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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 06:42 AM   #41
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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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.
Hey, balance is great. I don't plan on retiring until my mid-40s because I need to provide adequately for my kids and build up enough capital to sustain my chosen standard of life. What I object to is the notion that I or anyone else needs to justify our choices to people not directly involved in the ER decision or society at large. If you want to work until you have enough ducats to live a pimpin' lifestyle, I don't have a problem with that. However, if you are slaving for the man just to keep up appearances, you'd be lucky to even deserve my scorn.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 06:58 AM   #42
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

I guess it just comes down to respect for me, brewer. *As i said, a lot of people make sacrifices for me to have an edge in this world. *On some levels, i feel accountable to yield a harvest of fruit from the seeds planted by those that love me. *So you could be in my situation, and just say thinks for all the handouts and sacrifices, i'm just going to kick back and enjoy it. *I just cant do that.

You can have pride in yourself all day long, but no matter how hard you try, that isn't going to change others minds. *If you're in your 30s-40s and you cant think of one tangible thing to tell someone how you're contributing to society, you will not be seen favorably. *Maybe that doesn't bother you, but the fact of what they're going to think will remain just the same. * And, hey, i certainly recognize any tangible contribution, such as raising your kids.

Again, going back to "your money or you life" which i just read, i dont recall the author ever stating to shorten your retirement date so you dont have to do anything. *He suggested retiring early so you could contribute to society and the earth in other ways. *But that he was always going to contribute, was a given for him.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 09:15 AM   #43
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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I guess it just comes down to respect for me, brewer. *As i said, a lot of people make sacrifices for me to have an edge in this world. *On some levels, i feel accountable to yield a harvest of fruit from the seeds planted by those that love me. *So you could be in my situation, and just say thinks for all the handouts and sacrifices, i'm just going to kick back and enjoy it. *I just cant do that.

You can have pride in yourself all day long, but no matter how hard you try, that isn't going to change others minds. *If you're in your 30s-40s and you cant think of one tangible thing to tell someone how you're contributing to society, you will not be seen favorably. *Maybe that doesn't bother you, but the fact of what they're going to think will remain just the same. * And, hey, i certainly recognize any tangible contribution, such as raising your kids.

Again, going back to "your money or you life" which i just read, i dont recall the author ever stating to shorten your retirement date so you dont have to do anything. *He suggested retiring early so you could contribute to society and the earth in other ways. *But that he was always going to contribute, was a given for him.
So you believe we were put on earth to be production units, yielding a return on investment for parents, etc.? Sorry, I can't imagine seeing things that way. I espcially don't get this whole "contributing" thing. You realy think the only legitimate way to "contribute" is by remaining a wage slave? That's certainly not my bag.

Plenty of other ways to live your life, and most of them not nearly as pathetic as cringing at the tought of "what will they think?" all the time.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 09:28 AM   #44
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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You realy think the only legitimate way to "contribute" is by remaining a wage slave? *That's certainly not my bag.
Pay attention. *Last sentence, second paragraph of my last post. *That's exactly what I didn't say.

Quote:
Plenty of other ways to live your life, and most of them not nearly as pathetic as cringing at the tought of "what will they think?" all the time.
I guess not caring what anyone thinks about you is certainly an option. *Not the option I, and most others choose, but its an option for sure! *Have fun with that.

I care what a lot of people think; *my wife, my parents, my son, my siblings, my family, my friends, etc. *If you void people, what are you left with. *I would think not very much.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 10:31 AM   #45
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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I guess it just comes down to respect for me, brewer. *As i said, a lot of people make sacrifices for me to have an edge in this world. *On some levels, i feel accountable to yield a harvest of fruit from the seeds planted by those that love me. *So you could be in my situation, and just say thinks for all the handouts and sacrifices, i'm just going to kick back and enjoy it. *I just cant do that.
Azanon, you have generated some truly heated responses to your ideas. I think this is because you hit some bare nerves.

I like to give things the evolutionary test. If I can imagine Thor and Emma sitting around the fire somewhere along the Rhine saying or feeling what is being proposed, then I figure maybe it makes sense. But all I can imagine Thor and Emma and their neighbors thinking is pretty much what you have put forward.

Thor and Emma have a responsibility to the group. They will be respected, and earn benefits in proportion to the amount of meat Thor brings home, and the amount and quality of herbs ands roots Emma finds. Plus Thor's story telling ability, and Emma's childbearing prowess and skill as an herbalist. And on and on.

This is also how most people think today, even in America. Practically everyone in Asia thinks this way. They can't truly banish you from the tribe if you sit at home and play with kids instead of going to work the way the tribe could throw out Thor and Emma if Thor seemed to be getting a bit queasy at the prospect of facing another mastodon. But they can get the point across, to you or your kids.

I think probably most people here are thick skinned enough to ignore this, or don't live in the sorts of places where anybody would likely know much one way or the other about what they are doing. The guy who started this thread, Ben, is Scandinavian. Those are small countries which retain much of the old approaches.

