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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 07:17 AM   #21
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

My reply, at times, has been "Whatever I want, whenever I want". Of course I take into consideration the personality of the person asking the question.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 10:46 AM   #22
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Quote:
I think it matters a lot what you are trying to do. if you live pretty well and are young, saying you are retired often means you are rich, you are crazy, or you are a drug dealer.
I agree with Mikey, and disagree somewhat with the mentality of the author of "Your money or your life".

My thinking here is whether you have something to be ashamed of when asked "What do you do" is just going to depend.

Right now, i'm thinking of driving through main street of the small town in Arkansas i'm from, and all of those old, white faded painted, houses that those likely decrepid peope live in. I bet a lot of those poor families could take what i'm worth even today, and subsist on that for the next 40 years.

Would that be something i'd feel good about telling someone? That I dont work and because of it, I live in a poor, rundown house, cant afford anything, and have nothing to be proud of? Hell no.

I plan to retire in my mid 50s, but it will be with dignity. My house will be respectible, my car will not be rusting, I will be able to eat at a fine restaurant on occasion, I will be able to afford vacations here and there, etc etc. If I cannot do/own those things without working, then IMHO I "should" be working or i'm selling myself short.

Hey I'm all for ER, but I think there's a point where lazy and just plain half-ass is what it is. Surely there's a balance for "earning" your ER yet maintaining some self dignity.

When i get there, I will just answer "Sir/Ma'am, if you're asking me about a job, I'm retired".

Azanon
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 11:50 AM   #23
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Azanon

One of those raggity houses, a good old rusty truck, one or two muttly dogs, Dickies coveralls/white fisherman's boots - ah the good life.

Flying under the radar - LBYM - even in retirement - fits my quirky mental mindset. Alas, got an actual computer for Christmas - even though I could free up the keyboard of my webtv by taping the corner on the floor when the keys stuck a little.

Next came DSL lite, Direct TV, the step daughter in spare room (with income), cell phone.

And, and - the area is undergoing the start of gentrification.

After eleven years in ER, it's been suggested that perhaps it's time to stop saving for 'old age' and spend up to at least household income. At age 61 - hmmm maybe?

I still like cheap.

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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:05 PM   #24
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

unclemick2,

But look at it from my perspective. *Isnt it a bible verse that says "To those whom much has been given, much is expected" *or something like that?

I was born with a silver spoon lodged in my mouth, given all the advantages of proper rearing, sent to college, had great genetics for being able to learn, and went on to earn a MA in biology.

If i just up and quit 5 years from now, bought one of those decrepid houses in my small hometown, sold my car and bought a beater, and lived on peanuts, then every single person, including my wife, would be very disappointed in me.

I have every reason to be better off than that, and if i just up and did that, i think i'd disrespect my family, especially my parents. I could just hear them now... ".... to have such a great family, boy did he turn out to be a loser!"

Now i'm not saying I'm not planning on ER, cause i am, and i make no apologies there. *But I'm am saying I don't think we can just void all expectations others have of me (us). *Surely, there is a happy medium somewhere in there?
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:22 PM   #25
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Quote:
unclemick2,


If i just up and quit 5 years from now, bought one of those decrepid houses in my small hometown, sold my car and bought a beater, and lived on peanuts, then every single person, including my wife, would be very disappointed in me.

I have every reason to be better off than that, and if i just up and did that, i think i'd disrespect my family, especially my parents. *I could just hear them now... ".... to have such a great family, boy did he turn out to be a loser!"
I gotta say that you are not likely to get a favorable hearing on this here. Frankly, if doing what makes me happy disappoints some people, fcuk 'em. Its pretty sad if you cannot see your way to do what you want because of what others might think or say.

Now, personally, I'd rather live a slightly higher lifestyle than the rusty car, so I a likely to choose to retire after I have accumulated enough to do so. But that's a question of pleasing myself, not hewing to others' preferences.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:28 PM   #26
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Quote:
There are also expectations of myself of maintaing *certain standard of living.

