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Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 04:16 PM   #1
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Retiring before parents

The spouse and I have been looking at the very real possibility that we may be in a position to retire before either of our parents. We would be 44 and they would be aged 65- 70 if our most optimistic scenerio plays out. They haven't saved much (due to a combination of poor choices and bad luck) and we are just starting to realize that we may have to calculate some parental support money into our long term ER-planning. That's not a big issue for us, just a fact of life - if we have to work a little longer to take care of mom and dad we will do it.

However, the bigger issue is that even if they end up being self-sufficient (or mostly so) it could be a little awkward to be fully retired while mom and dad are still working. Any one else facing this problem? Any thoughts?
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 04:22 PM   #2
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Re: Retiring before parents

I retired shortly after my dad did. He's fairly amused by it and tells people about it all the time when they ask about his kids.

He's saved enough to get by, and he's a depression era LBYM'er. I paid off his mortgage a few years ago, so now he's in pretty good shape.

That having been said, he's an independent cuss and probably wouldnt take money from me. The house was an exception easily made because he immediately noted "well, you're going to get the house anyway when I go, so I guess its alright if you pay for it..." But at some point (probably after he's lit the kitchen on fire or fallen and broken a hip), he'll probably move in and live with us.

The good news about being co-retired is we both know the other is available to get together or go do something...
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 04:44 PM   #3
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Re: Retiring before parents

My Dad is retired already (I'm 30) and I want to retire as fast as I can so I can spend a few years like that, too. Unfortunately, DW's parents are very likely to still be working as they are only 16 years older than her.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 07:15 PM   #4
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Re: Retiring before parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowGirl
The spouse and I have been looking at the very real possibility that we may be in a position to retire before either of our parents.* We would be 44 and* they would be aged 65- 70 if our most optimistic scenerio plays out.*
We retired at end of 2003 at 43 and 44. I'm realizing that you can't tell anybody. Maybe if you were 50 or 55, then you could. Right now, it is just so hard to understand for most folks, that we've just not told anybody.

We had some experience with this... My DW quit work in 2002, and I worked parttime. I told one or two people that I was working parttime, and basically I got this attitude of, "how can you afford THAT"?

Then I was laid off and realized that we could retire early.

Really, one can only come up with one of two explanations for why someone 44 can retire early - either you're crazy, a total loser and living on food stamps OR you're rich.

I don't want the relatives to know the truth. People have killed for less. Just watch Court TV.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 07:27 PM   #5
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Re: Retiring before parents

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Originally Posted by Sparky
We retired at end of 2003 at 43 and 44.* I'm realizing that you can't tell anybody.* Maybe if you were 50 or 55, then you could.* Right now, it is just so hard to understand for most folks, that we've just not told anybody.

We had some experience with this... My DW quit work in 2002, and I worked parttime.* I told one or two people that I was working parttime, and basically I got this attitude of, "how can you afford THAT"?*

Then I was laid off and realized that we could retire early.*

Really, one can only come up with one of two explanations for why someone 44 can retire early - either you're crazy, a total loser and living on food stamps OR you're rich.

I don't want the relatives to know the truth.* People have killed for less.* Just watch Court TV.
I had similar reactions, even though I was 49 and still worked part time.
Some people were mystified and incredulous. Many people assumed I was
rich because of the way we lived before I ERed. If some of them knew the truth they would be even more amazed.

JG
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: Retiring before parents

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Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I had similar reactions, even though I was 49 and still worked part time.
Some people were mystified and incredulous.* Many people assumed I was
rich because of the way we lived before I ERed.* If some of them knew the truth they would be even more amazed.

JG
See?

I was lucky because nobody ever called me at work... and now I just tell people to call me on my cell...

And nobody knows that we are not working ... and nobody realizes it either. We're just too young for that. It wouldn't occur to most folks.

BTW, my point about Court TV is not exactly correct at this point ... it's all Michael Jackson all the time now.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 07:54 PM   #7
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Re: Retiring before parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowGirl
However, the bigger issue is that even if they end up being self-sufficient (or mostly so) it could be a little awkward to be fully retired while mom and dad are still working.* Any one else facing this problem?* Any thoughts?
Yikes, no, sorry, I hope that they can take pride in having taught you the skills to ER (they can take credit for that, right?) and be happy to see their kid succeed at something. Even if it's just avoiding employment...

