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Old 04-28-2021, 12:44 PM   #41
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Relatives drive people crazy, that's for sure. Believe me, I know first hand. That said, I am a 72-year-old mom and here's my point of view.

If I was your mom, I'd be worried about your future, after I'm gone. If you aren't working, you aren't building up social security or a work history to fall back on in job applications. And if I'm gone, I can't rescue you if you get in a financial pinch! Sure, you're fine NOW but what if you are living in a cardboard box under a bridge in 20 years, cursing my memory for not warning you to prepare for your needs in old age!

My point of view is that she is a "mama bird" trying to take care of her baby bird. It's a mother's nature to worry and cluck. Make sure she has zero real reason to worry about your future, and understand that really all this criticism is about love and concern.

I try really hard not to do this with my daughter! I know she's not a baby any more, but still it's not easy.
Yeah tell she told me get off my ass. She's blunt and a force to be reckoned with. And yes financial insecurity for sure. But you don't get where she is without being driven and forceful. Single parent and here I am lazing about. Sigh I know she wanted me to have the perfect career and I achieved everything academically she wanted. And the I let her down after my "ivy" degrees (under and grad) and no career. Instead I just chill and work in a job.

I appreciate w2r because i think that's a big part of it. The way you wrote it i think is a lot of what she's thinking. She's freaking out that I won't have enough. What if something happens. Actually i've worked enough to qualify for SS but not more than 1/2 my DH. We've been married 17 years. I don't have a job history to get a "good" job by her definition. So W2R am I wrong in not working? I mean if we hit our FIRE number already does it matter i don't work? I ask because we will be there by the time the kids are in high school or college. So then do I need to work if I don't want to?

Nope I don't know how I will contribute to the world. I guess I contribute now raising the kids and making our lifestyle smooth. I do everything and I like it. I am a control freak. But could my DH do it without me? No for a lot of reasons I won't get into. I just like my life slower.
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:50 PM   #42
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To the OP, since this is family you're dealing with, I suppose you could give them vague financial details as the reason you no longer need a paying job.

"We've been saving/investing a good percentage of our income for XX years and now have a few million dollars put away."
"And our annual income should be close to $100k per year without ever having a paying job again!"

That should quiet them down a bit...
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:00 PM   #43
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Yeah tell she told me get off my ass. She's blunt and a force to be reckoned with. And yes financial insecurity for sure. But you don't get where she is without being driven and forceful. Single parent and here I am lazing about. Sigh I know she wanted me to have the perfect career and I achieved everything academically she wanted. And the I let her down after my "ivy" degrees (under and grad) and no career. Instead I just chill and work in a job.

I appreciate w2r because i think that's a big part of it. The way you wrote it i think is a lot of what she's thinking. She's freaking out that I won't have enough. What if something happens. Actually i've worked enough to qualify for SS but not more than 1/2 my DH. We've been married 17 years. I don't have a job history to get a "good" job by her definition. So W2R am I wrong in not working? I mean if we hit our FIRE number already does it matter i don't work? I ask because we will be there by the time the kids are in high school or college. So then do I need to work if I don't want to?

Nope I don't know how I will contribute to the world. I guess I contribute now raising the kids and making our lifestyle smooth. I do everything and I like it. I am a control freak. But could my DH do it without me? No for a lot of reasons I won't get into. I just like my life slower.

Apparently you and your Mom are alike as you freely admit you are a control freak. I'm guessing that apple didn't fall far from the tree. Two strong willed ladies with different opinions. .
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:05 PM   #44
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If I were your Mom, the one practical thing I would have mentioned is "But what if you end up alone?"

She may worry that if your husband meets with an accident, or even decides to fly the coop, you and her grandkids could be left with...not enough.

So, if you can look yourself in the eye and say "Even without my DH, the kids and I would be OK" (whether it's life insurance, a pre-nup, whatever fits the bill), then you can also look Mama in the eye and say "We will be OK."

