Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Do You Talk With Friends about FIRE?
Old 07-31-2013, 08:40 AM   #1
Dryer sheet aficionado
LazyErik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Do You Talk With Friends about FIRE?

Ok Young Dreamers,
I donít know if this is the right place for this topic in the forum but here is my situation. Iím in my late 30s (have to hold on to those 30s) and am shooting for a retirement at the age of 45 for both me and the DW. We have been savers even before we were dating (I still have lawn mowing money that has been invested since I was 9 years old), and when two frugal savers get together money can accumulate quickly.
So our problem when we were in our late 20s and early 30s was that we had nobody to talk to about finance, retirement expectations, saving money, debt management etc. Our families were next to useless; we had no mentors when it came to financial issues. The only people that we could speak intelligently to was one older uncle, our financial adviser (who I was always suspicious of, because he is selling us products/advice/ideas), and our tax lawyer. It became pretty clear to us that nobody talked about financial independence because they didnít save (in spite of everyone making more than us).
Most of our friends during their 20s and through their current age still are not saving for retirement. I stopped talking about things like emergency funds, withdrawal rates, Roth vs. regular IRAs with friends and family over ten years ago.
What does everyone else do to establish a group of friends that you can talk about FIRE with? Do younger workers actually talk with colleagues about 401k options, savings rates, spending habits? Or is this topic still off limits. I would think that just coming out of a recession these topics might be less taboo, but I donít know. Does a forum like ER fill the gap?
I would be interested in hearing what works in different circumstances.
__________________

__________________
LazyErik is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-31-2013, 09:05 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
nvestysly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 417
I agree - there doesn't seem to be much common ground with most people. For me, this forum does satisfy some of my desire to discuss the topic with others. However, there's nothing like an in-depth - solve all the problems in the world - type of discussion with somebody that shows an interest.

Over the years DW and I have stumbled onto a few individuals, couples and families that save and invest in earnest and are willing to talk about the subject in some amount of detail. This approach has been hit-or-miss. I almost always bring up the subject when I meet new people and I see if they are interested. If no, I drop it and move on to another topic. Once in a while, somebody will show interest and we can pursue the topic at a later date.

I've recently started lurking at www.mrmoneymustache.com and found the information there to be very interesting. I like the fact that Mustachians take time to get together periodically although there haven't been any meetups in my area. I contacted a few people from the E-R forum about getting together and the idea seemed to fall flat.

It seems like FIRE folks are a rare breed and most people just can't relate. We have found a number of people in the RV community that are FIRE friendly. Come to think of it - most of the groups DW and I volunteer with - whether it be church, RV stuff or something else, seem to be FIRE friendly. I guess that's why they volunteer - they have the money and the time to do such things.
__________________

__________________
Dreamin' of Streamin'
FIRE'd at 52 on 7/8/11
nvestysly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 09:20 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,974
You are definitely in a minority saving/investing and LBYM, but you are not alone. This is a community of like minded folks. While I did talk with some folks about investing, there was absolutely no one (not even family) that I talked to about FI, LBYM/saving or retirement before I found this forum at age 56 or so.

I found my source 'kindred spirits' in books (and the occasional article) by John Bogle, Dr William Bernstein, Scott Burns and others. Your Money or Your Life and The Millionaire Next Door were both epiphanies for me, and The Four Pillars of Investing was and is the basis for my portfolio.

Interestingly, when I was working and our 401k providers came around for our annual (required) training, they pretty much espoused philosophies not unlike Bogle et al - but very few of my coworkers ever really listened to them. They just complained they couldn't afford to save (the companies fault for not providing 10%/yr increases & automatic promotions), and the investing consisted of a silver bullet they just hadn't been clued in on.

I'd have considered myself fortunate to find a community like this, and others, online when I was younger - but the books/authors above and a similarly frugal DW got me through.

And you never know, you might stumble on a like minded person offline, that would be great. But I wouldn't know how to find one...

And there is a huge difference between SIRE and FIRE retirees, though the former are becoming an endangered species...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 09:41 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
Willers's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 480
I rarely, if ever, discuss this topic with friends and family. We've tried in the past and we've gotten quite a few blank stares or jokes about my Quicken obsession (OK, I admit that's real). Those who don't save definitely don't want to hear about your successes or strategies. I tried an investment club back when those were more popular and that also turned out to be a dead end.

