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Old 08-01-2013, 01:04 PM   #41
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I don't really discuss FIRE with anyone (other than forums) but my wife.

But I also like to talk money. Its hard because it has a hint of taboo.

I can talk with my 77 y.o. father, who retired early at 58 and decided to go back to work (which I don't get). He recently insisted that he isn't FI, but I speculate that would only be true in the worst of all cases scenarios. He also plans to live forever, so that is a factor.

With my siblings, I am the youngest of four, and although it is obvious I am successful, I am still their little brother so my opinion is eternally discounted (which is annoying).

Conversely, with my wife's siblings, she is the oldest of six, so I get put into the psuedo-big-brother role and I am the go-to advice source for money questions. Her parents are kind of messy with their finances, so I step in that role a bit more than otherwise. That said, FIRE would reveal too much, so that stays under wraps.

With my friends/peers - its mostly taboo. I had an old friend visit with me recently and we talked a bit and she makes a lot of choices that result in slow progress (but progress). Her marriage is strained and she is much more live for the now that I am. I frankly found it difficult to navigate with her since there were lots of wants vs needs issues that I needed to but out of.

In the next couple years I should payoff my house. I semi-fantasize posting on FB about it. But I'll probably chicken out and only mention it in places like here.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #42
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This website and Bogleheads (where I have less than 50 posts) are the only places where I discuss ER. I will not give nor provide any absolute numbers here again, though.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:58 PM   #43
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Two close confidants(known the one 35 years). I'd talk to them over lunch every couple of months. After my ER became public they both asked to have private discussions asking exactly how we did it.

Glad to say one of their last days at Megacorp was yesterday, the other is putting his ducks in a row for next year!

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Old 08-02-2013, 05:20 PM   #44
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I had similar experiences to truenorth418. After reading a number of foundational books on FI, I got excited and wanted to share what I was learning with my friends and family. I was young and naive and I was really surprised by the ridicule and hostility that I faced from a number of people (I am 33). I don't know if it is a generational thing, or a stage of life issue, or what, but DW and I definitely feel in the minority and have learned to keep quiet about our desires for ER.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #45
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I've mentioned our ER goal casually to a few friends, but never got the impression anyone was interested in talking about it. Yawns all around. I don't push it.

I do talk about compound interest and LBYM in every freshman college class I teach, regardless of curriculum. I find that half my students think I'm weird for bringing it up, but if I can get through to even a couple it will be worth it.

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Old 08-02-2013, 09:00 PM   #46
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I talk about it some, but mostly get the usual "I'd be bored" or "I'll be working until I'm dead"...

Not me, on either account.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:14 PM   #47
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LazyEric, Be grateful you found this blog. I love Mr. Money Mustache. Click 'start here' or 'random article'. I'm 51 and have been living the American consumerism model for 30+ years and have great memories but boy do I wish these blogs were around in the 90's. You won't find too many people that get this frugal lofestyle. I encourage you to stick with it and surprise the hell out of everyone when you retire. There is far better role models here than in your immediate family. Stick to your guns. Cheers!
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:25 PM   #48
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I've mentioned our ER goal casually to a few friends, but never got the impression anyone was interested in talking about it. Yawns all around. I don't push it.

I do talk about compound interest and LBYM in every freshman college class I teach, regardless of curriculum. I find that half my students think I'm weird for bringing it up, but if I can get through to even a couple it will be worth it.

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Just curious, what is the subject matter of the class you are teaching?
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:30 PM   #49
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I have mentioned it to most of my friends, (real friends...not acquaintances). The friends that are already retired, (and older than myself), get it and we sometimes do talk investing and living life and not working.

The younger guys don't get it. They are too busy running the hamster treadmill, raising kids, and living in the present. So, I don't talk much to them about financial planning, LBYM, and all that. It's a lost cause with them.

There are a couple people I work with that are getting ready to retire in my same time frame. And they are as pumped up as me about opening a new chapter in our lives. Financially...I don't talk about my investments or investing with them. They have the same type of retirement plan that I do, but I know they have not invested like I have since they have lived higher on the hog these past years.

Talking about retirement is a lost cause with most people except yourself since everyone is rowing their own boat. And some boats only have one paddle...
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:36 PM   #50
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The only ones I have started to talk about it with are one of my best friends from college who FIRE'ed at 53, and one of my brothers who FIRE'ed at 59. Both have been retired for several years but keep active with various volunteer things they choose (and occasional contract/consulting work when an offer is made they can't refuse), so I'm mainly picking their brains to see what they are encountering. Both are happy to share and are encouraging me towards the same goal. Both are also very trustworthy so though they know that is my goal, they haven't shared it with other family or friends.

At work there is a group of us in the same age range. where when it comes up it is more gallows humor. I suspect a couple are FI but are hoping to get laid off, since Megacorp is still giving relatively generous severance. Another I'm sure is FI but has a goal of working 50 years for Megacorp, don't ask me why.

When folks ask me about retiring I just mention I still have one more child to put through college... so they assume that it will be may years before I can consider it. I'm fine with that.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:19 PM   #51
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My mother was the only one I talked money with when I was younger. We never really talked about ER, but about FI. I knew about compounding when I was in Jr High. But after the Navy, I semi-retired at age 22 for a few years. So when I met my DW at 28, I had no savings. But I was tired of the broke life, so we have had our noses to the grindstone ever since.

