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very early retirement - impact on friends?
Old 03-08-2008, 09:27 AM   #1
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very early retirement - impact on friends?

I'm hoping to ER later this year, around the age of 48. (If I have the nerve to follow through with this plan!)

I'm just wondering what any other early retirees out there have to say about
how their ER affected relationships with non-ER'd friends. Any jealousy or hard feelings to work through? Some friends my age will probably be working for another 20 year years. Hopefully they'd all be happy for me, but I can't help wondering if there'd be any hard feelings too.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:15 AM   #2
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No problems here. I retired in 2006 at 48, and my friends all seem happy for me. They all knew
the decisions I made to get here (LBYM, save a lot, learn to invest), and there was only mild
surprise (from them) that I was able to. Most earn about the same I do, and realize they had the
same opportunity to do so, they just played their cards differently.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:36 AM   #3
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I'm just wondering what any other early retirees out there have to say about how their ER affected relationships with non-ER'd friends. Any jealousy or hard feelings to work through?
None of my friends have expressed any hard feeling or real jealousy toward my ER'ing just prior to my 50th birthday. Everyone was quite happy for me being able to pull it off at such an early age. Most wish they could bail out early too, but very few are actually able to. But as far as jealousy or hard feelings go.....I haven't experienced any at all.....nor have any of my ER'd friends that I'm aware of.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:38 AM   #4
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Most earn about the same I do, and realize they had the same opportunity to do so, they just played their cards differently.
Same here.
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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My friends have been very supportive of my plans for early retirement, though I'm still thinking of it in terms of a sabbatical. We are more concerned about the reaction of some family members.

I will be about the same age as you are when I ER.

Edit: and hey, we're in the same state too. Maybe we should share info on how we're going to manage taxes and health insurance in this wonderful state of ours.
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:40 AM   #6
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I haven't ER'd, but a co-worker of mine recently ER'd at 46. I think everyone was happy for her. Knowing that she didn't make a lot of money (accountant in public sector), everyone was in awe of her financial planning and audacity to actually take the plunge. She said she would continue to volunteer and travel, so we were glad that some homeless shelter just got more help.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDreaming View Post
I'm hoping to ER later this year, around the age of 48. (If I have the nerve to follow through with this plan!)

I'm just wondering what any other early retirees out there have to say about
how their ER affected relationships with non-ER'd friends. Any jealousy or hard feelings to work through? Some friends my age will probably be working for another 20 year years. Hopefully they'd all be happy for me, but I can't help wondering if there'd be any hard feelings too.
I wouldn't expect jealousy or hard feelings so much (although a few will be jealous), but I would think you would drift apart from your working friends in time. I would think your daytime activities would lead you to a new circle of friends. We intend to move to another state, so we'll be starting over with friends anyway. But I hope your situation works out to your satisfaction...
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:59 PM   #8
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We moved about 1.5 hours away. At first there was a desire to visit, over time, however, we drifted apart and made new friends. Still call some of the old ones at w&*k but don't see them but once or twice a year.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:35 PM   #9
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I haven't managed to reach the FIRE milestone yet, but a friend who did has had no problems staying connected. He can do all kinds of RE activities (think days long fishing trips) during the week when the rest of us are working and still be as much or more part of the community weekends. Plus if you have school age children you will be in great demand for short school days, sports team practices and other early afternoon things that wreak working parents schedules.
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
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Glad to hear to this has been a non-issue for everyone so far. One friend, same as as me, had his 3rd kid a couple of years ago and jokingly says that he'll be working till he's 80. Maybe I'll do some babysitting in my spare time.
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:32 PM   #11
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this conversation came up when i first quit working. at that time i argued that my friends were of such high quality that i would never have this problem. i will be retired two years in august and already it is a much bigger problem then i ever would have believed based on the testimony of others.

one friend who has known me for 20 years, who always knew of my family situation, who knew that i wouldn't always have to work, who watched me take care of my mom till her dying day, who seemed so happy for me that i was able to escape the pressure of work when my life was crashing down around me, eventually said to me during what would become one of our too many arguments: "you don't know what it is like to have to work every day."

she said it with such conviction, denying my 30 plus years in the workforce, that i could not even believe what i was hearing. i really thought they would be happier for me than they turned out to be. but life changes can reveal the core of a person.

i had another friend, one who was my favorite cousin, who acted like my best friend when i showed her a good time. when i had family here and we took her boating and my mom threw family dinners. we were her nearest family so we took her in as a sister. but when the ol'man died and we stopped boating, and then mom came down with alzheimer's and my life got so difficult, my cousin became scarce and now she is gone.

one disappeared when my life got hard and the other left when i came into financial abundance. one a fair weather friend, the other stormy. one here just for a good time, the other only in my life when she perceived mine as miserable as she perceives her own.

you never really see a person when you judge them by circumstance. only by their words and actions will they be known.
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:35 PM   #12
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I'm just wondering what any other early retirees out there have to say about how their ER affected relationships with non-ER'd friends. Any jealousy or hard feelings to work through?
ER is a great tool to distinguish your true friends from your acquaintances & co-workers.

The first will express happiness for your success and maybe ask you for advice or help (wait for them to ask). You guys will continue your relationship as you have in the past because their work and your ER won't get in the way of a beautiful friendship.

