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Old 07-31-2013, 03:39 PM   #21
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Hey Thanks for all the replies. I see that most of us are in the same position with only one or two other people that we can discuss the matter with. I also read a lot of books on investing, but sometimes I feel like I need real life validation for what I'm doing. I try to avoid the topic with most relatives because I never want to become the Bank of LazyErik. Sometimes the less they know the better.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:40 PM   #22
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I don't talk about the details of our finances with anyone in real life. People in my age group are more focused on raising a family than planning for retirement. And older people in my family tend to not talk about money except in the broadest of terms.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:46 PM   #23
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I don't talk about the details of our finances with anyone in real life. People in my age group are more focused on raising a family than planning for retirement.
Why not both, I say.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:51 PM   #24
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I don't discuss with my co-workers, parents, or siblings.

This is the only place I talk about FI and ER.

People might take it the wrong way. Some people are struggling financially so I don't think they want to hear about my plan to retire in my 40's.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:34 PM   #25
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During the mid- to late 1990’s when people were getting excited about the stock market, it was easy to raise the subject of investing and retirement planning. Since then, many of my friends or same-age relatives have been struggling with episodes of unemployment, paying down debt, raising families, and the like. Most of my co-workers seem to assume that their retirement will take care of itself. They have a vague sense of what they should do, but have been putting it off, most of them for years. People will acknowledge LBYM, but I don’t find much enthusiasm for it.

I have found reading books helpful in keeping the dream alive, along with following this and other forums. Some of the books that have had an impact on me were: Cashing in on the American Dream by Terhorst, How to Retire Young by Tauber, Your Money or Your Life by Dominguez & Robin, The Average Family’s Guide to Financial Freedom by Toohey & Toohey, You Can Retire Young by Ferstenou, and The Tightwad Gazette by Dacyczyn.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:28 PM   #26
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In this regard, I have the good fortune to work in banking. There are a couple other coworkers my age who are really frugal, even though some of them have some family money. We never want to have a layoff or loss of job be that big of a deal and get to FI as soon as possible. I even work with one who's way past FI, but this is what he likes doing.

I also have a few clients that profile like The Millionaire Next Door, well past the FI stage, but enjoy what they do. Some have even tried ER and said they could only catch the same fish so many times, or that all their friends still had to work, so their business is their hobby.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:53 PM   #27
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1. One friend who expresses interest, but whatever we discuss seems to go in one ear and out the other. She says she wants to be frugal and invest responsibly, but outside of our conversations she seems to act the opposite.

2. Most work friends are either not interested, or actively involved in trading, finding maximum leverage for real estate deals or like expensive toys and cars more than frugality or FI. None of them believes in ER unless there's a spectacular company IPO, but even then they prefer to dream founder size shares instead of understanding what their actual worker-bee shares would be, nice up to 1 year salary maybe, but not life changing.

3. A friend from outside work who likes to talk about 401k ER and investment club ideas, but in practice only invests in low money down real estate and wants to build a landlord empire. He was mostly wiped out in the real estate bubble, but want to try again.

4. This forum and bogleheads.org are good for anonymous conversations with people who actually understand and have similar interests. I hope this isn't too much group think by self selecting like minded folks.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:58 PM   #28
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Congratulations Eric on your early start in financial independence. The only person that I can talk to is my father who enjoys investing and discussing. My friends are useless despite excellent incomes. I had a recent conversation with a good friend who at 50 finally has seen the light. We discussed at length mutual funds and long term investing. After an hour or so of talking I ended the discussion when he said. "So let me get this straight...if I invest in Vanguard mutual funds for the next 30 years, and I decide to withdraw the money, I am guaranteed to get back at least what I put in them, right?" Ughh! Since your friends have no interest in investing, I would never bring it up again. The only thing they will get out of it is if they are ever short of money they will come ask you for some because "you have plenty"!
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:46 PM   #29
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Years ago, when I decided to devote my life to an LBYM lifestyle and save enough to early retire, I shared my plans with a few friends and they were openly hostile about it. So I decided to keep it to myself after that.

Now that I have achieved my objectives and am ER'ed, I talk to my GF about it a little. She's a financial planner and "gets it", I wish there were more people around to talk with about it and learn from. In the meantime, I am grateful for the ER.org community.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:40 AM   #30
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I am pretty fortunate a couple of my bet frees are active investor, one even beat me into to early retirement. I also found the folks in my Angel investment group to be very wise about invested. Plus my brother-in-law retired early twice (although in hindsight to aggressive in investing the first time,and unlucky the second time.)

Still forums over the last 12 years have been my largest source of knowledge by a huge margin.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:53 AM   #31
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Try to find friends or someone to talk to that are both early retired and vegan. Now you know what real lonliness can be;-)

My wife retired last week. She posted a picture on FB yesterday with our dogs and her in a convertable. I found it odd that she said, "no hate" in the lead in to the picture.

Some friends that knows she's retired have not bothered to say anything to her. Another friend is hostile. When she had her retirement party her last day at work, the big question was, what are you going to do?

But back to you OP, it still inspires me how people like you can have your head in the right place at such a young age. Congratulations to you and your wife.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:57 AM   #32
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As I was graduating college, my co-workers and I talked very openly about investing since (1) we all earned the same salary and (2) we were all trying to navigate these things for the first time: setting up accounts, choosing mutual funds, etc. A few years later, post-2008 crash, we haven't kept in touch well enough for me to comfortably bring up the subject again since I don't know if they stayed-the-course and continued investing or not.

