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What do most people get wrong about ER?
Old 12-15-2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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What do most people get wrong about ER?

You're at some event, and the people you're talking to find out you're retired. They likely look surprised (after all, you're relatively young and look even younger than your age!), and then they ask you questions based on their assumptions. What have you found most people get wrong about ER?
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
You're at some event, and the people you're talking to find out you're retired. They likely look surprised (after all, you're relatively young and look even younger than your age!), and then they ask you questions based on their assumptions. What have you found most people get wrong about ER?
Maybe nothing. But let's have fun and assume that being OTHERS, THEY must be wrong.

Ha
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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Three things:

1.) They think you have to be rich. Wrong. You just have to live below your means.

2.) They think you will be bored. Maybe some people will be bored, but most of us find plenty of things to do to occupy our time. I suggest we end up doing a lot of those things we didn't have time to do while we worked.

3.) They think you will rot away (no doubt while lazily rocking on the porch with the mind and body completely disengaged for most of the day). The reality is that most of us use the extra time to improve our healthy and do more and different things.

My 2 cents. YMMW.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
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I find most folks are so jealous that that clouds their questions.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:15 PM   #5
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They think you care about their opinions of what you choose to do with your life.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:19 PM   #6
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then they ask you questions based on their assumptions

They ask these questions now knowing you're (the general "you're" and not OP specifically) a pompous ass needing your ego stroked?
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:04 PM   #7
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Maybe nothing. But let's have fun and assume that being OTHERS, THEY must be wrong.
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They ask these questions now knowing you're (the general "you're" and not OP specifically) a pompous ass needing your ego stroked?
Yikes!
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:11 PM   #8
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Looks like the OP hit a sensitive area.
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What do most people get wrong about ER?
Old 12-15-2014, 04:25 PM   #9
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What do most people get wrong about ER?

Almost all the comments I get are "what do you do all day" related. A few financial questions. Some misunderstand SWR concepts and what it takes to "let go" of their jobs. I find that I'm bonding more with our retired friends and less with our working friends since I retired.


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Old 12-15-2014, 04:35 PM   #10
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I don't get a lot of reactions from folk. I either get -

1) a minimal reaction - a simple acknowledgement to the fact I have just told them I don't work anymore, with little response beyond that. This is fine, as I understand that I have a lifestyle they are not realistically interested in. I wouldn't expect anyone to ask questions about anything that wouldn't appear to have much relevance to them,

2) a simple response, along the lines of "that must be nice", "oooh, lucky you" or something similar, or -

3) very occasionally, someone asks a little more about how I achieved ER. My neighbor recently started asking questions. He's 30 yrs old and working as a firefighter. He'll be receiving a pension from the state, but wanted to know some basics of investing so that he'll be able to supplement his pension. His knowledge is minimal, but he's interested, and knows what questions to ask. It's great to come across a friend who wants to get his financial life in shape. He has already mastered the first part of the plan by being fairly frugal. It's part of his personality. I call it frugality, while he calls it simply, "not spending money on bullsh*t."

I think he'll do well

For the record, I don't think that ER is really that misunderstood. Rather, I think that most folk aren't that interested. By this, I mean that they are not interested enough to follow the process. Most of us wouldn't say no to 100 million dollars, but few of us are genuinely interested, such that we will take the steps necessary to get that kind of money in our accounts. Likewise, I don't think most people are that interested in ER, which is totally fine.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:47 PM   #11
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In all honesty, I have to admit I took the stealth approach.

I retired at 55, but I told people I simply switched to being a self-employed consultant. Since I traveled a lot, it was easy to pass trips off as consulting gigs.

I was being semi-honest, since I actually did a bit of consulting, but it was strictly a hobby and I never made more than $10K a year at it.

Once I reached 65, I finally started admitting to being retired, but at that age I didn't get any awkward questions.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:58 PM   #12
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They think you care about their opinions of what you choose to do with your life.


heh heh heh -
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:09 PM   #13
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In all honesty, I have to admit I took the stealth approach.
I can't remember ever wanting or needing to hide the fact I was no longer working. It just didn't seem to come up very often and when it did, it was no big deal.
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I retired at 55,
I didn't RE until 58 and that might account for differences. But, again, not working a regular, traditional gig isn't that uncommon among our friends and relatives so my stepping out of the harness just didn't raise eyebrows, generate questions or become the subject of discussions.
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Once I reached 65, I finally started admitting to being retired, but at that age I didn't get any awkward questions.
I'm 67 now and have been fully retired going on 9 years. I still have a handful of ex-employees who use me as a reference. I've reminded them that it's getting tougher and tougher for me to have much to say about them since our professional relationship ended with my departure almost 9 years ago. Other than that, there just aren't many circumstances where my employment status has ever come up. Certainly I haven't been one to bring it up.
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:25 PM   #14
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We just say we work at home. No one else really knows how many hours we put in between us each week. It could be 1 or 100.

In one club they call us the babies but they are all retired so what do they really care. They just don't get many people our age in their mostly day time activities so they are surprised we are so much younger than most of the other members.
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:49 PM   #15
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They think it must be boring because you don't really have anything to do……….

And that you just sit around all day (in front of the TV), so you're not getting any exercise like you would be if you were working.

But these are mostly opinions that I've read in articles about the downside to retirement, written by people who aren't retired. I have gotten comments that indicate that some working people really can't imagine what they would do with themselves if they were retired, so they are a bit mystified by the whole idea.
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Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:50 PM   #16
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Told a neighbor that I was retired, today. Comment was "you're lucky". I just agreed.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:13 PM   #17
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Don't ER for another 11 10 weeks (with every Monday off, every other Friday off, and a 7 1/2 paid workdays holiday break!) Have told absolutely everyone (well, except my boss, who will find out 1/5). Almost every reaction has been one of surprise. For the most part, people have actually been impressed, probably because I'm impressed as there were many times this past year I wasn't sure how I would make it.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:42 PM   #18
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Here's something from the other side.


DW & I (not RE'd yet) play at least over 100 rounds of golf per year. We meet a lot of new golfers in doing so. When they find out we play so many rounds per year, some of them immediately assume we are retired. "So, you are retired, eh?" is a typical response. Then I see all kind of facial reactions & body languages of envy, puzzled (you don't have that aura of being well off), and you are lying (you can't be old enough to retire).
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:40 PM   #19
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I kept getting suggestions for jobs I could do, like work in a ski shop or on ski patrol, since obviously I must be bored and/or need some income. Finally I just started replying incredulously "Why would I want to do that"
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:00 PM   #20
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I kept getting suggestions for jobs I could do, like work in a ski shop or on ski patrol, since obviously I must be bored and/or need some income. Finally I just started replying incredulously "Why would I want to do that"
We get the helpful suggestion that we could sell our photos pretty often.

It's really meant as a compliment on the quality of our photos. But sometimes is a helpful suggestion that we could increase our income. Some folks really feel compelled to advise us to make money at what we are good at.

I sometimes jokingly answer "but that would be work!", which sometimes gets a chuckle. Occasionally I explain that we like taking the photos and sharing them, but we don't care to spend time doing the tasks required to actually market and sell them.
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Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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