It is totally beyond my ability to understand why anyone would hold up early retirement as a goal for others. ER is a good solution to work the way divorce is a good solution to marriage. Sometimes the best alternative, but not exactly a goal for most people. ER may be fun for many of us, but like Azanon says, 50 years is a long time to be without the flexibility conferred by current earnings.

Obviously very early retirement is only possible because people in certain occupations can generate very high earnings without accepting the socialization that usually comes with high earning positions. It is very definitely a minority possibility. I can think of lots of ways to derail it too. For one, adoption of asset taxes rather than income or production taxes. Not likely, but it has been proposed.

Anyway, to the extent that anyone cares, I would say if you hate your work and don't see the possibility of different work or different feelings toward what you have, by all means go for FIRE. In fact, go for FI in any case. It can't hurt anyone to get FI- it is truly a great feeling.

But to say someone who wants the respect of his community, who wants to deliver on the trust put in him, and the money spent on him is deserving of scorn is in my mind a statement that can only come from deep denial. Some people chafe under social expectations. They will know what to do. Others could consider themselves lucky and take the high road.

Personal note- I wish this described me. But in fact I am a classic work malcontent. Pretty much all aspects of organizational life annoyed me intensely. At the same time I was too lazy to be a good entrpreneur. Early on I gravitated toward investing, so here I am. But I have noticed that I am more comfortable socially since my kids are grown and my hair is gray.

Mikey
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 10:34 AM   #46
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Azanon, I certainly respect your feeling of obligation to do right by those who sacraficed to give you opportunities in life. *I think that is great, and judging only by your philsophy regarding that, I believe they have reason to be very proud right now. I say do your thing...

I find myself saying the same thing as Brewer. *I am making my own way, and while I will forever appreciate the opportunities afforded me, as long as I am not interfering with anyone else's pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, they cannot pass judgment on my chosen path. *If someone thinks my FI and/or ER is not living up to expectations, they can go pound sand.


As far as what to say if/when I reach that stage, there are days where it seems like I will never get there, let alone think about an answer to the question...
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 10:56 AM   #47
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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Azanon, you have generated some truly heated responses to your ideas. I think this is because you hit some bare nerves.
As much as i've tried, there's nothing i can do about that. I think it has something to do with my personality(strong INTJ), but i tend to say what I think with little or sometimes no regard for how it will be received. Truth to me (meaning what i really think) is so valueable to me, that I wont even compromise it on account of being tactful.

Re: your post, excellent as always Mikey. I think you captured there is no right or wrong with either of our viewpoints. As with so many things, it just depends on who you are and your situation.

Yeah you are pretty obviously talented, as i can just tell by your writing and thoughtfulness. But you know, if you have a comfortable retirement, then I certainly wouldn't be your judge.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 10:59 AM   #48
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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As far as what to say if/when I reach that stage, there are days where it seems like I will never get there, let alone think about an answer to the question...
I feel the same way. But you know by the time i do get there, I don't think i'll have any more problems with this contribution issue I brought up. I'm not going to pull the trigger with anything less than a mil, so surely I had to contribute quite a bit to save that much money.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 02:52 PM   #49
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

I don't get this whole "contribute to society" thing. If I was able to use my talents and/or my luck to generate a pile of net worth to live on for the rest of my life, didn't I already contribute enough to society? I'm not asking for a handout from anyone and I'm not asking for government welfare, and I'm not going around stealing to support myself, so what's the problem?

Even for those lucky enough to inherit the family fortune at age 18 and decide not to work anymore, what's wrong with that? They are still going to spend some or all of that money and put it back in the economy. And they are not taking a job away from someone else that may need it more.

This whole thing about contributing to society is way overblown. If I don't bother anyone and live within the law, I'm always contributing to society whether I work or not. If I go to the store and buy an apple with the money I saved, I'm contributing to society.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 03:00 PM   #50
 
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

Hello retire@40! I agree with every word of that post,
100%. Nicely done!

JG
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 03:07 PM   #51
 
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

This "contribute to society" thing is mostly an ego deal.

I hear it mostly from ex-CEOS, that have not come to grips that they are not 'important' any more. They never were, they just didn't know it at the time.

A lot of them try and start some major foundation and start fundraising. Mostly they are a pain in the ass (which is what they were in their previous life). Most of them were really needed at home taking care of their family and spending time with their friends.



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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 03:11 PM   #52
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

My reply to the question "what do you do?" depends on who's doing the askin. If I sense that people are a resentful and think that I should be workin at age 58 and that even in retirement I should be doing something, I love to say that I do as little as possible but when I get the time I eat chips and watch tv.

If they persist then I spring out my business card. I have a web site where I sell crystals and rocks mounted on exotic woods. If I start to peddle my wares they retreat quickly.