Notice I said nothing about your being "lazy," "wasting" your college education, or any of that other loaded stuff you have been hearing. I'm only talking about real-life perils that all women, and men too, need to be aware of. This being an early retirement forum, most of us saw our work as a means to an end, not something we did to prove something to our parents and the world. Even those of us who worked very, very hard.
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:07 PM   #45
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I WANNA BE A QUITTER....
Aren't you in a few months?
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:07 PM   #46
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So W2R am I wrong in not working?
I don't think you're wrong in not working! Sounds like you are in good shape financially. But then, I'm not your mama and if I was, I'd probably worry because that's how mama's are sometimes.
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:11 PM   #47
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Jealousy is the most likely reason.
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I don't think that is it. He is worth many times what I am. I did retire about 20 years before he did. Maybe that is it.

I think people in this situation, should carry around a couple of business Cards that say, I'm a Green eyed Monster. Present it to the complainer and ask that every time they want to complain about how you live your life they must present it. This makes it very clear where you think their opinion comes from.
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Old 04-28-2021, 02:32 PM   #48
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Serious question. Wasting away in Margaritaville is not a good way to live. How will you be productive to yourself and others, beyond "enjoying" life?
Who says that anyone has to be "productive"? Where did this requirement come from?

I worked almost 30 years in law enforcement. As long as someone doesn't bother anyone else, where I come from that's plenty good enough. If he wants he (or she) can stay home, and "waste away in Margaritaville" until they fall off the couch if they are so inclined. I fail to see the harm to anyone else in it, nor why anyone else need concern themselves with it.
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part time job
Old 04-28-2021, 02:37 PM   #49
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part time job

To the OP,

Never underestimate the value of the nebulousness of a legitimate, paying part-time job for ER...(technically ESR, but still...)

You say you have a part-time job...start using these phrases to talk it up with your Mom and others...whether you work 4 hours a month or 40+ hours a week is none of their business...leave that detail out.

Even if you only work a handful of days a year, look at all you have access to...

"I have to go to work that day"
"I have to go make a phone call for work"
"I have to send an email for work"
"I just got off work and I'm tired"
"I have to rest now, because I have to go in early tomorrow"
"My boss is gone, so they asked me to put in some extra hours"
"I'm on call for work, so..."
"I might have to work that day..."
"I have a work meeting then"
"I have to do some training for work"
"I'm working from home today"
"I'm having lunch with a co-worker then"
"I was just talking with a co-worker about..."


It's a shame, and possibly a sacrilege to people on this site...but I find that dropping these phrases legitimately every now and then is KEY to maintaining healthy relationships with neighbors, friends, family, etc. in ER. Besides keeping jealousy at bay, these phrases push others to respect your time. Yes, you can flat out tell people you are early retired...but our society is not wired to really understand that.

To go a little further and guess perhaps about your personal situation...
If it's an Ivy league education your mother (and you too perhaps) are concerned about using/not using....consider tutoring...you can work 2-3 hours per week and no one can ever say anything about you not using your education....and you will have legitimate access to all the wonderful phrases above! lol...

All the best,
LB
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Old 04-28-2021, 02:59 PM   #50
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To be fair, what will you do with your time and energy to make the world a better place? Serious question. Wasting away in Margaritaville is not a good way to live. How will you be productive to yourself and others, beyond "enjoying" life?
I get to do anything I want whenever I want and I don't care (and it's none of your business) whether or not it meets your standards.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:06 PM   #51
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For me, this falls into the "those who matter do not mind, those who mind do not matter" philosophy of life.

Anyone who puts down achievements, whether family, friend, or foe, is someone I will be polite to, but may not choose to spend a lot of time around.

