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Seeking advice from the experienced
Old 06-05-2021, 09:54 PM   #1
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Seeking advice from the experienced

Hello all,
As many others have previously stated, thank you all for building such a great resource and community here. It seems like many lurkers have come forth lately and I am in the same boat. I will be brief about my situation as it has little to do with my ability to FIRE. I am in my late 30s, married, and have three young children under the age of 10. I started a financial services company in my mid-20s and started to make a great living about three years into the business. I recently sold the company and have a net worth just north of $15,000,000. I have a very good grip on our financial situation post FIRE as our passive/investment income greatly exceeds our annual needs/expenditures. We feel extremely blessed to be in this situation, but I certainly came at a significant sacrifice of blood/sweat/tears/time away from anything other than the business. That being said, any input from community members who have already entered the retirement stage on the following questions would be very much appreciated.

1) knowing what you know now about retirement, is there anything you would do differently if you could start over again?

2) taking all of your experiences in retirement into consideration, is there any advice that you would give to someone in my situation who is entering the FIRE stage at a relatively young age?

3) are there any members who may have FIRE’d at a younger age and had the inevitable awkward conversations about “what you do” or “tell me about your job”? I don’t like to even pose this question here because it sounds like a very “First world problem”, but I’ve encountered this very conversation a number of times recently and it’s been weird each time. I’m a terrible liar and I’m not ashamed of what I’ve been able to accomplish, so my inclination is to just tell people the truth without much detail. Any insight from others here would be much appreciated on how you navigate these conversations.

Thanks again for all that you folks give to peoples like me and I hope to be able to do the same for others here I’m the future.
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Old 06-05-2021, 10:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to the group. Lots of good advice and info here, on a variety of subjects. Mainly financial, but also extending to things people are interested in like travel, health, cars, hobbies, and so on.

Your questions: (1) No, nothing "I" would do differently. I retired at age 54 with my three kids then 7, 11,and 17. When I left it took me about 20 minutes to adjust, and I never looked back or regretted the decision one bit. You will never regret the time you have for yourself and your family by retiring early. If you continue to work, that is time you can never get back.

(2) I wasn't as young as you at retirement, but one suggestion I would have for any early retirees would be to have some goals/projects/dreams/missions you want to work on, achieve, accomplish. In my case, we had long dreamed of building a custom house on country acreage. We spent five years designing the home ourselves, and then getting it built on a small acreage we had found and purchased after I retired. My DW had so much fun furnishing and decorating our home and establishing the gardens and landscaping. Every day I look out the windows and reveal in the beauty and "power" of the trees and plants and gardens we got set up on what had been rough pasture. And every day I am grateful for the interior decorating touches my DW made that still make this bundle of lumber and plasterboard "a home".

Question (3) Just tell people the truth. After awhile, it will not be awkward for "you". After their initial stunned silence, maybe then you can tell them about what projects/dreams/missions you are now devoting time to. And about how rewarding are the days you now get to "be there" for and with your family.

You have already accomplished a lot financially, so I would guess you might be able to offer some good advice here on some of the threads yourself.

Welcome!
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:06 AM   #3
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1) Not significantly. RE'd at 57, 4 years ago.
2) What Robert said. You need something that occupies your time in a meaningful way. For me it is travel and landscape photography.
3) What Robert said again.
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:48 AM   #4
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I was in financial services too, but retired at 48. I get the awkward question too. I used to get that stare from people when I told them I was retired. So now I tell them I got a retirement package and some severance pay and that I'm taking a few years off and then maybe teach college classes or something. This seems to satisfy most people, and it's all true. And hey, I might. You never know.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 396ss View Post
1) knowing what you know now about retirement, is there anything you would do differently if you could start over again?

2) taking all of your experiences in retirement into consideration, is there any advice that you would give to someone in my situation who is entering the FIRE stage at a relatively young age?

3) are there any members who may have FIRE’d at a younger age and had the inevitable awkward conversations about “what you do” or “tell me about your job”? ... I’ve encountered this very conversation a number of times recently and it’s been weird each time...
1) other than start earlier? Nope. Retired at 47.

2) Enjoy it! Age doesn't really make that much of a difference, other than you have kids still to raise, so I'd focus on them a lot as before you know it they'll be up and out

3) Have something ready to say, and to pivot. "Oh I recently sold my company and I'm taking my time deciding what's next. Tell me more about that thing you do?" - that should hold you over for a few years. I really don't go out of my way to have to meet lots of new people so it doesn't come up much, and most people really don't care, it's just typical intro conversation. Don't sweat it, it's not a quiz, and anyone who gets pushy with the But What Do You Actually Do All Day stuff doesn't warrant an answer.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:31 AM   #6
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I don't quite qualify since I am not ER! But I can answer #2 and #3.
#2: Find your calling, try things out. For me it is love of the land! @RetireeRobert, we followed similar journey on the acreage. We are still transforming out little piece of Texas.
#3: You can side track the questions with a lot of generic responses. My favorite is "I am a consultant in financial management". Or face head on with the truth. People you should care about wouldn't care either way. And for people you don't care about, it is a moot point.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:50 AM   #7
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I retired at 53 and the one thing you have to get used to is hanging out with older people. Almost all people your age will be working for the next 20 years. Not a big deal, but it is an adjustment. We moved to Florida after retirement, the nice thing down here is everyone is retired and they all want to be active and do things. Up north it was harder to find people who weren’t working. Jmho
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:11 AM   #8
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#1 I'd leave earlier. 56 was great but 49 would have been better.
#2 Retirement is a process not an event. Treat it that way.
#3 This is less of an issue than we make it to be. We moved 5 years ago and I've had two conversations about "what did you do?". We were talking to a couple at the local hotsprings and discovered he worked for Megacorp's #1 competition in the area I specialized in. Our conversation quickly turned to how awesome life is.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ugeauxgirl View Post
I was in financial services too, but retired at 48. I get the awkward question too. I used to get that stare from people when I told them I was retired. So now I tell them I got a retirement package and some severance pay and that I'm taking a few years off and then maybe teach college classes or something. This seems to satisfy most people, and it's all true. And hey, I might. You never know.

