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Old 04-18-2014, 06:53 PM   #41
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I think it's easier for women to say the R word, mainly because they aren't considered the bread winner, right or wrong.
Not for me. I think that people often think of a non-working woman as being someone who was a stay at home wife. And, I don't really want to be seen that way.

For me, I've just never understand families where the wife never worked (I understand stay at home parents especially for younger children, just not women who never worked during their entire marriage). I realize every situation is different so it may well have a great choice for the particular family. But - for me - I don't want someone to think I'm or was a stay at home wife.

I think because stay at home wives are very common where I am, I don't often get asked anything that would even cause me to have to talk about my occupation or retirement status. And, that bugs me a little. Again, that assuming thing.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:43 PM   #42
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I just returned from my 30 year college reunion. I had no qualms telling my old classmates I had retired and nobody expressed anything but congratulations and envy. In fact, I joked that my new job was to do whatever I can to make others jealous. Folks were fine with it, and no one asked how I did it.
On the other hand, when talking to those young undergrads, I felt uncomfortable telling them I had retired. I cannot completely explain it, but knowing how hard they have to work to get into my former profession, I felt weird telling them I had gotten sick of my job...I did not want to derail them, even though I recently saw a survey that quoted an unbelievable 90% of current people in my profession would NOT encourage anyone to go into our field. (Physician). Even if that is wildly exaggerated, I am uncomfortable discouraging future docs. Perhaps since they are coming up in the current system it won't seem as awful as it does to those of us who know a time when things were different.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:01 AM   #43
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The reason I don't like describing myself as retired is that I don't feel "retired" in the traditional sense of not working. I still work, just not for direct pay, and mostly for myself.

Among friends, I don't get the non-understanding of how I can do it financially because my situation is not that uncommon and plenty of them could be FI. Some have asked, "What do you do all day?" I get the sense that if they could figure that part out, they would RE.

When I'm out doing stuff during "working hours," I sometimes get the "Day off today?" question or something similar from people like the haircutter. My answer: "I'm working from home today."
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:19 AM   #44
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When I retire in a couple of years I will go out of my way to advertise that fact to some folks, especially the ones that always ragged on me for being cheap
49-55.

With others - 'unemployed layed off slacker'. After first pension check at 55 then I could go to monthly luncheon without raised eyebrows.

heh heh heh - also muddied the water with one yr of temp work and she worked an additional year at the same place. Many could not figure out why I had this silly grin all the time.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:19 AM   #45
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A relative retired early and let everyone know what a success he was to do so. There was lots of jealous grumbling. A few years later when his investments went bad, he barely stayed retired but got no sympathy and the jealous grumbling continued. He's not the only early retiree and not the only successful person in the family, but his high profile ER sure made him the target for ill feelings. I'm no where near as successful and not even ER yet, but I'll sure be taking a low profile when I do ER. No reason to risk that kind of jealous negative reaction.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:50 AM   #46
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I feel less comfortable describing myself as retired with my peers for the same reasons that you do - I don't want to be perceived as gloating nor do I want to make people feel bad that they are not in a position to retire.
+1.

Many coworkers have been thru one (some, two!) layoffs since I left my Fine Former Employer nearly four years ago. The biotech industry is in a very bad slump and many of them regret their career choices. I managed to move out of the research track some time ago, which is the main reason why I could RE. Anyways, I'd just as soon not make a big deal of it.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:56 AM   #47
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When I ER’d 3 yrs ago at age 55 I had no qualms about telling people I was retired. I might have encountered about half a dozen people (including my mother) whose initial reaction was disapproval but they didn’t make a big deal about it. Sometimes I get the “you look too young to be retired” comment but it is never given in a negative way. A few times I’ve explained how I did it but in the context of promulgating the values often espoused in this forum. That is LBYM.

Everyone I know knows that I worked hard for 30yrs at my engineering profession. If they were somewhat surprised by my decision to ER it was mostly because it seemed like an abrupt decision. I also have no problems explaining how I came to my decision. I also think everyone knew or expected that I would put the same energy into retirement that I did in my w*rk. And, in fact, I have put a lot of effort into doing activities to enjoy myself such as traveling, taking care of the house, keeping up with friends, taking classes, exercise, hiking, dancing, book club, and plain old relaxing. I’ve also put on four 6-week science classes for seniors (molecular biology, paleontology, engineering, psychology) to the point that I’ve changed my LinkedIn page from “retired engineer” to “science educator”. But this w*rk is entirely volunteer w*rk.

Of course I would never rub it in to the face of someone who is having a tough time making ends meet. I have a few young friends who have been unemployed and I’ve given them advice about writing their resumes and interview techniques. I guess I’m fortunate to have a circle of friends and acquaintances who are supportive of whatever I do. Maybe being comfortable with myself and my decision helps others to be comfortable around me. I would hate to be embarrassed to be anything other than myself. That doesn’t mean I am inconsiderate of others circumstances regarding financial affairs or anything else. I think there are tactful ways to discuss most things without being deceitful.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:04 AM   #48
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Ever hear a husband refer to his wife as "a good providor"?