ER "productivity" is in the eye of the beholder. Just as many get into trouble trying to "keep up with the Joneses" from a financial viewpoint, many can get into trouble, perhaps from a security/self-image standpoint, trying to meet others "productivity" expectations after achieving FIRE.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:47 PM   #52
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I am most assuredly no longer productive, and that suits me just fine. I have no problem amusing myself on a daily basis.
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Old 04-28-2021, 04:37 PM   #53
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So I'm going to start with by saying my mom insulted me yesterday by saying that I need to get off my behind and get a job and not be a lady of leisure.* Maybe not right now with covid but soon I need to get back to working full time.* For sure when the kids are in middle and high school I need to be working full time.* I need a career and stop depending on my DH for income.* I am certainly cannot be doing nothing when they go to college.


I said nothing to not start a fight not worth fighting.* But the truth is I don't plan on really going back to work full time now, I don't see myself having a "career", and I don't think we need to work that much longer.* We've been hitting a lot of numbers that point to retiring before the kids go to college, but DH wants to work until they are done.* He's not ready and i'm not fighting.**Also we're close to our number at 41 and 43. If we don't save another penny I think we are done at 54 and 55 like we planned 2034. If we do save we'll likely be done sooner.

But how do you tell people (mostly family) that you don't need to work and are done? My mom and that generation (my aunts and uncles are like 65-75 and still working) because it is their identity.* They have no identity except working.* And they view people who retire as lazy and unmotivated and I was also told I wasted my education by not working now and I don't have a career. She can't wrap her head around me not being career driven, climbing the ladder and I really need to be going back and getting on the ladder.* What is my problem?* That's another argument not worth having.*

But seriously I don't want to do it and I like what I do working part-time usually. But it's not a career per se it's just work. I don't particularly care. My DH loves his career and he switched later in life and he constantly doesn't want to stop. If we end up with more than expected sooner would he stop? I don't know. He's classic OMY.

But how do you explain maybe not to strangers but certainly to family why you aren't working? My family gives me a lot of grief for not working. They are like you should be working. Why aren't you going out and making bacon? I don't even touch what we have saved or how it's going. But it's obvious that we are fine. We don't take a penny from anyone and never have.

I feel like family put their nose where it doesn't belong versus strangers probably are reticent at questioning how you are RE. I also feel more people get being "stay at home parent" so it's a free pass about not working. But for my family? They don't get why I don't work and how will we ever retire?
IMO, you need to learn in-one-ear-and-out-the-other-fu.
Relatives and friends can be your greatest assets. They can also be giant, intrusive PITAs. Focus on the former and let the latter go.

What's with the asterisks?
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:27 PM   #54
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...How will you be productive to yourself and others, beyond "enjoying" life?...
Just having a job does not mean anyone is productive to themselves or others.
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:41 PM   #55
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ER is viewed by some as unproductive. To be fair, what will you do with your time and energy to make the world a better place? Serious question. Wasting away in Margaritaville is not a good way to live. How will you be productive to yourself and others, beyond "enjoying" life?
All due respect, but I disagree.

In some ways, my retirement did not really begin until it dawned on me that I did not need to be busy doing anything and didn't owe anyone an explanation why.

Now whenever someone asks me what I do all day, I smile and say "as little as possible".
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:48 PM   #56
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Just having a job does not mean anyone is productive to themselves or others.
Oh, I dunno. I'll grant that there are plenty of "Wallys" around, but even then someone is paying them for something even if that something is simply to fill a slot or else they wouldn't have a job.

I'll go back to my previous answer: As long as a person is not bothering anyone else does it matter what they are doing?

And who defines "productive" and what gives them the right to do so?
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:55 PM   #57
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We live in a community whereby ~80% of the people work and 20% retired.
No one questions why we are retired.
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:19 PM   #58
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...how do you explain maybe not to strangers but certainly to family why you aren't working?...
Because I don't have to work and have chosen not to work.

Any other stoopid questions?
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:27 PM   #59
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I think I must have missed the chapter in the ER manual that details this requirement.
I watch grass grow. The new new is carbon sequestration. My cheering on the grass is saving the planet.

In ER it is hard to be humble.

Heh heh heh -
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:40 PM   #60
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I used to be productive. Now I'm retired. I don't have to produce Juan Merde.
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