But if the Financial Markets tumble into negative returns for the next 30 years, I have run the Trout Bum in a trailer in Montana lifestyle past the wife. 8) - She says she'll still love me.
I could adjust to being white trailer trash in Montana
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:34 PM   #27
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Quote:
Its pretty sad if you cannot see your way to do what you want because of what others might think or say.
But are they completely wrong is the real question? *I studied for a crapload of tests, pulled a many an all-nighters to get to where I am. *"I" would question me if i pulled the trigger on what i have now prematurly, to the point that i had to significantly downgrade my life as a result of it.

I'm saying I think there is some happy medium for all of us depending on your circumstance. *I think if you're talented, earned the degrees, and were given special breaks esp from the sacrifices made by others, then people almost have a right to expect "something" from you, especially if they helped put you in that position.

I guess you can still say f'em, but that won't make you right.

Are the only choices the extremes? 65+ or in your 30s? Whatever happened to balance?
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:38 PM   #28
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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But are they completely wrong is the real question? *I studied for a crapload of tests, pulled a many an all-nighters to get to where I am. *"I" would question me if i pulled the trigger on what i have now prematurly, to the point that i had to significantly downgrade my life as a result of it.

I'm saying I think there is some happy medium for all of us depending on your circumstance. *I think if you're talented, earned the degrees, and were given special breaks esp from the sacrifices made by others, then people almost have a right to expect "something" from you, especially if they helped put you in that position.

I guess you can still say f'em, but that won't make you right.
If they have such rights, then make out a check and be done with it. There is no reason to be miserable just because someone else feels you owe them something in some ill-defined way. Tell me: who determines what makes you happy? You or other people?

And, yes, I can say fcuk 'em, and if I am confident in my course, I would be right. In any case, achieving FIRE ought to be accomplishment enough for anyone.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:40 PM   #29
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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Now i'm not saying I'm not planning on ER, cause i am, and i make no apologies there. *But I'm am saying I don't think we can just void all expectations others have of me (us). *Surely, there is a happy medium somewhere in there?
Azanon, a lot depends on one's individual personality. I think many of us here are what are often called ornery b*astards. We have somewhat weird ways of seeing the world and its social mores. Since the majority here seem to be this way, it is easy to begin to feel that it the way one ought to be.

I would much rather have discovered a vaccine for Herpes, say, than to have done what I did which is actually not a helluvalot. But I wasn't smart enough, or dedicated enough, or I was too lazy, too pleasure seeking, etc.

Horses for courses. If you are reasonably happy, I think you have a good high road and I respect you for it.

Many of us here are old farts (regardless of chronological age) with an ability to live cheaply and make reasonable investment decisions. Not bad at all, but not exactly society's benefactors either.

Some people just have a strong F-U streak, just like some people are tall or short. Nothing much can be done about it, from what I have seen and personally experienced in myself. If you get chills when you hear "Take This Job and Shove It", you are probably this type.

Still, I at least would never hold it up as a goal for any young person.

Once my Dad said to me, "You have done less of what you didn't want to do than any man I have ever known." Now that is a very mixed message, but I took it as a compliment!

Mikey

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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:44 PM   #30
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

I'm definitely in the ornery bastard category.

My wife told me last night that she hopes little Gabes first words arent "Jesus H f***ing Christ!"


I told her he might leave the "H" out, but if he didnt, he's 1/26th of the way to learning the alphabet!
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:50 PM   #31
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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In any case, achieving FIRE ought to be accomplishment enough for anyone.
My initial point is just that; I bet hundreds of folks living in those decrepid houses back from my small hometown are "FIRE'd". They may feel accomplishment for being one of those folks, but I know i'm not impressed at all. The masses do that.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:55 PM   #32
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Well

I'll be the first to admit to a "artsy fartsy" element in all of this - after all I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, sorta liberal and my Depression Era father fell briefly under the influence of "Five Acres and Independance" after WW II - before he joined the consumerism of the late 50's and 60's.

Some of the more extreme elements of the LBYM genre border on cult status.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 12:58 PM   #33
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Quote:

My initial point is just that; I bet hundreds of folks living in those decrepid houses back from my small hometown are "FIRE'd". *They may feel accomplishment for being one of those folks, but I know i'm not impressed at all. *The masses do that.
OK, go right ahead and try to impress people. Buy a Lexus, move to a ritzy 'hood, vacation on the Riviera, etc. Have a ball, if it makes you happy.

