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Old 05-09-2011, 12:34 PM   #21
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I've run into three kinds of people:

1) "How is it possible?" people. It doesn't matter how much they earn. Folks 10 years my senior, making high six and low seven figure salaries for a couple of decades, have asked me how I could possibly afford to leave work. Another told me, very sternly, that I should keep working so I can 'retire for real' someday - presumably to a rocking chair. These people tend to be the most openly hostile. While they think they'd like to do the same thing they ultimately aren't willing to make any sacrifices. They often wrongly assume that I haven't sacrificed either.

2) Puritanical work ethic people. Some have told me that work is a virtue. When I ask how working in finance, which produces no visible good to society - in pursuit of ever large piles of cash and things, is virtuous I'm always met with blank stares. I think there is an intuitive feeling among some people that suffering is good for your character. When I promise them I'll self flagellate instead of returning to work it doesn't seem to satisfy them, though.

3) "What will you do all day?" people. Some people can't imagine life without an overlord telling them how to spend their hours. They're not caught in the Matrix, they want to be there. They can't understand why anyone would ever leave.

One of the things I learned in college is that most of the great 'Romantic' poets, those who advanced the idea of breaking with societal norms, died early and miserably. Going your own way is hard, and standing out from the crowd often makes you a target. Your mere existence calls into question what everyone else takes as a matter of faith. It's not a path for everyone. And those who walk it should expect to be especially thick-skinned.
+1 to the 3 kinds of nay sayers. I have had plenty of encounters with people in groups #2 and #3. Few people ever asked how I did it though.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:35 PM   #22
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Wear it like a badge of honor!! Kind of like already stated, they are either boring, uninteresting people, workaholics or jealous (and maybe a combination). Life is about living by your own rules, not society's, not your coworkers, friends, family or anyone else's.

I retired last year at 43 and get that all the time along with the "What will you do all day?" and "You'll hate it!". Most of those people cannot afford to retire and probably never will or have been brainwashed that it's not worth living if you aren't working hard until you drop.

Good for you! Sounds like you have the right attitude. You'll love it. It's an adjustment, even for a guy like me that considers himself born to retire, but its a fun transition for sure. Just when you feel like you have to go to work or you have something to do, you get to remind yourself you don't!
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Gone4Good View Post
I've run into three kinds of people:

1) "How is it possible?" people. It doesn't matter how much they earn. Folks 10 years my senior, making high six and low seven figure salaries for a couple of decades, have asked me how I could possibly afford to leave work. Another told me, very sternly, that I should keep working so I can 'retire for real' someday - presumably to a rocking chair. These people tend to be the most openly hostile. While they think they'd like to do the same thing they ultimately aren't willing to make any sacrifices. They often wrongly assume that I haven't sacrificed either.

2) Puritanical work ethic people. Some have told me that work is a virtue. When I ask how working in finance, which produces no visible good to society - in pursuit of ever large piles of cash and things, is virtuous I'm always met with blank stares. I think there is an intuitive feeling among some people that suffering is good for your character. When I promise them I'll self flagellate instead of returning to work it doesn't seem to satisfy them, though.

3) "What will you do all day?" people. Some people can't imagine life without an overlord telling them how to spend their hours. They're not caught in the Matrix, they want to be there. They can't understand why anyone would ever leave.

One of the things I learned in college is that most of the great 'Romantic' poets, those who advanced the idea of breaking with societal norms, died early and miserably. Going your own way is hard, and standing out from the crowd often makes you a target. Your mere existence calls into question what everyone else takes as a matter of faith. It's not a path for everyone. And those who walk it should expect to be especially thick-skinned.
By the way, I just added this to my list of "Great Quotes". That list includes a few other gems from these boards.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:49 PM   #24
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By the way, I just added this to my list of "Great Quotes". That list includes a few other gems from these boards.
Gracias!
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:00 PM   #25
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When I left mega-corp at 58, I had several co-w*rkers caution me. They suggested that since I didn't take exotic vacations, buy a new car every year, wear $2K suits etc. that I couldn't possibly have enough to keep me for the rest of my days. If I had it, I would have flaunted it.

You can, they can't, WTFC.
Whenever I'm with someone and we pass something flashly like a big motor yacht or some exotic car and my friend says, "Wow, that guy must have money."

I always say, "No. He HAD money. Now he has a car."
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:12 PM   #26
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I always say, "No. He HAD money. Now he has a car."
Perhaps not.

He may just have a huge note on his yacht/car/other expensive toy, sort of like like the "Big hat, no cattle" person that was mentioned in Millionaire Next Door.