With $15M he can say he does Financial Planning and if someone requests his services, he can say, with the time I have available I just cannot take on any clients.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:55 AM   #10
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True. I might try that myself! I do still manage money. My own.
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With $15M he can say he does Financial Planning and if someone requests his services, he can say, with the time I have available I just cannot take on any clients.
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Old 06-06-2021, 09:36 AM   #11
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Op--Congratulations and welcome to the forum!
I agree with RetireeRobert on 1,2, 3.
Focus on time and experiences with your family, enjoy your retirement. Along the way, you will find things of interest to "do".
For nosy, curious folks--answer honestly. You built a successful business and sold it for a profit, nothing wrong with that. If you desire not to give details, the generic "personal financial planner" is always good. Then change the subject: "tell me about you", or talk about the wonderful things you are doing with your kids, etc.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:27 AM   #12
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Much thanks to all who have replied and it’s very helpful information. I have a number of hobbies and am looking forward to finally being able to get to them. Like several others, I have some acreage at our home here in Kansas and there are a number of projects I have planned for it. Old cars are my one vice in life and I have some projects waiting in my shop as well. Otherwise, my main focus will be the family and faith.

My business was an insurance agency and not financial planning, but I do handle all of our investments now, so the response of managing money is very thoughtful! I may try that.

I’m one month into not having any work obligations and can already tell I will never regret the decision to take control of how I spend my time. Thanks again for all of the supportive sentiment here and thoughtful responses!
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:39 AM   #13
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... 3) are there any members who may have FIRE’d at a younger age and had the inevitable awkward conversations ...
Retired at 56 well over a decade ago and have never had an "awkward" conversation. Too dumb to notice maybe? The end of my short explanation goes like this: " ... so we sold the business and I retired at 56. I recommend it."
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:41 AM   #14
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I'm not sure how/if this will help you but the most interesting thing that happen to me after retiring at 52 was my Peace Corps service. About 10% of volunteers are 50+.

An interesting surprise in PC was how the older volunteers bonded with the 22+ group as friends and peers. It was a lot like college, bonding with new friends. Everything we experienced from language to customs was new on an equal basis. There were no expectations about experience or age. We were a group in need of mutual support and friendship.

I try to carry on that thinking now. The PC gave me more than I gave it. And the one thing it has provided is the concept of putting age and material things aside as much as possible and appreciating the wisdom from people of all ages and circumstance. I think the key is to make it a conscious approach which starts with every encounter.
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:53 AM   #15
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Re number three, in your shoes I would probably just say entrepreneur.

I stopped working at 49 with young kids in the mix and while it’s easier because I’m female, after an intense career, the whole SAHM title doesn’t really fit. I’m still figuring out the right answer for me.

Ironically, about 6 months before I stopped working, I met one of DD’s classmates fathers who is probably in his mid 40s. When asked what he did he said he was retired (a former atty) and I remember being a bit surprised and not having a response, even though I was planning the same thing! My point being, take any reaction with a grain of salt. In retrospect, my answer should have been ‘that’s fantastic’ but it was such an unexpected answer, even for me, that I didn’t get there in the moment.

And congrats on the successful exit. What a wonderful feeling!
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Old 06-06-2021, 12:07 PM   #16
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1) Not significantly. RE'd at 57, 4 years ago.
2) What Robert said. You need something that occupies your time in a meaningful way. For me it is travel and landscape photography.
3) What Robert said again.

Great photos.
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Old 06-06-2021, 01:04 PM   #17
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Don't sweat the questions about early retirement. Accept that many times it is just due to jealousy.
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:56 PM   #18
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1) I would have spent more time with the kids before retirement instead of working all the time. So you are in good shape there by retiring while they are young. I promise with young children, the days may go by slow, but the years race by.

2)No advice, each of us has to find our own path through life. Your interests, needs, drives, capabilities and wants are unique to you. No reason to feel guilty about what ever path you take.

3)When people bring up "what do you do?", it's almost always just an icebreaker to get a conversation started, so treat it that way. Be proud of what you accomplished.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:07 PM   #19
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Old cars are my one vice in life and I have some projects waiting in my shop as well.
Let me guess... 66 Chevelle? With a 4 Speed of course. I already know the engine.

Am I close?
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:34 PM   #20
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Let me guess... 66 Chevelle? With a 4 Speed of course. I already know the engine.

Am I close?


Nailed it. Also have a ‘65 with the same set up. Z16 clone. Wish it was the real thing
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