Just seems like a rather sad and pathetic life to me.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 01:15 PM   #34
 
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Hello brewer! Good post, but I understand where
azanon was coming from. I struggle with this all the
time. After decades of "livin' large", we just don't do it now (can't really). However, the lure is till there, and so
I continue to have a style ideal which must be met.
OTOH, I know that I could go the other way and even approach subsistence living. This is a big advantage(knowing how far you can cut). However, I am an all-or- nothing guy (always have been). So, I either keep up the UMC facade, or fade back into the woods. It could go either way. Stay tuned

JG
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-22-2005, 04:26 PM   #35
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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OK, go right ahead and try to impress people. Buy a Lexus, move to a ritzy 'hood, vacation on the Riviera, etc. Have a ball, if it makes you happy.
Just seems like a rather sad and pathetic life to me.
Hi Brewer, give the guy a break. If he wants to work another 5, 10 or more years to get all upper middle class trappings that the masses can't afford, that's his choice and privelege. For his sake, let's hope that he can live long past his retirement to continue to enjoy them. Besides, let's not forget if he continues to work and they increase the FICA ceiling, he'll continue to contribute even more to our SS retirement fund.

MJ
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 03:52 AM   #36
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

I'm just suggesting that I think it makes sense to consider some degree of balance with a goal of ER. *You can still ER, but do so in such a way as to not be excessively recklass. *If it takes that extra 5-10 years to have peace of mind, to have "enough" as Dominequez (sp) says, then so be it. *He did say "enough" is not going to be the same for everyone. *As i said, I was raised in a well-off family, so I'm "cursed" with being used to comfortable living.

The radical ones going for your 30s, all i can say is more power to you. *Those of you clearly want ER more than me. *By all means, enjoy that 15 year old Cavalier. *Also, dont forgot to pay your annual terminx bill. *Those roaches falling from the ceiling are a bitch.

I noticed the website owner claims he retired at 31 or thereabouts yet does speaking engagements for no less than 25K a pop. *I seriously doubt this guy is living in one of those homes I speak of.

Back on topic, if you cant just say "I'm retired" and feel right about it, then maybe you should do a little soul searching to see if some of what I said applies to you.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 05:03 AM   #37
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

>>then people almost have a right to expect "something" from you, especially if they helped put you in that position.

What a very strange way of thinking...nobody has any "right" to expect anything from you...the best you can hope for out of life is to be happy, if the people around you aren't content to see you happy (at whatever income level that is) then you have the wrong people around you.

I for one ER'ed in my 30's so I could spend time with my kids while they are still young enough to think I am cool. Does anyone think that in 30 years I'll regret spending time with my kids and I would have been better off in a fancier house, newer car, better clothes? and have all my kids be strangers to me?

Everyone on of my wifes siblings lives in a nicer neighborhood then me, bigger/fancier house, newer cars, better TV, nicer clothes....and they all 50-60-70 hours a week and only see there kids on the weekends if they are lucky.

Your decision about when to ER should have absolutely nothing to do about what "others" think about what you should/could.should have/could have accomplished with your life. They don't have to live your life, you do. Of course your *immediate* families need/wants needs to be factored in, but nobody beyond that has any say in how I life my life.

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Old 02-23-2005, 05:26 AM   #38
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ER's a commitment, not a compromise.

Thanks, Cut-Throat, I stand corrected on the personal cards. It's a fine reason to ensure that people know how to contact you!

While I disagree with Greaney's moderator behavior, I think that charging high fees for public speaking is the first test of the customer's commitment. And $15K isn't very much for that gig.

[rant]

But as for the rest of this thread-- geez, what a pathetic debate, and I mean that in the inoffensive dictionary sense of both words.

If you can't proudly proclaim to all your friends, family, & neighbors: "I'm retired!" then you should shred your ER membership card and report to the nearest cubicle for re-education retraining. "You're hired!"

No wonder ER gets a bad name-- the population appears to be poisoned with people ashamed to admit it or at best confusing others by playing word games. I confess to using "In the event of what?" with those who've had a few too many, but after that smart-assed icebreaker I usually straighten out and simply say "I'm retired".