I do have in-depth discussions with our tax accountant who we know personally. He understands our lifestyle and can offer objective advice since he has nothing to gain based on the path we choose. Other than that we keep it to ourselves.

One great thing about forums like this is that you can discuss topics of interest and even celebrate milestones with people having the same goals (maybe if someone here is in the same city we might even take it offline). I also visit the Bogleheads, MMM, etc sites and, like Midpack, read everything I can get my hands on.

I am at a loss about how to establish an offline group. I wonder if there could be a Meetup group for this? There seems to be one in my area for everything else under the sun.

Good luck and we're here for you.
__________________
Willers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 10:03 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ready's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,823
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.
__________________
Ready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,887
I used to be able to talk to a few people at work about frugality and investing ideas, but early retirement was never on anyone's radar because people tend to be very driven by earning money. E.G. if I retire, where can I get a contractor job so I can make even more?

Kind of like when you try to discuss doing art, and all anybody cares about is "How much can you sell that for?"

Amethyst
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success Ė to be able to spend your life in your own way.í Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 10:21 AM   #7
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 211
I have brought it up with a few friends, but often get "yeah right" sort of looks. One our good friends is a Financial Advisor, and basically thought that I was crazy saying that I wanted to retire well before age 50. 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!". I just kept thinking about how different that is from my philosophy.

Though, I haven't specifically talked with them about it, my in-laws retired at age 51 (or 52?). So, they probably would understand.
__________________
bo_knows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 10:24 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RockyMtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Scottsdale
Posts: 1,231
Prior to FIRE I didn't really talk with anyone about my plans. After I FIRE'd all sorts of people wanted to talk to me about it and how the heck I was able to do it.
__________________
FIRE'D in July 2009 at 51...Never look back!
RockyMtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 10:37 AM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 222
I try very hard to discuss it with people, but most just don't seem to be interested. I convinced a couple of friends to open up a retirement account of some sort, different kinds depending on which country they live in, and that felt good, because I know if they do nothing else, they'll have a bit. But otherwise it's like I'm talking to a bunch of brick walls.

I feel that I'll have some more luck in a few years when they start leaving college and going out into the world with jobs that pay them some amount of money though. I'll be 20 next month, and most of my friends are 20 or 21.
__________________
Arifriekinel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 10:42 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
I think talking about retirement efforts and working toward early retirement may be more common now with company 401ks, etc. One might not have discussed a pension in the olden days (other than "yeah, I got one coming to me" or "nah, I ain't got one coming to me") but I know my little young dreamers talk about what funds their companies or prospective employers offer in their 401ks, getting the match, maxing it out, etc., which leads to more conversations about future plans. So maybe it's changing.
__________________
ďWould you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?Ē J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Major Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 3,129
My father didn't retire early, but he was frugal in his habits. We occasionally touched on the subject of money and I know he approved of my attitudes in this area. He wasn't at all keen on stocks, thinking of them as too risky, but would have been happy with the fact that I planned for the future. I just wish he'd stuck around a bit longer so we could have had a few more conversations along these lines. I also have a SIL who though not ER, is frugal in her spending habits and has a diverse portfolio. She still works, but has a path to ER if she ever wants to go that way. We talk quite easily about money and money issues.

She is the only person I talk to in real life about money (as my Dad is now gone). The other people I know have little to no interest in talking about money issues - either because of lack of interest, lack of ability to handle their money, rendering ER an impossibility for them, or a general feeling that it's somehow uncouth to talk about money.

For these reasons, this forum is a valuable place for me.
__________________
ER, for all intents and purposes. Part-time income <5% of annual expenditure.
Major Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 11:16 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Major Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 3,129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Kind of like when you try to discuss doing art, and all anybody cares about is "How much can you sell that for?"
Amethyst
Reminds me of the times I've talked to some people about my hobbies and interests, and their only response is to ask whether I can find a way to make money out of those pursuits. Some people have little appreciation for the joy of doing something purely for the satisfaction of doing it, with no pecuniary motives.
__________________
ER, for all intents and purposes. Part-time income <5% of annual expenditure.
Major Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 11:25 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,887
Slight edit based on my experience....:-) And it doesn't seem to matter if they are well-off, or not (so it's not necessarily because they are so busy scratching out a living that there is no place for a non-paying creative activity).

