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Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-09-2005, 08:26 PM   #1
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Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

I think that this post has been talked about before, but is talking about this like being in a prison of "lifers" and explaining that you have a plan to escape? Is there really anybody out that there that enjoys working at the pleasure of someone else? and is this throwing salt in people's wounds. I discussed with a couple of folks and they dont seem to think it is possible...to the point of thinking that I am crazy.....I also think that maybe this is something best kept to one self? I would like to spread the gospel... to those willing to learn.....
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-09-2005, 08:30 PM   #2
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

You won't have much luck converting anyone. It's like trying to teach algebra to a dog. Just not able to grasp it. Don't worry about it though, someone has to work to supply your needs.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-09-2005, 08:37 PM   #3
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Maddy, to most it is like trying to describe the color red to a person blind from birth. They just don't get it.

I think this is one reason this forum is so active. Once we FIRE types find others who share the same vision (oops, lapsing back into my minimegacorp vocabulary), it is a great pleasure to trade ideas and learn how many different paths people have taken or are taking to FIRE.

There were very few at my former workplace that knew what I was up to. I will never forget the reaction of some of my peers when I told them I was retiring. The most common reaction was "Can you do that?"

Some things are best left unsaid.

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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-09-2005, 08:53 PM   #4
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Ah yes

Before I discovered this forum - I was a loner - out in the wilderness.

Now I are a 'high class ER'.

49-55 kept a very low profile.

55 - first pension check - had quasi official early retirement status. Go straight to the old pharts corner at the doughnut shop.

At work - I don't remember ever discussing it - except for jawing about stocks.

Best I remember - even the 55 and outs kept quiet - until they pulled the pin.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-09-2005, 11:44 PM   #5
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

When I found this forum, I ran out and told everyone at work. Reactions were across the board, from enthusiastic to hostile. Exactly zero people adopted anything I said. I now keep my trap shut. Let them drink their kool aid, they like the taste.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-09-2005, 11:59 PM   #6
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddythebeagle
...is talking about this like being in a prison of "lifers" and explaining that you have a plan to escape? Is there really anybody out that there that enjoys working at the pleasure of someone else? and is this throwing salt in people's wounds. I discussed with a couple of folks and they dont seem to think it is possible...to the point of thinking that I am crazy.....I also think that maybe this is something best kept to one self? I would like to spread the gospel... to those willing to learn.....
I posted some philosophy about the "Parable of the Caves" last year about this subject http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=1269.0

To save you from clicking here it is again...

Some people are afraid to ER because they are conditioned to keep doing what they have always done without exploring life.* I have a hard time believing that most people enjoy working.* Maybe some REALLY love their work, but I believe most people only THINK they want to work forever.* If they explore life and can experience all the other fun things there are to do besides work, then they may see the light.* In an oversimplified way of explaining this, the people in cave only know the cave just like people at work only know they need to wake up go to work all day, come home, eat, watch some TV, go to bed, and start all over the next day.* For those of us who have discovered the exit to the cave and have decided not to return to the chains in the cave, we believe that ERing is a better answer to life than wasting a major and best part of our lives at a job.

I never even liked philosophy in college, but that's my philosophy lesson for today.* When I first read the parable of the caves in college, I remember how it related to ERing, but when I talked about my interpretation to others in my class, they didn't get it* which baffled me.* They were more concerned with climbing the corporate ladder.* Well, they are now in the corporate world trying to make their bosses happy and working overtime to prove their loyalty to the company so they can get that promotion with a fancier title.* I am semi-retired self-employed working much less hours than them and most likely accumulating more wealth than them in order to retire at 40.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 01:11 AM   #7
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddythebeagle
I would like to spread the gospel... to those willing to learn...
Apart from the people attracted to this board (like moths to the flame), good luck with that.

I can't remember who posted about it first, but one human subspecies will suck the life out of you in your attempt to spread the FIRE gospel. They'll ask questions, nod alertly, write down your book recommendations, and race off to start their reading that night.

A week later you'll see them indulging in their same "old" consumption habits. But they're getting the books right away, they're coming second-day air from Amazon.

A month later they haven't signed up for their 401(k) but they have the books.

A quarter later they're leasing or buying a new car, meeting with a financial advisor who's selling annuities & loaded mutual funds, and trying to find a low-interest credit card to consolidate their debt. They haven't finished the books yet.

A year later they're back at your desk asking "How did you DO this?" They ask questions, nod alertly, write down your book recommendations, and race off to start their reading that night. They'll probably be buying a second copy because they can't find the ones they bought last year.

Hopefully you're not related to anyone like that. God forbid you should be married to them...
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 01:54 AM   #8
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

The prisons are self made. "Free your mind, your ass will follow" *

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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 07:35 AM   #9
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

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Some people are afraid to ER because they are conditioned to keep doing what they have always done without exploring life
Ahhh yes humans for the most part are creatures of habit.* People I know want to talk about work all the time.* No outside interests at all.* So I tell them to go rent "About Schmidt"*

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The prisons are self made. "Free your mind, your ass will follow"
Morgan Freeman quote from "Shawshank Redemption"...
"These walls are kind of funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That's institutionalized. They send you here for life, that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyways"
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 07:48 AM   #10
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

About the most I'll do is tell people that I have a fantasy about retiring early, but I keep it pretty vague. Plus, I guess I'm still young enough, at the age of 35, that even if I do talk about retiring at 50 (with luck it'll be earlier than that ) or so, that most of the people here at work still consider that far enough away for it to be a non-issue. Plus, most of the people I support would be retired by then, anyway, so it wouldn't concern them.