All my coworkers are broke, and plan to work until they die. I make the least of any of them, and we are nearly FI. The part time fellow does like to talk money, but it is more the woe is me kind of thing. {2 ex-wives and 1 refi} He makes $60K at his real job, which is a lot for the sticks here, yet he is paycheck to paycheck. They know we are savers, but not how much.

I don't talk numbers with anyone, but since my wife is an elected official, people can find out what her half of everything is worth. Most don't think to do it. {Thank the Lord.} Also thank the Lord she will not be running again. We have to tell little white lies of omission all the time. When our Prius was five years old, someone said they knew we were glad to have an end to the car payments. Instead of saying we had paid cash, we just said, yea, it's going to be nice.

The one person I talk to now about saving and investing is a friend who owns a pawn shop. He worked in a Swiss Investment Bank before coming here. His FIL, along with one of his buddies, owned the pawn shop. It was more of a hobby to them than a real business. My Swiss friend had soon bought out both partners, and turned it around. Now he makes so much money off check loans he is FI and talks about RE. He is training his son to take over the business, and he does stay home a day every now and then. I enjoy talking with him, but since I have a bad gun collecting habit, going into pawn shops gets me off my LBYM goals.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:28 PM   #52
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Just curious, what is the subject matter of the class you are teaching?
It's a freshman orientation class. Note taking, writing, critical thinking, basic personal finance. The latter gives me an in.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:43 AM   #53
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Another one of our friends is part of a DINK couple, who make well over $200k together. They met with some financial advisor, and came back and said "Our advisor says that we need at least $8M to retire. Looks like we'll be working for quite awhile!". .
Let me guess... That "financial advisor" gets paid by a percentage of the assets under management? Of course he is going to suggest $8 million, that is absurd...how is that even possible? If the advisor is thinking a conservative 2.5% WR, that comes out to $200,000 a year, so presumably they are going to plan on spending A LOT MORE than they currently do, since they currently make around $200,000 and more of that has to be going to taxes than it should in retirement AND they have to save some of the $200,000 a year to build up their $8 million stash. If they withdraw the same in retirement their buying power will be that much greater..maybe they would need that much but it seems unusual.

My ER plan is just starting to trickle out around my professional circle this week and it is interesting to hear the reactions. From a few mostly non physicians I get the "why" question, but from almost every fellow physician and most others it is only the "how" question. So many fellow physicians cannot wait to get out, if only they could. If my experience is any indicator, medicine is in trouble. BIG TROUBLE. I always sort of thought my ER was a function of my own idiosyncrasies interacting with some rather fundamental changes taking place in medicine over the last 20 years. Maybe my FI affords me the luxury of indulging my thin skin nature about these changes, but a huge number of MD's share a lot of my consternation and at least give lip service to the idea that these changes are enough to drive a lot of them to contemplate other avenues of employment if ER is not feasible.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:54 AM   #54
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I told several of my friends of my plans for ER. Some of them asked for help on how, but never got further than figuring out how much they needed to maintain their current lifestyle. They were intimidated by the number, and rather than work on reducing the cost of their lifestyle they chose to believe it was not something they could attain. If they believe it is true, it is. I believed I could adjust my budget (needs) and my savings, and I did.

Most of them made fun of me ("if its not in the spreadsheet, she's not doing it", etc) until last year when I retired at 47. Now people are asking "How can you afford to NOT work?"
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:20 PM   #55
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Now people are asking "How can you afford to NOT work?"
I'd rather have others asking me this question than asking myself, as I did several times a day in my final few years of working, "Why am I still working here?" Being able to end ever asking myself that question has been a big benefit to my ER.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:03 PM   #56
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I stumbled upon a colleague who lent me the Your Money Or Your Life, Joe Dominguez cassette tape system way back in the '90's for which I will be eternally grateful. It was an eye opener for me and the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We still discuss financial issues on occasion and are both on the verge of FIRE. Another friend who was far ahead of me in age and in the process, discussed financial issues openly which showed me what was possible. Otherwise, most people don't get it. I recently told two friends I was thinking of retiring. One said I was too young ( I'm late 50's) and the other told me she had regretted retiring. I politely changed the subject because I didn't want to hear more. I realized that the negative reaction was their baggage not mine. I treasure the friends who openly discuss financial issues, but realize it can never be a part of most friendships..
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:33 PM   #57
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Now people are asking "How can you afford to NOT work?"
From time to time, I pinch myself and find the thought that I can survive without working very novel. It's a neat feeling. Sometimes when I think about it, it seems a bit like magic!
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:54 PM   #58
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I think the reason this forum exists and is so popular is that it is difficult to find like minded people. I can't think of one person in my life who has any interest in discussing early retirement, LBYM, investing, etc. We really are a true minority.
I am in my early 50's and many of our friends are 45-50 and when I mention my goals of ER at 55 I get a blank stare like something's wrong with me. Some ask probing questions like "are you going to sell your house to survive" ? It would be so nice to personally know of like minded folks, but its just so surprisingly rare.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:58 PM   #59
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Though, I haven't specifically talked with them about it, my in-laws retired at age 51 (or 52?). So, they probably would understand.
They sound like they could be a great resource for you and the topic in common might form a tighter relationship.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:27 PM   #60
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I've had similar experiences to many here - most people simple don't want to talk about it.

A few folks I've talked had the "how in the world can you do that" response. In those cases it almost always turns out that they spend all (or more!) than they make. They also have convinced themselves that something (the "bad economy", the other political side (either one!), or just good old "bad luck") is conspiring against them. They really want to think that it's impossible for anyone to get ahead. Otherwise, they'd have to look inward to see why they can't do it.
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