Amethyst

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Reminds me of the times I've talked to some people about my hobbies and interests, and their only response is to ask whether I can find a way to make money out of those pursuits. SomeMost people have little appreciation for the joy of doing something purely for the satisfaction of doing it, with no pecuniary motives.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success Ė to be able to spend your life in your own way.í Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 11:29 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 620
Until I pulled the trigger a couple weeks ago, I never discussed my FIRE plans with anyone except DW. Between this forum and the Bogleheads, I've been able to learn more than I could possibly have imagined, so didn't really feel any need to seek the direct counsel of others. I have given financial advice to a couple of friends and family members, but only when they requested it.

Even now that my FIRE plans are out in the open (2 more weeks of w*rk!), I'm very careful in how I discuss what I'm doing. Since the vast majority of people are in no position to retire early, when I talk to them, I try not to be giddy. Saying "I'm too young to retire, but not too young to take a break" is usually enough explanation when I get a blank stare or questions about how I can possibly be doing this.

But, things are different with my retired friends. I act as giddy as can be around them. But even then, I'm careful to say "taking a break" instead of "retiring", because I'm pulling the trigger at a younger age than most of them. Also, they all know I'm doing fine financially, but I they don't know enough details to know whether or not I've crossed the FI threshold.

The bottom line is that I realize that most people are not in as nearly as good a position as I am (some by choice, some by circumstance), so I tread carefully.
__________________
Which Roger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,867
I did not join this forum or Bogleheads until after I had ERed, so I did not have a good place to bounce ideas off with regard to ER or investments in general. Those in my circle of friends and relatives see me as their guru and go-to person in these matters, so whom does the guru go to?

At my former job, I had one close friend/coworker who knew I was getting ready to ER and leave work but he was sworn to secrecy and he kept that promise. While he was a smart guy in general, he did not have the financial savvy I have.

My closest friend outside of work, one I have mentioned in this forum several times over the years (he is the one whose remaining parent died last year and he inherited a boatload of money I am advising how to handle) is also a smart guy in general but not terribly financially savvy. He could ER now if he really wanted to, as his NW excluding his paid-for co-op apartment is just under $1M. He likes working.

I do talk to my dad about investments as he has been retired since 1994. (His wife, my mom, died in 1995; she would have liked discussing investments and ER with me because she was the one who got me started on serious investing in 1990.) He has had his own advisor/manager at Ameriprise since just after mom died. They don't charge him a lot for their services and I review his quarterly statements from time to time. I have spoken to his advisor a few times and she knows I am an ER (and financially savvy) and she did give some good estate planning advice to him. I think her knowing that I am around to monitor things will keep her honest although she has never done anything shady.

My brother is a few years younger than me but won't be retiring any time soon. He lives with his wife and 9-year-old son in a McMansion. He would like to reduce his work hours (he owns his own successful business) but hasn't said anything about how to achieve that. I did send him my main ER budget spreadsheet a few years ago but we have not discussed it or anything else ER-related since then.

My ladyfriend for the last 9 years is not very financially savvy. From the advice I have given her over the years, her dingbat coworkers think she is some genius LOL!

One group of people I have been able to bounce some ideas off have been in my square dancing groups. That crowd is an older group than me (in their 60s, 70s, and some 80s) and most are retired, so we have being retired in common. It is nice to be able to discuss retirement with a (very) few of them.

So, it is mainly the good people here and in Bogleheads (which is more investment oriented than ER oriented) and in a few ER (and ER-wannabe) blogs I follow, I don't have a constant place to discuss ER with.
__________________
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!"
scrabbler1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 02:11 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,486
I don't talk to anyone my age about it. I talk to people older than me about it, and some who are retired. Most people my age (36) or even in their early 40s just kind of scoff and roll their eyes when I talk about never holding a "real" job again after age 43. I'm fine with it. Most of them are more concerned with having the latest iPhone and iPads or putting their toddlers in designer clothes, and paying down their debt balances, so of course they don't understand how it's possible to not have to work another two decades.