I have a co-worker who's 43, single, and keeps talking about when her "ship comes in". She has a condo that she paid around $90-100K for back in 1990, but whenever she'd get some equity built up, due to rising values, she'd refinance and take cash out. I know that place has to be worth about $250K by now, but at this point she's only like 2 years into a 3 year mortgage. And she has a car payment on top of that. She had rolled one car loan into her mortgage, but when it got stolen, she had to buy another vehicle, and she financed the difference. She's always buying the latest in gadgets and such, and is just loose with money, in general. But at the same time she's a real tightwad. I know that sounds contradictory, but here's an example. She doesn't like to be included in stuff at work like birthday celebrations, secret santas, etc, because she doesn't want to throw the money into the pot for it. And one time, she had some friend from out of town come in, and she took her to an expensive restaurant, and while there, told her friend that she'd have to pay her own way! But then she'll buy some pair of shoes she doesn't need, expensive perfume, some overpriced purse, etc.

Well, she keeps talking about how God is going to reward her, because she's such a good christian she is (trust me, she's not...she's the type that talks it real well, but when it comes to walking it, weeeelll, that's a different story!) and talking about inheriting her millions (I doubt she's going to get much when her mother kicks off, but you never know). Every time she's changed jobs, she'd cash in her 401k, paying the penalties, and I don't think she's even contributing to the one with our current company. She would also adjust her withholdings so that she'd get a big refund come tax time. But then, she'd blow that money on a new livingroom set, a cruise, expensive cookware, or what have you.

It's really sad, because when you think about it, if she really put her mind to it, she could've had her condo paid off by now, and really be rolling in it. She's the type that insists she's going to retire early, but she's not planning for it. It's all just talk. I'll be really curious to see where I'm at financially in 8 years, when I'll be her age today. According to my spreadsheet calculations, I should have my mutual funds, stocks, Roth, and 401k's up to around $850,000, plus whatever I have stashed in other stuff, like my checking account, money market fund, and savings bonds. So theoretically I could be up to a million $ or more, plus whatever equity I have in the house by then.

And she'll be 51 by then. It'll be interesting to see where she's at by that time. She really needs to get her financial life in order, but she's the type that you can't tell her anything. Has to argue EVERYTHING. You know the old saying...you can lead a cow to water, but you can't make it drink! :P
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 08:17 AM   #11
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

While still pre-ER, I have quickly learned not to expect people to be receptive or even polite when the concept is put in front of them. It's so far from being feasable for most people that it tends to produce shock, envy, or hostility in most cases. At best they regard you as delusional

I know better than to discuss it with co-workers...this board is almost the only sanity check available!
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 08:40 AM   #12
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Well, some of y'all got out earlier than I, but I got here as soon as I could.

In many of my conversations with Mega-Corp's employees, former and current, I get around to mentioning early retirement dot org. I tell 'em just browse around until you find something you like or disagree with, and then jump in. I tell 'em that there are ideas concerning every facet of retired life; whatever qualms you may have have usually been addressed by someone on this forum.

I loved the parable, retire@40. You are what you do,day-after-day. For those of us who were/are military, being stuck on long remote tours eventually seems normal. Normal, that is, until you finally hit your DEROS, and get out.

BTW: Most people who really "love their jobs" have a couple of things in common.
1. Ability to come and go as they please.
2. They're their own boss.
3. They are creative, not stuck in mundane "stuff".
4. Tremendous income and/or recognition.
5. As kids, they always wanted to be. . . (doctor, lawyer, ballplayer, etc.)
6. They can see results. One of the things I hated about Mega-corp was it really didn't matter if I did it or not. Mega wasn't going to fold. Now I've been gone 18 months or so, and Mega is still there!
7. The concept of flow applies. They become lost in doing the job, so that time and other problems evaporate. Most corporate jobs don't have the conditions for flow.