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Old 05-09-2011, 03:38 PM   #27
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I love this thread. I took a vacation recently, and that coupled with these forums and the planning I've been doing have me longing for FIRE

Even now, when I tell people I'm going to retire at 45, most people just make some sarcastic "good luck with that" comment (I'm 25), or tell me that I hurt myself by having a kid/getting married.

It all just makes me want to retire even more.

I love the 3 kinds of people too, and I just frankly DO NOT UNDERSTAND person #3. I've got so many things I can do, that if you feel like you need a 9-5 job to stay busy, then you should expand your horizons.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:03 PM   #28
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"You're too young to retire!"

Pfffttttttttttt...

.....in that case tell 'em...."You're too old to work!"
I'll be stealing that one day.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:35 PM   #29
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I dream of the day I can turn in my resignation to my partners.....hopefully within the next 5 years.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:37 PM   #30
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You have to hand it to Madison Avenue, they've been incredibly effective over the past many decades. How many people do you know who have bought into modern American/Western culture that tells us 'you should buy the most expensive house you can afford, the newest/flashiest car you can afford and the most opulent vacations you can afford - and work 40-50 years to pay for it.' That describes most people I know, they constantly compare themselves with each other based on possessions, position, income (as opposed to wealth). They think they are buying happiness, and never see the trap. That kind of happiness is fleeting at best...

People are telling me I am too young to retire, but it doesn't bother me in the least, and I wouldn't think of debating the topic with them. If I did (and I won't), I'd probably say something unkind like "who would you rather be right now, yourself or me (I'm gone on 6/30 at age 57)..."
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #31
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Great thread! Just what I needed as I face these kinds of comments over the next few months.

We've LBOM our whole life. When asked why, I've always said I was saving up for the best purchase a person could make. I was buying my freedom from having to work to live. What could be worth more than that? Certainly nothing material.

Some people think that all they have to do is live as their income level dictates, work until a certain age. and kazam, they can retire and that lump sum settlement and SS will take care of them. That type of retirement is long gone, yet those are the folks who make these comments to younger people choosing to retire after decades of saving and planning.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:43 AM   #32
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Great thread, especially the snappy comebacks.

When people learn I retired (or was going to retire) in 2008 at age 45, the responses I got fell into two categories, depending on whom I was telling.

The first was the younger, working crowd such as coworkers and others in the working world. It was usually of disbelief or envy and included the questions posted by the OP and others.

The second was the older, already-retired crowd such as those in some of my leisure activities and my neighbors in my co-op including some of the Board members I am friendly with. I typically get an "Attaboy!" response from them.

My ER plan began in 1998 when I paid off my mortgage and picked up a lot of steam in 2001 when I switched to working part-time. By 2007-2008 other big pieces fell into place so by the end of 2008 I was able to pull the trigger and get out. The stock market crash was actually a huge benefit to my ER budget, go figure.
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Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:32 PM   #33
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zaqsxw: that's a great one too! saving up for freedom, I'll remember that.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:11 PM   #34
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This Should Be a Sticky. I especially love the quotes from Gone4Good.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #35
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That's what people are telling me. I really don't get it.. too young to be free? I stuck out an o.k.
Ironically, my brother retired at 42. We were all shocked. He had very low financial demands and truly lived a simple life.

I retired for the first time at age 49 but was willing to work as a consultant for 5 years. Then I had a marriage breakup that made another 5 years essential to handle the alimony.

Since then, no regrets.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:18 AM   #36
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I get these responses regularly. ( I checked out last year at 56)
These people need to read Bob Clyatts book-and probably also need to watch less television.
These reactions can make you wonder for a second.
Then I just feel sorry for some of these trapped souls.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:43 AM   #37
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I quit working at age 46, (thank you Saudi Arabia), never regretted it for a second......in fact the only reason I worked in the first place was so that I could quit.

Now, 22 1/2 years later, I'm worth 3 times what I had when I stopped working; my lady & I live below our means and yet we want for nothing.......mainly because we don't 'want' all the junk that lifestyle marketers try and tell you you should want.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:22 AM   #38
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Retirement... is just a label.

I find it amusing when someone says too young to retire.

Too young to retire - That is their projection on to you about their situation... It translates to: I never gave ER a thought over the last 30 years.... now it is too late to ER?? Hey you are threatening to me and my past decisions!
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:27 AM   #39
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in fact the only reason I worked in the first place was so that I could quit.
"I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted paychecks."

Hey, me too.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:31 AM   #40
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Retired at 54 six years ago, only regret is I didn't do it sooner. Don't think LBYM was as much of a factor as living within our means and not being hoodwinked by our consumer society that we needed the latest and greatest of everything. When people comment about being too young to be retired, I just chuckle. If they ask what do you do all day, I simply tell them, anything I want.
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