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Explaining ER to people and looked down
Old 04-27-2021, 01:16 PM   #1
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Explaining ER to people and looked down

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?
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:23 PM   #2
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I'd do what you did. Nod politely and say nothing. Yeah, not fun to have your parents always trying to run your life.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:41 PM   #3
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I would shrug my shoulders and move on.

Stay at home parent, self employed, currently between careers, partially FIREd.

People won't understand and they don't have to.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:57 PM   #4
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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?

ER is not understood by many. It can also be a trigger for jealousy.

ER is a legitimate option for all people. It is not a practical option for all people.

What will you do with your time and energy when ER?
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Old 04-27-2021, 02:08 PM   #5
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WADR I never felt the need to explain ER to anyone.
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Old 04-27-2021, 02:48 PM   #6
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Tell them you job is being a private portfolio manager.
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Old 04-27-2021, 02:55 PM   #7
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Your mom probably comes from a generation where women were often financially dependent on their spouses and often to their detriment. Her generation was not encouraged to become financially independent and could be trapped by divorce, widowhood, etc., into a much rougher living situation.

These days it seems quite a luxury for one spouse to stay home and raise the kids and with only one working spouse still be able to achieve early retirement. It’s probably quite rare. May be difficult to understand.

Yeah, the get off your butt messages aren’t very nice. I’m sure quite a few men have gotten dissed by their families (particularly in-laws) for retiring early because they can’t imagine a traditional breadwinner leaving money on the table.

Personally I wouldn’t say anything until the desired goal was reached. You don’t have to explain yourself. “That’s not my choice” doesn’t require further elaboration.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by livingalmostlarge View Post
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.
You don't have to explain. Tell them that you retired (if you want). If they persist, ask them why they're still working.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:34 AM   #9
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I think in general, any way in my area and culture. People relate ER people as lazy, a quitter, content with just having enough to get by, type of people. I think they may feel sorry for ER people, because of not really understanding why they ER.

I look back as a younger person and couldn't beleive so & so retired from such a great job. I thought to myself, that I would be more successful then that person in life because I'm working, getting a pay check and they aren't.

I didn't at the time realize the real meaning of ER. I do know thou!! Lol
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:52 AM   #10
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Were the words "get off your butt" actually used? Turn about is fair play because you said they had "no identity besides working". So apparently there is a lot of judging in your family.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:59 AM   #11
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People suck, just saying. My DS can't believe I will retire before medicare, because "that's what she did". They have no other measuring stick to use but their own life.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:00 AM   #12
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When it is someone not in my family I say nothing...


But I did yell at my daughter who, when she got mad at me for some reason or another, would get into me for 'always sitting on the couch watching TV'...


I usually ignored it but this day I blew up... I said I worked hard many years and saved my money so I could AFFORD to be able to sit on the couch watching TV... and I did not want to hear anything about it again...



Now it is interesting... she got an inheritance from my mom... I have been investing it for her and transferring the dividends to her checking account... she is about to be a senior in high school and I said she needed to look for a job... her comment "I have my money work for me, I do not have to work for my money yet"... boy am I proud of her...
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:01 AM   #13
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My father the same. 88 years old and gives me crap every time I talk to him even though I am 64 now. My brother starting taking SSI at 62 and my father said he’s on welfare now! Good grief.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:05 AM   #14
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When I was on my farewell tour(last sales calls) with mega corp. most of my customers couldn't believe I was leaving voluntarily at 55. ER is not on most peoples radar.
My parents had already passed on so no family to explain to.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:07 AM   #15
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I usually respond with a variation of MYOB, followed up with "we're done talking about this" and a topic change, followed if necessary by leaving/hanging up the phone/shooing them out of my house.

They'll keep giving you grief as long as you let them. Disengage and remove yourself from their presence, and they'll learn to keep their mouths shut around you.

And overall, I recommend stopping giving a f*ck about what others think of your choices, it'll just make you miserable.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:07 AM   #16
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When I was on my farewell tour(last sales calls) with mega corp. most of my customers couldn't believe I was leaving voluntarily at 55. ER is not on most peoples radar.
My parents had already passed on so no family to explain to.
yes all our parents and aunts and uncles are gone so we have that going for us
Now we just deal with DS judgements. They have always risen to the occasion!
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:13 AM   #17
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I have an uncle that hates that I retired early. I think people like that just want money out of you. Otherwise why would they care?
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:20 AM   #18
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I have an uncle that hates that I retired early. I think people like that just want money out of you. Otherwise why would they care?

Jealousy is the most likely reason.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:57 AM   #19
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Oh my. People get all bent out of shape about what others do. My parents are gone now but DF was ticked when I retired at 56, he had retired at 60. Of course he couldn't handle the pressure of his insurance job. I was doing IT and was spending Saturday nights and Sunday mornings in datacenters and on call 24x7x365.

Folks get bent out shape when you do something they didn't have tbe ability to do. My sister thinks we did something immoral or illegal to achieve what we've done. She stayed in the little town she grew up in, DW and I moved for opportunities. We had to reinvent ourselves a couple times to succeed.
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Old 04-28-2021, 09:05 AM   #20
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To be fair, what will you do with your time and energy to make the world a better place?

I think I must have missed the chapter in the ER manual that details this requirement.
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