Now, you could take all of these, excepting #4 and apply them to ER. When you do, you're home-free.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 09:33 AM   #13
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

My mom is retiring this year at 55 and all her co workers are looking at her like "how did you do that." Well let's see she lives in CA, bought her house 16 years ago (which she rented out, never refi'd, moved into a 1 bd apartment, and drives a 20 year old BMW).
Now contrast this with her co workers who have refi'd for the 10th time, drive Hummers to work and you start to answer the question of how she did it. I wish I could see there faces when she told them that her son (me) was semi-retiring at 32
All this because she listened to her son and sold her house to buy rental prop in GA and saved $500 per month out of her modest check. She's under the CSRS and took the early out and moving to Panama with us.
Hate to ramble but people that never take vacations from work are the main ones who can't imagine anything but work. When you take time to visit some of the most beautiful places this world has to offer that is enough motivation to get the hell out of that job ASAP and make the neccessary life adjustments.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 09:35 AM   #14
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43

BTW:* Most people who really "love their jobs" have a couple of things in common.
1.* Ability to come and go as they please.
2.* They're their own boss.
3.* They are creative, not stuck in mundane "stuff".
4.* Tremendous income and/or recognition.
5.* As kids, they always wanted to be. . . (doctor, lawyer, ballplayer, etc.)
6.* They can see results.* One of the things I hated about Mega-corp was it really didn't matter if I did it or not.* Mega wasn't going to fold.* Now I've been gone 18 months or so, and Mega is still there!
7.* The concept of flow applies.* They become lost in doing the job, so that time and other problems evaporate.* Most corporate jobs don't have the conditions for flow.


Now, you could take all of these, excepting #4 and apply them to ER.* When you do, you're home-free.*
I must be a pathetic misfit or something because I fit most of those qualifications (all except 1 and 2) and I still long for FIRE. *Maybe I'm just lazy. *I'd love to have an indefinite period between jobs to find out.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 10:09 AM   #15
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43

BTW:* Most people who really "love their jobs" have a couple of things in common.
1.* Ability to come and go as they please.
2.* They're their own boss.

4.* Tremendous income and/or recognition.
*
These certainly apply to my boss. He makes close to 250k/yr, comes and goes as he please, and basically sees the country and world on our tab or our vendors tab. He is in Canada at this moment and has been to Australia, Italy, Mexico, Germany,* Caribbean Islands, and numerous resort locations in the USA, all in the name of work. Usually short meetings and plenty of playtime.* He will probably work( :) into his early 70's. It would be hard to give up that package!
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 11:36 AM   #16
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Arif, you might have mentioned this elsewhere, but what kind of business are you starting in Panama?

Another factor in people hanging on to their jobs is not being able to spend all day long with their spouses (again, see About Schmidt!) That was the case with my parents. Mom couldn't quit until she had a part time (escape hatch) job lined up.

At my work there was another guy like me who was pretty frugal, he was always saying he brown bagged lunch, etc. because needed to save money for his kids' college fund. It was not until I was actually leaving that he told me that he had plans to retire early too (not until 50s though) Its like its a taboo subject.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 11:51 AM   #17
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_K
While still pre-ER, I have quickly learned not to expect people to be receptive or even polite when the concept is put in front of them. It's so far from being feasable for most people that it tends to produce shock, envy, or hostility in most cases. At best they regard you as delusional

I know better than to discuss it with co-workers...this board is almost the only sanity check available!

I haven't told any of my friends my specific plans to ER... just vague hints and idle day dreaming talk.... "Wouldn't it be nice if you were FI? What would you do all day?".. etc. I see if any of them have actually thought about it or if day dreaming is all they've done. So far, believe it or not, most of my friends haven't even *thought* about what they'd do all day if they weren't working. Those that have thought about it think it is just a fantasy. One friend I've hinted my desire to ER to and he was surprised (not in a bad way) but skeptical. I can understand that from him. He's the only income earner in the family because his wife is ill and frankly, getting to be FI in your early 40s is much easier if both you and your spouse earn incomes.

For me, I didn't even start thinking about FI until I had accumulated a moderate nest egg, probably because FI was so far away before. Judging from our consumption based society, most people don't accumulate a nest egg until their mid 40s (or maybe never) so they just aren't even thinking about a finish line that is so far away.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 12:07 PM   #18
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Yeeah, I don't say a word to most people outside of immediate family any more. I have mentioned it to my parents and my MIL, but my FIL wouldn't get it. Too wedded to the Protestant work ethic. When my wife talks about the future with people she just puts it in terms of me pursuing a second career.
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 12:20 PM   #19
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Back in the late 90's, when it seemed like the prosperity would go on forever, I remember telling my Mom that, at the rate things are going, I'd be able to retire when I was around 39. She said "You'd better not, because that'll be the same year I'm retiring!"

Unfortunately, the late 90's gave way to 2000, 2001, and 2002, so whenever it comes up, I tell Mom not to worry, that she'll probably retire before me! I have learned to watch who I talk to about it though. Some people will look at you like you've lost your mind, others will start looking for a handout, and some just get jealous or overly competitive.

For example, I have this one friend who's constantly comparing himself to me, and then starts coming down on himself because I've done something before him (got married...AND divorced! , bought my home, bought a new car, hit a certain income plateau, etc). So nowadays, whenever he starts trying this comparison stuff, I just tell him to keep in mind that I'm also 3 years older than him, so I've had 3 years longer to get to a certain point. And then I try to change the subject!
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE
Old 08-10-2005, 01:36 PM   #20
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Re: Sharing Thoughts on FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I must be a pathetic misfit or something because I fit most of those qualifications (all except 1 and 2) and I still long for FIRE.
Geez, using your definition of "pathetic misfit" I'm even a worse one than you since I fit all those qualification including 1 and 2.
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