The other two will express the jealousy & hard feelings, but you don't have to care because you probably won't ever see them again. They won't even ask you about it because they know that you couldn't have done it on your own-- you must've received an inheritance or won the lottery or you're living in a dumpster.

ER is a great time to pursue your interests, and that includes adding friends!
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:39 PM   #13
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i FIREd at age 48. i hope you get your dream!

it all depends on the friend. i get a mix of reactions. some are very happy for me, some are openly envious and ask how did i do it?, some look at me like i robbed a bank or something or have a printing press in my basement. <shhhhhhhh> LOL
most friends who were also coworkers kept in touch very well for the first 6 months, but that has dropped off rapidly in the last 5 months. not unexpected. we no longer have the shackles in common.
older retirees are unique with their reactions. they still act like i'm working, or think i'm just taking a short sabbatical. like it's just a lark and not real cuz of my age. oh well...hate to break to ya folks, but this is the real deal.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
this conversation came up when i first quit working. at that time i argued that my friends were of such high quality that i would never have this problem. i will be retired two years in august and already it is a much bigger problem then i ever would have believed based on the testimony of others. i really thought they would be happier for me than they turned out to be. but life changes can reveal the core of a person.


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ER is a great tool to distinguish your true friends from your acquaintances & co-workers.


Freebird
Quote:
it all depends on the friend. i get a mix of reactions.


Our experience falls in line with these fine people’s. Granted, we retired in 1991 at the age of 38 (the ER ‘movement’ was quite new at that time so there were no references for making this choice.) I think our friends and family were pretty much shocked more than anything else. Their responses reflected where they were, more than what our choice was.

Although my Father was deliciously happy for us (He wished he could have done the same thing at our age) my Mother thought we had become ‘bums’. Who gives up perfectly good jobs and a house near the ocean to go traveling for cryin’ out loud? Billy’s brother thought the same thing.

‘Everyone’ looked for us to come crawling back begging for jobs. After a couple of years, when we continued this lifestyle and didn’t have to find work to pay for it, those who truly cared for us began to understand and were happy for us. Those who were simply jealous or took it as an affront to their own choices of lifestyle fell to the wayside.

We speak about this at length in our book in the Peer Pressure chapter.

Ultimately, you must live your life and to continuously seek the approval of others simply doesn’t work.

Best to you and good luck!
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:15 PM   #15
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I would think your daytime activities would lead you to a new circle of friends.
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ER is a great tool to distinguish your true friends from your acquaintances & co-workers.......

ER is a great time to pursue your interests, and that includes adding friends!
Since I ER'd last Spring, I've still been able to keep in touch with the former co-w*rkers that I want to, and have allowed the other ones to drift off into oblivion. I've also become friends with a couple of guys that were hired after my departure....they're great guys and we share some similar non-w*rk related interests. I've also been actively pursuing some new interests, as well as renewing some old interests, and in the process have made a boat load of new friends.....various ages.....various backgrounds....and all neat people!

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We are more concerned about the reaction of some family members.
I don't have a lot of family or relatives, but most all of them have been happy that I could ER so young! There's only one that was/is not overly happy about my ER, but that's only because of her poor retirement planning. She has never been a LBYM-type, spent every nickel she could ever get her hands on, has no retirement savings of any sort that I'm aware of, and, until last year, has never had a job that offered any retirement benefits of any kind (pension, 401k, insurance, etc). She's currently planning on w*rking until she's 68-70, in order to be financially able to retire with a pension and benefits.

She has set a prime example for her kids though! They've all learned by her mistakes, and are all living just the opposite lifestyle! All are LBYM-types, save every cent they can, and are saving and investing for their own ER. I don't see any them w*rking beyond their early 40's because they need to.....they may w*rk at something they love because they want to....but not because they need to. (they admired my ability to ER!)
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:30 PM   #16
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Hmmm - I can only echo the thoughts already expressed in this thread. The biggest spread from jealously(daggers) to good for you was when I went back as a big bucks jobshopper for a year after two years out.

Not to be a turd in the punch bowl - but going into my 15th year of ER and post Katrina - that old gang of mine is dropping like flies - especially those in their 60's and 70's, one in her 50's.

So if you are serious about ER - get cracking don't wait.

heh heh heh - follow your bliss - and like minds/friends will appear.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:26 PM   #17
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heh heh heh - follow your bliss - and like minds/friends will appear.
AMEN!
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:47 AM   #18
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Knowing that most of my friends work hard for the money and are no doubt envious of my retirement i just try not to bring the subject up and really avoid making retirement jokes when in the presence of working people,they may laugh but I'm sure they don't appreciate the rubbing it in attitude.
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:28 AM   #19
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There was a little bit of jealousy from an older sister but not much, I think it was more that it made her realize the passage of time that her little brother was retired.

All seemed to feel "You earned it" after 29+ in law enforcement. There is an alumni association that I keep in touch with people I worked with. Some went for other jobs, some went fishing.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:58 AM   #20
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....... that her little brother was retired.
That's a part of my sibling's unhappiness with my ER......I'm 6 years younger than her....I'm da baby of da family!
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