My father and my FIL were my ER mentors. I wouldn't have picked the correct pill color without their thought-provoking questions and exemplary ER lifestyles.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 08:34 PM   #8
 
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Re: Retiring before parents

would love to hear more about ER from those who have done so at or about 40...

sparky - appreciate your comments re: how hard it is for others to understand / accept

we are on the path to get there, but dont know anyone else in this position, and we could use some advice to prep ourselves for what you guys have / are experiencing!!
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 09:35 PM   #9
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Re: Retiring before parents

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Originally Posted by Nords
Yikes, no, sorry, I hope that they can take pride in having taught you the skills to ER (they can take credit for that, right?) and be happy to see their kid succeed at something. Even if it's just avoiding employment...
Yes, I think they are certainly very proud of us and none of them are the types to be resentful of our successes or feel entitled to our money. But I do wonder what sort of dark thoughts and weirdness will occur if they're still working in their late 60's and we're already retired.

I'm starting to think that Sparky may have it right and not telling is the way to go. I have already developed a habit of "poor mouthing" to all of our relatives and most of our friends. Call it paranoia, but I'd prefer most people think we are just getting by and not have them know we are savings buckets of money through LBYM.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-27-2005, 10:36 PM   #10
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Re: Retiring before parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by pl05br
would love to hear more about ER from those who have done so at or about 40...

sparky - appreciate your comments re: how hard it is for others to understand / accept

we are on the path to get there, but dont know anyone else in this position, and we could use some advice to prep ourselves for what you guys have / are experiencing!!
Well, lets see. Other than it being FRICKIN GREAT, there are some caveats. I went at 39.

You will start losing common ground with friends who are now former co-workers. All they'll want to talk about is what this jerk is doing or this/that thing thats going on in the company. You will soon stop caring. This will quickly annoy them.

Your friends will expect you to make all the plans and be the launchpad for all activities becuz you aint workin no more. This will quickly annoy you.

As far as the status, we've had a lot of discussion but frankly theres been zero difficulty with friends and family. I'm sure theres a bit of nominal jealousy. Aside from a few temporarily green gills though, nothing huge. If I had friends or family who were anything other than glad for me, I'd launch them in a heartbeat, adios muchachos and seeya later mistah. No looking back. For casual acquaintances like neighbors and so forth, I tell them I'm a professional investor and do most of my work at home. They never asked again after that except to ask me a few questions about where to put their money. For others, I tell them I still do what I did before I retired, as they probably dont give a crap really and its a lot easier to explain.

I found I had a lot of time to do things I used to do quickly in my working life, and I had the energy, mental and physical ability to take those up. I started fixing and maintaining everything myself, shopping almost daily and cooking all my meals from scratch.

I exchange idle time for money on a regular basis, finding better deals for stuff I need to buy. I spend an hour or two a day (at least) reading about everything from politics to investing to oddball news, etc. I spend a couple of hours a day more than I could if I was working playing with my infant son and our pets. Actually that infant son thing may be attributable to ER...probably not something that could or would have happened if I was stressed out and on the road all the time.

Let me best frame this for you...remember summer vacations when you were in high school? The one or two where a lot of your friends had jobs, went to summer school or went away for the summer? Its just like that. Awkward at first to adjust to not being on a regular scheduled, way too much free time on your hands, perhaps not as much money as you'd like but your needs are certainly met. Future a little uncertain. Change definitely in the wind. Oh yeah, and take away 85% of the wild hormones.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 05:53 AM   #11
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Re: Retiring before parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Banks
Well, lets see.* Other than it being FRICKIN GREAT, there are some caveats.* I went at 39.

You will start losing common ground with friends who are now former co-workers.* All they'll want to talk about is what this jerk is doing or this/that thing thats going on in the company.* You will soon stop caring.* This will quickly annoy them.

Your friends will expect you to make all the plans and be the launchpad for all activities becuz you aint workin no more.* This will quickly annoy you.

As far as the status, we've had a lot of discussion but frankly theres been zero difficulty with friends and family.* I'm sure theres a bit of nominal jealousy.* Aside from a few temporarily green gills though, nothing huge.* If I had friends or family who were anything other than glad for me, I'd launch them in a heartbeat, adios muchachos and seeya later mistah.* No looking back.* For casual acquaintances like neighbors and so forth, I tell them I'm a professional investor and do most of my work at home.* They never asked again after that except to ask me a few questions about where to put their money.* For others, I tell them I still do what I did before I retired, as they probably dont give a crap really and its a lot easier to explain.