That's led to some of the best conversations and friendships I've ever had-- kinda like this board but in person instead of through a modem. You may conclude that the "ER stigma" attracts a crowd of moochers & enviers, but I don't know how to tell that it's associated with ER and not with something else. I do know that if ER is professed furtively & with a connotation of shame, then you've earned the reaction that you get.

Look at the paradox-- or the tragedy. You ER because you want something better than a "working life". Then you're unhappy & lonely because others disapprove. So you stop discussing ER and no one knows why you're unhappy. No one knows you're unhappy at all because you no longer have friends or acquaintances-- no wonder you're lonely!

If you can't afford to maintain your lifestyle or your possessions to YOUR standards-- not HGTV or MTV-- then don't ER. But if you can afford your ER standards, then you'll find that you have the time & energy to see that it's done right. Whenever we start a new home-improvement project I try to imagine how I ever got this done during my working years. Nights, weekends, & vacations were not meant to be spent trying to cram in upgrades at the expense of family time.

Real friends don't disappear when you ER. Outside of your spouse & kids, if your family doesn't approve then your best approach is to quietly mention that you feel you've done what's best for you & your family, and that you'd appreciate their support-- or at least their civility. (If your immediate family doesn't support your ER then you have other problems.) And my neighbors are thrilled to know that we're around while they're slaving away. Our house is the kid hangout (I think kids endorse the ER lifestyle) and I'm happy to lend neighbors a tool or a hand.

As for the moochers, if you didn't loan them money during your working years then you don't have to loan them money now. If you feel guilted into it by your "good luck" (e.g., hard work) then donate the "loan" to charity. When one of these people says "Oooh, you must be rich!" I reply "Yes, in time but not in assets." When you offer to help with your time instead of your money then you'll quickly find out what type of friend they really are.

If they're envious, you can try "Well, it's a personal choice and it's not for everyone." That implies you're either making a sacrifice (by "only" raising one kid) or that they're still working because they're better at it than you are. (They'll certainly have more practice!) Don't worry if that first attempt doesn't work because these people aren't worth a second attempt.

The "workers" whom I tremendously respect are those who tell me "Well, I'm sorry that you haven't found your avocation". They're "working" because they're having too much fun to do anything else, and they understand ERs better than anyone. I tell them "You're right, I didn't find an avocation until I ER'd." They understand that too. And we usually become good friends-- which is ironic considering that they're so busy working.

On of the most interesting things I've learned in my tae kwon do dojong is that occupation is irrelevant. No one cares about your work skills-- especially if you can't hit a decent roundkick. The socializing is about TKD tournaments, advancement tests, how our TKD kids are doing, and how ibuprofen consumption seems to be directly proportional to age.

Now everyone go look in your mirrors. If you can't say "I'm ER'd!" or "I'm going to ER!" with a smile on your face, then it's not society's problem-- it's yours. You need to get back to work, and maybe to get a life.

[/rant]
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 05:48 AM   #39
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

I couldn't be prouder that I have been able to retire at 55 with the financial security to live the life style I choose. When asked what I do, I do not hesitate to say that my wife and I are both retired and enjoying life. If the questioner is younger then I am more than willing to discuss how I was able to accomplish this. As to the question of "what do you do all day?" my answer is "whatever I feel like doing". If the questioner is older their reaction usually is something like "man, I wish I could retire but I'll probably have to work until I drop!".

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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 06:32 AM   #40
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Is your wife working FarmerED? *If anyone in your household is working, big deal if you ER'ed. *Someone's earning the money.

Retiring in one's 30s with no one bringing home any income is highly suspect to me. *I mean, damn, you could live another 50 years. *I've seen financial advisors talk about the risk of retiring with a 30 year outlook (instead of the more typical 20-25 year one) and they state it can be quite risky. *I could just see their jaw drop if asked to analize a 50 year retirement!

I'll say this much, if someone retired in their 30s, you better at least be a millionairre, or have some other form of alternate income, or I guarantee you you will be going back to work or you will be roughing it bigtime. *Granted, if you have terminal cancer, that's another situation alltogether. A mil's probably plenty for the frugile retiree quitting in his mid 50s or later, but 30s?

So it blows my mind someone can make enough money by their 30s to be able to live off of that for another 50 years. *Throw compounding out the door, cause you didn't work long enough to reap any (real) benefits of compounding.
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