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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 05:28 PM   #53
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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If they persist then I spring out my business card. I have a web site where I sell crystals and rocks mounted on exotic woods. If I start to peddle my wares they retreat quickly.
Could you give the URL? I'd like to look at your stuff.

Mikey
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-23-2005, 06:38 PM   #54
 
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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.
4% of $1MM is $40000. You live in California, right?
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-24-2005, 01:53 PM   #55
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

As someone who arrived late to this party, WOW, I must say this thread sure did get interesting, at least based on the Topic, which I have spent some time thinking about.

I am still working so haven't faced the actual question yet, but spend considerable time evangalizing the FIRE concept in a very large office without much success. This group (ER boarders) is an extremely small minority of society, and a fascinating demgraphic to say the least, by far my favorite board on the Internet, and I try to read and contribute to many in my other areas of interest.

I agree with the posters that state that context is essential to giving the best answer, because frankly the reality is so many people just don't "get it". The ER thing is just such a foreign concept. Retirement age to your average Joe is usually 62 or thereabouts, based on that first year of SS eligibility. The more you count back from that, the stranger the idea becomes, until at some point their eyes glaze over, EXCEPT for the fortunate few that do 'get it'.

I work in a place where 10 years early, call it early 50's is very doable for nearly anyone that is motivated, yet hardly anyone does. I am very alone in my plans. Some smile at me, and ask a few questions as to how that can be possible, then realize that it would involve some sort of compromise in their current perceived lifestyle, and quickly decide it is just not possible for reasons that generally don't hold water. OK whatever floats your boat. Work 5 or 10 more years, stay in debt up to your ears, drive those two new cars, get the latest thing that Jones guy has, because your neighbors and friends, and relatives have 'em, and in the case of my coworkers, if their health holds out, they will be fine at 58 or 61 or 65. It will work for them, and they'll just be "retired"

Did they or I contribute to society? You betcha. Our jobs directly effect and improve the lives of others. This branch of this thread leaves me wondering what that has do with the price of rice, but I know in my heart of hearts that the work that I do, and the work that I did made a difference in people's lives and for the better. I just don't see what that has to do with what age I choose to change careers. Isn't ER just a different job after all. Low pay, but very flexible hours? Freedom to pursue other interests?

I don't have to earn a high salary or ANY salary to contribute to society, Do I? My hobbies are Art related. DW and I create glass and silver art and art jewerlry. I enjoy writing and performing music. Do I ever expect to make a dime of either of these endeavours? Nope. I intend to devote just as much time to them as they merit each and every day of ER, anywhere from hours to well, zero. If the thread question comes from someone that I don't know, I expect I'll say I'm and "artist" and see where the conversations goes. Anyone that I'm close to that I think might benefit from by ER diatribe will get both barrels, or until their eyes glaze over. I do think perception matters, and in some circles being preceived as too young to be 'unemployed' would make others uncomfortable. Depending on the situation, we may choose to avoid that effect, then again we may not.

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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-25-2005, 04:56 AM   #56
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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I agree with the posters that state that context is essential to giving the best answer, because frankly the reality is so many people just don't "get it". The ER thing is just such a foreign concept.

Better late than never JonnyM.

DW and I were having this very conversation over coffee this morning as we enter ER. And context is the key. In most situations DW and I have been in so far has been casual acquaintances asking, "Well, whatever will you do?". Not wanting to be bothered with keeping differing witty comeback stories straight. We simply say, "Not sure, were taking a year off to think about it." Everybody says, "Wow thats great. I wish I could do that."

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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-25-2005, 08:12 AM   #57
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

I've said it before, some days are so damn productive that I wish I could take a vacation. Mostly those are yardwork days.

Someday I'd like to meet two legends: (1) The guy who retires, in six months has his house looking like a real estate model and his yard looking like a golf course, and subsequently sits around moaning about how bored he is, and (2) the working-for-the-rest-of-his-sad-life guy who whines "But waddya DO all day?!?".

Then I'd lock those two into an airtight room and throw away the key...

Or maybe I just have my surfing priorities screwed up again.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-25-2005, 09:07 AM   #58
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

When most people ask this question, we respond with "We work part time out of our home". That's the end of that conversation. No one yet has said, "Wow, how interesting, tell me more about your part time job."

We've told a few friends that we are taking a couple of years off.

At 44, only our accountant knows the truth. And he had a hard time with it.

I agree with Mikey - if you tell people you are retired at 44, the next mental leap is, you must be rich, crazy or a drug dealer.
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-25-2005, 09:57 AM   #59
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

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I agree with Mikey - if you tell people you are retired at 44, the next mental leap is, you must be rich, crazy or a drug dealer.
If you are a drug dealer, then you are not retired. So, must just be rich and/or crazy!
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd
Old 02-25-2005, 11:11 AM   #60
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Re: What to reply to "what do you do?" when FIREd

mikey,

since we want to keep this message board free from commercial opportunists I think I'll refrain from posting my website's url for now.

Wonder what majority contributors to this board think about this?
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