I found I had a lot of time to do things I used to do quickly in my working life, and I had the energy, mental and physical ability to take those up.* I started fixing and maintaining everything myself, shopping almost daily and cooking all my meals from scratch.

I exchange idle time for money on a regular basis, finding better deals for stuff I need to buy.* I spend an hour or two a day (at least) reading about everything from politics to investing to oddball news, etc.* I spend a couple of hours a day more than I could if I was working playing with my infant son and our pets.* Actually that infant son thing may be attributable to ER...probably not something that could or would have happened if I was stressed out and on the road all the time.

Let me best frame this for you...remember summer vacations when you were in high school?* The one or two where a lot of your friends had jobs, went to summer school or went away for the summer?* Its just like that.* Awkward at first to adjust to not being on a regular scheduled, way too much free time on your hands, perhaps not as much money as you'd like but your needs are certainly met.* Future a little uncertain.* Change definitely in the wind.* Oh yeah, and take away 85% of the wild hormones.
Gosh, I agree with most of this. Good post. Almost all of my
work related friends and associates are gone, except for the
ones who were really close and had common interests outside of work. In my case I also lost some folks who were friends of us
(me and first wife) as couples, since I ERed and divorced her pretty
much at the same time. OTOH, I added back some old friends
and made new ones so honestly, as for social life I am pretty
well loaded. OTOH, I am basically a loner at heart and so am
self-entertaining. Grand Banks (still think of him as th) is right on
about the shopping and buying bargains. I never realized how much
money could be saved by having the time to think and shop.
It has made a huge difference in my life. Of course, prior to ER
I was spending like there was no tomorrow. Obviously that had
to stop.

JG
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 10:06 AM   #12
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Re: Retiring before parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by pl05br
would love to hear more about ER from those who have done so at or about 40...
Start a new thread and you will get some responses (at least one* )

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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 10:24 AM   #13
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Re: Retiring before parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowGirl
...we may have to calculate some parental support money into our long term ER-planning.* That's not a big issue for us, just a fact of life - if we have to work a little longer to take care of mom and dad we will do it.*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Banks
I paid off his mortgage a few years ago, so now he's in pretty good shape.
Wow, you both are good to your parents!

FlowGirl, would it be possible to help them now instead of (or in addition to)*in the future, say with investing and managing money if you're better at that than they are?* Maybe that would help towards you all retiring close to the same time.

You could probably gift them with something now--lump sum or monthly help so they can save for their retirement--but I can understand if you want to wait and do that until you yourselves are retired.


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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 12:47 PM   #14
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Re: Retiring before parents

Plenty of good reasons to help out that way besides being good to the parents, although that was definitely a factor.

It helps assure he can stay independent as long as he wants, and not be forced to move in with me because he ran out of money.

It also made no sense to make 2-3% on bonds while he's paying almost 6% on a mortgage. I have plenty of $ and didnt need the money. In fact, I cut my taxability a little by taking the money out of my bond allocation and paying the home down. Didnt need any crystal balls or calculators to know that 6% beats the crap out of 3%.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 01:23 PM   #15
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Re: Retiring before parents

Hmmm... I tend to be pretty direct and plain-spoken, so I have not been shy about telling family members and a random few others about my plans (ER's in my 40s). Really, I think I would be perfectly happy amusing myself, but I do kick around the thought of a second career or owning a small business for a while. DW, OTOH, is more attuned to the opinions of others. We haven't sat down and discussed it, but I have gotten the idea that she is happier with the notion of a "second career" rather than me just being retired. This isn't about money worries or anything else. rather, she tends to be a good canary in the coal mine for me WRT social stuff. As I think about it, I more and more believe that I will be resorting to the weasel "out" of telling people that I am an investor or pursuing a second career mostly out of my home. It just does away with a lot of awkward questions and possible jealousies, etc.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 02:34 PM   #16
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Re: Retiring before parents

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Originally Posted by flipstress
Wow, you both are good to your parents!

FlowGirl, would it be possible to help them now instead of (or in addition to) in the future, say with investing and managing money if you're better at that than they are? Maybe that would help towards you all retiring close to the same time.