Ha



My husband, for one. I was the breadwinner for several years, and I was a very good providor(sic), thenkewverymuch.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:13 AM   #49
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I think it's easier for women to say the R word, mainly because they aren't considered the bread winner, right or wrong.
I think you may be reflecting a thought process that reflects a specific generation. In my case, a child of the 70's and 80's, I'm confident I based more of my self worth on my career than did my husband. Hence why he didn't struggle at all taking on the adjective 'retired' while it took me over a year to be comfortable doing so.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:33 AM   #50
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I think you may be reflecting a thought process that reflects a specific generation. In my case, a child of the 70's and 80's, I'm confident I based more of my self worth on my career than did my husband. Hence why he didn't struggle at all taking on the adjective 'retired' while it took me over a year to be comfortable doing so.
My DW is still w*rking and struggling a little bit to define what retirement means to her. I suspect that women who have a career with some status value that maybe even more than men. Particularly from our generation when women having a career became both more accepted and attainable.
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:48 PM   #51
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A relative retired early and let everyone know what a success he was to do so. There was lots of jealous grumbling. A few years later when his investments went bad, he barely stayed retired but got no sympathy and the jealous grumbling continued. He's not the only early retiree and not the only successful person in the family, but his high profile ER sure made him the target for ill feelings. I'm no where near as successful and not even ER yet, but I'll sure be taking a low profile when I do ER. No reason to risk that kind of jealous negative reaction.
Yet another reason to try to fly under the radar and not gloat. The meek shall inherit....
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:24 PM   #52
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I'm 10 months into ER, and I've heard it all. Mostly from company loyalists concerned about how I would fill my day, or that I was secretly plotting to work for a competitor. I have no problem telling people I'm "retired." No euphomisms for me. But I never go into details beyond that, even when asked. I occasionally get the predictable responses like, "You're too young to be retired". To which I reply, "Am I? I didn't realize there was an age requirement." And... "Did you win the lottery?" To which I reply, "Yes I did, as a matter of fact." At that point, they can tell I don't want to talk about it and the subject changes. People can think whatever they want to think, and I can tell from body language that the reactions range from admiration to envy, but nothing remotely negative. Some assume that I was forced out of my job and express some concern. It's all a little weird, really. But I put on my best sh1tty grin and ask them how their job is going.
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:35 PM   #53
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My husband, for one. I was the breadwinner for several years, and I was a very good providor(sic), thenkewverymuch.
This. I've outearned my husband our entire marriage. He's taken "breaks" along the way to deal with life changes (move across country for my job, dealing with elderly parents, etc.) It's worked for us - since he also picked up household responsibilities and childcare responsiblities during his breaks and when he was part-time. He's now retired... and regularly refers to me as the breadwinner. Not sure how he'll adjust when I retire sometime within the next few years. (I'm out in 2.5 years as a drop dead date - but hopefully sooner.)
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:53 PM   #54
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I was in sales and when I started the last round of customer visits I told some I was retiring and others I didn't say anything to.
Some of the ones I told got rather nasty about the fact I could retire at 55.
I've never been one to be flashy so I tend to just keep quiet about RE.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:27 PM   #55
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The truth is, I am in an awesome place in life, and they're not, and I don't want to make them feel worse by bragging.

Anyone else feel similarly? Any other reasons you hide your FIRE accomplishments from close friends and loved ones?
Wow, great post. Having retired at 42 a few years ago, you exactly described why I am sometimes hesitant labeling myself as ER.

I know that for many people that I first meet, and even casual acquaintances, this can put a wall between me and them. These are people who react in a "gee, must be nice" way.

Even if they don't react that way, it almost feels like bragging to tell my age peers that I am ERed with a very nice lifestyle while they probably have 15-20 years of work ahead of them.

I want to stay active a socialize with my age peers. Get invitations to lunch, etc. Putting myself on an ER pedestal seems counter to that.

I would love to find a local community of other ERed 40 and 50 something's. How so we make that happen?
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:29 PM   #56
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Interestingly, i have yet to have someone ask me "How can you be retired at your age?".
I have experienced this.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:33 PM   #57
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Now, some three years later, we love being retired, and use it frequently to describe what we are, when asked. We do, however, moderate our tone somewhat so as not to appear to be gloating.
Can you describe this a bit more? In what way do you moderate your tone?
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:46 PM   #58
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...I would love to find a local community of other ERed 40 and 50 something's. How so we make that happen?
I had a friend who retired in his early 50s as a result of a pension buyout and family money. Good for him. But he complained that the "problem" he had was that some most people his age were still working he had trouble finding anyone near his age to do things with during the day. He coped and figured it out but I think it was something he hadn't anticipated.

I'm finding that I'm just hanging more with people who are 5-10 years older. No regrets.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:10 PM   #59
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The last thing I need is family members and friends who are not quite as good with money looking for bailouts form their poor decisions. It just keeps things easier to prevent that option from being known
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:40 PM   #60
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That's funny, I had left a comment on one of the blog posts ($150,000 income $150 taxes). I didn't know it was FUEGO's
So that was you! Nice. I recognized the pepsi logo and name from here.
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