most folks give me a funny look when I say I'm retired. Then sometimes the follow up "What do you do all day?". Ugh!
I do get bored occasionally, but it is amazing how the days fill up - visiting friends, exercising, cooking, yard work, reading, etc And I was even more bored on my job, so I think people confuse lack of "productivity" with boredom.
Anyway, my true friends support me and are happy for me, and that's what matters to me.
And even if I did worry about what others think, I remember the phrase "living well is the best revenge". I think about that sometimes when I'm sleeping in on Monday mornings or exercising at the gym on weekday mornings.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:38 AM   #19
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Any decision you make, there's going to be people who question your choice. If objectively then numbers look okay that you can afford to retire and subjectively that you are ready, those are the two most important things.

When I retired (about 7 yrs ago), I have a friend who at that time questioned why I did so, and adding that she still enjoyed her work. Fast forward to the present. Now she's retired and the last thing on her mind is having a job, working as she loves the freedom retirement offers. The "Ah Ha" moment turned on for her.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:50 AM   #20
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We wouldn't be human if we didn't occasionally appreciate the affirmation of our fellows. As a minor example, consider how we enjoy it when someone "thanks" us for a post on this board.

Ultimately, however, we must each live our own lives as we see fit. So, I try to do things simply because that is what I think to be the best course of action, not because I need someone else to approve or even appreciate it (except SWMBO, of course).
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