More recently, I've talked about investing theory with a number of co-workers who show some interest, but I've only disclosed the true extent of my saving and investing with one person. He wonders how someone could possibly spend their time and keep their sanity without working. In general, other folks talk about working indefinitely as if retirement isn't even in the realm of possibility. To be honest, I feel uneasy talking to people about it because I expect a lot of criticism... must be lazy, unambitious, selfish, silly for planning so far into the future, etc.

Tim
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:10 AM   #33
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I think it would be easier for me to discuss ER with others if I was pulling the plug with an obvious milestone - like retiring from some profession where there was a standard ER age and everybody knew I'd be getting a decent pension and health care coverage. Then the questions like "why are you doing this?" and "how can you afford to do this?" wouldn't be so prevalent. But pulling the plug from Mega Corp at a much-earlier-than-typical age during my peak earning years tends to raise those sorts of questions, which makes things more awkward.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:23 AM   #34
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The only people I can talk to in real life about the joy of my financial success are my parents. My brothers and sisters know I am doing well but the disparity is too large to discuss in detail with them and wouldn't want them to feel bad or jealous. My best friend since elementary school was laid off a year ago from MegaCorp and still looking for a job so talking about FIRE would be totally inappropriate. Kind of sad, that we can talk and share about everything else in life except for finances. Fellow colleagues.... talking to them about possibly RE would be like boasting and one -upmanship so again a taboo topic.

I am glad to have found ER.org as an outlet for my financial ponderings.....but heck I'm quite hesitant to even talk about absolute numbers here!
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:26 AM   #35
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I discuss my dream of RE with coworkers and friends. Some get it, some don't.

I talked to one coworker earier this week. She and her husband are completely FI. Her husband's business is generating so much revenue, and he enjoys running it. She's less happy because she works for the same company I do - and pretty much all of us are 'over this place'... She was asking questions about health insurance (and I shared with her the cobra rate documents I've saved off, as well as the quotes I've gotten to "what if" for my budget. She realized she could totally afford to quit/retire. But she then stunned me with "but what would I do? What would be my purpose?"

Purpose? Do you find coming to this place every day gives you purpose? No - it gives you a paycheck. There's not a lot of "purpose" in developing and maintaining products in a an ever increasingly crappy environment with inadequate resources (lab equipment, staff, etc.).

But I have 2 other friends at work who totally get it. One who's like me - he's on the edge of being able to quit any time... and is mentally ready... just filling up the nest egg a little fuller for that 110% vs 100% success rate. The other is 10 years younger and working his plan. He and his wife both work full time, save the max, and plan to retire at 55. We discuss stuff like paying off the mortgage, pre-funding the 529's while working, etc. He is very much a like minded soul who knows that living frugally now will get him to retirement now.

Friends... not so much. My BFF is constantly struggling with money. She's made some bad real estate decisions, had an expensive divorce. And her parents are non-solvent so she sends them a chunk of money each month. Fortunately for her, her husband is extremely frugal and focused on ER... so she gets input from two sides. His influence might get her to the finish line. Other long term friends have made choices that will require they or their spouse work till at least FRA. SAHM choices, kids in private schools, etc... Valid choices - but in conflict with early retirement.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:45 AM   #36
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If I ER in the next few years (I'm 47), I will probably just tell people that I needed a change from my current job, and that I am taking a break before I decide what I want to do next. All of which would be true, technically.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:59 AM   #37
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If I ER in the next few years (I'm 47), I will probably just tell people that I needed a change from my current job, and that I am taking a break before I decide what I want to do next. All of which would be true, technically.
I like this idea. Lie to them a bit (or tell half truth) and then just walk away. This shouldn't be that hard, because it appears that the LBYM lifestyle in a way is a "lie" when viewed by most people.

Everyone thank you for the good advice.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:48 PM   #38
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I think it would be easier for me to discuss ER with others if I was pulling the plug with an obvious milestone - like retiring from some profession where there was a standard ER age and everybody knew I'd be getting a decent pension and health care coverage...
I think you'd be surprised. Everyone in the military knows the deal with the 20-year retirement, but I've still never heard anyone talk about actually "retiring." Few people seem to believe that the retirement package combined with personal savings is enough, or they simply can't imagine not working. The discussion, instead, always revolves around how people will maneuver into their next job doing more-or-less the same type of work, except without wearing a uniform.

Tim
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:56 PM   #39
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Then the questions like "why are you doing this?" and "how can you afford to do this?" wouldn't be so prevalent. But pulling the plug from Mega Corp at a much-earlier-than-typical age during my peak earning years tends to raise those sorts of questions, which makes things more awkward.
+1. When I retired at 57 with no pension or health care, my co-workers and the (Corp) suits were shocked. Since I was in management, some employees bitterly resented that I could retire. But then I had never discussed my plans with anyone. It was awkward, but only for a moment relative to a lifetime...
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Do You Talk With Friends about FIRE?
Old 08-01-2013, 12:58 PM   #40
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Do You Talk With Friends about FIRE?

If they are still working, talking about FIRE could sound more than slightly self-congratulatory (since I am already retired).

If they are retired, they already know. Sometimes I mention to other retirees that it is really nice to sleep late these days, but that is about it.
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