I have discussed my hope/dream with DW, and our ability to do so will be partly based on whether we have children or not (negotiations are underway). That said, she didn't even think it was possible until I showed her FIRECalc and gave her our "number". Now, she seems to be more accepting...
__________________
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 02:36 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,164
I have not ER'd yet, but we are FI, and that took some serious doing after a few life calamities between 10 - 20 years ago. I will be a LR person (late retiree) as I will be satisfied we are in a good (final) position later this year. I am well over 65 years old. But the bad days and hard work to recover assets are almost over. I may work part time after retirement as I am physically in good shape and still have all my marbles.

DW is retired (5 years now) and has no interest in talking about investments with me. She is frugal (but I have to watch her as she goes off track now and then) and only wants to know if we have "enough" so I play that party line. It's all good as she trusts my judgement. We are both products of divorce (remarried 17 years ago) and have separate children, and that comes with a lot of complexity. Plus, we are partially supporting a wonderful grandchild in college.

My two best friends are retired and pretty well off (retired oil Co. exec and a previous owner of an insurance agency). I try discussing investment strategies with them and get blank stares or they try to change the subject. So we just talk about whatever comes up.

One fellow uses a FA and has been sold a costly deferred variable annuity, of which my friend knows no details except "it pays based on the performance of the market and has a feature that won't let it fail". Well, so much for that conversation. I tried to explore the details with him, but he just trusts his FA. I called his FA and asked for a prospectus and the discussion ended when I asked him what the internal rate of return is for the product and a detail list of fees. I never got the prospectus sent to me.

My other friend who sold insurance has a few pensions (military, company) and SS. He is savvy about insurance products but has none of his own. He has a strange arrangement as his wife inherited a boatload of money when her parents passed and she keeps a separate lifestyle from him. I believe their relationship has decoupled as they seem to lead separate lives and even take separate vacations. He just does not want to talk to anybody about investment strategies, etc. Actually, I think he is pretty depressed and wishes he could go back to work part time.

My SIL's husband is a private wealth manager in San Jose, CA and retired from KPMG as the senior tax partner in California. His clients are very wealthy and many have family wealth management issues so he does the planning and handles trusts, stock distributions, etc. We chat frequently and he has supported my plans. I wish he had more time for me but he is very busy. So much for him retiring after KPMG (they put partners out the door at 60).

Outside of those folks, I just keep to myself when it comes to money and investments. Our children have no interest in financial planning at this time, although my daughter is very frugal, but not very knowledgeable on investing for the long run. I am working on that with her. The others.. well...they live from paycheck to paycheck.
__________________
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 02:51 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,259
Talking about money is almost like talking about sex for many folks. Just my observation.
__________________
tmm99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 03:00 PM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,164
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmm99 View Post
Talking about money is almost like talking about sex for many folks. Just my observation.
The only difference is the older you get, the less you need to talk about sex and the more you need to talk about money.
__________________
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2013, 03:11 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
Oddly enough, when my parents were alive, we used to discuss finances openly. They had no special financial training except the University of Life, but they were LBYM and had their heads screwed on. My mother had an equity portfolio and followed the markets with interest. They both understood the need for work life balance and my father retired early with two pensions. Their net worth continued to grow throughout their lifetimes. My inheritance has enabled me to FIRE. My mother's lawyer was stunned at the size of her estate (not including a trust) and asked "where did she get all the money?"

I find it more difficult to discuss finances with friends or other relatives. As someone who had a high paying job, I might be seen as boasting, and might reinforce stereotypes about physicians. Many of my friends and family are reluctant to discuss their finances openly with anyone, which is fine. While I have had some financial discussions with work colleagues, they have been focused on general topics, such as the pros and cons of professional incorporation. I have never shared details such as asset allocation, net worth or retirement strategies with work colleagues.

Being an INTJ, I am less likely to trust people's opinions than I am to research topics myself and examine the data. That is why I have taken courses in finance, and avidly read the research articles posted here and on other financial forums (thank you all for posting!).

A couple of years ago I attended an orientation at a medical licensing body. The physician who was doing the talking felt it appropriate to provide guidance on the financial aspects of running a practice, including tax efficient strategies. He made a number of incorrect statements. He should have stuck to the material he was qualified to speak on. Moral of the story: treat everything you hear with a grain of salt.
__________________

__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:04 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.