You could probably gift them with something now--lump sum or monthly help so they can save for their retirement--but I can understand if you want to wait and do that until you yourselves are retired.
I'm a little uncomfortable with gifting them money right now because I think we'll be in better shape to help them if we build ourselves a solid foundation first. I'm also not yet convinced they will make 100% responsbile choices, and I'd rather not be in the position of telling them how to spend their money or feeling resentful that they don't use it they way I intended (example - I won't be happy if I fund an IRA for them and then they pull the money out). We do give them advice, but I'd rather wait until there's a real problem before I get too tangled up in the issues of money and family.

In the meantime we keep a much larger emergency fund than we normally would so that we can step in to help them if needed. I think my parents would do fine on SS and part-time work if they didn't have house payments, so buying their house or paying off their mortgage is one option in the future. My MIL, has had a six figure salary for most of her working life, but has also spent a lot of time unemployed (mostly by choice) and now has $0 dollars in the bank. Fortunately, she is about to sell some really valuable property, which could be her salvation if she's able to learn to LBYM.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 04:40 PM   #17
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Re: Retiring before parents

Flowgirl, I feel the same way about building up my own savings first, although I am afraid that by the time I reach that point, my mom may not be around.* Our situation differs from each other in that while your parents--at least your MIL--has great earning capacity, my mom is already 81 and has no pension in the Philippines.* She gets some income by renting out part of her house, but I send her a monthly allowance so she's not so hard up.

Yeah, I would be upset if I found out she were irresponsibly using the money that I send her.* However, I know that she's been frugal all her life, so I trust that she uses it for basic needs plus doctor visits (no med. insurance for my family there!).* She does tell me that she splurges and takes ballroom dance lessons once in a while, which is OK by me because it makes her happy.

It seems that you are doing what you can by having that bigger emergency fund just in case you need to help them out and by including them in your future budget.* And it's great they're proud of you, so when the time comes that you RE, and if you reveal it to them, they'll be happy for you.* You'll probably know better then your financial situation, if you can surprise them with a gift, etc.; you'll have more info and will have had enough time to make the decision as to what to tell them and others.
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 07:31 PM   #18
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Re: Retiring before parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by pl05br
would love to hear more about ER from those who have done so at or about 40...

sparky - appreciate your comments re: how hard it is for others to understand / accept

we are on the path to get there, but dont know anyone else in this position, and we could use some advice to prep ourselves for what you guys have / are experiencing!!
I don't know anybody else in our position either ... those that say they'll freely share their ER with friends and family in their 40's... probably ain't there yet.

I think one needs to be a rugged individualist... and have their spouse totally on the same page about this. It really is alien to most. How to explain a relaxed casual life to a brother or sister working 70 hours a week? How? I'm rich and you're not?

In my opinion, it's best to just avoid the whole thing... I'm real busy just like everybody else. Call me on my cell...
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 07:41 PM   #19
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Re: Retiring before parents

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Originally Posted by Sparky
I think one needs to be a rugged individualist... and have their spouse totally on the same page about this.* It really is alien to most.* How to explain a relaxed casual life to a brother or sister working 70 hours a week? How?* I'm rich and you're not?

In my opinion, it's best to just avoid the whole thing... I'm real busy just like everybody else.* Call me on my cell...
Good point! My (former) spouse was certainly not
"on the same page". To make matters worse, diplomacy has never been my strong suit. And.............I couldn't just avoid the subject.
Once I caught the ER fever, I could discuss it 24/7. I find the whole thing endlessly fascinating, perhaps due to arriving at
ER City so late in life.

JG
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Re: Retiring before parents
Old 05-28-2005, 07:48 PM   #20
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Re: Retiring before parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Banks

Let me best frame this for you...remember summer vacations when you were in high school?* The one or two where a lot of your friends had jobs, went to summer school or went away for the summer?* Its just like that.* Awkward at first to adjust to not being on a regular scheduled, way too much free time on your hands, perhaps not as much money as you'd like but your needs are certainly met.* Future a little uncertain.* Change definitely in the wind.* Oh yeah, and take away 85% of the wild hormones.
Hormones I agree with ... but summer vacation? *Not so sure. *

It's not like a permanent vacation ... just other things to worry about besides work. * I've found that I worry alot more about things that wouldn't have mattered when I was working.

But I am 6 months into my second year of this, so I'm still getting accustomed to life without work. *We're on our own at this - no guides. *

I realized that I've been getting up early since I was 4 years old - that's a tough habit to break.

All the things we thought we wanted to do, such as taking photography classes, painting, yoga classes, tennis - we've not gotten around to - too much like work.
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