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Old 08-06-2020, 02:28 PM   #21
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It's worth realizing that the ER "attitude" is not that common.

I've been retired for 19 years, but I have a good friend who is six years older than I am and still working because he loves what he does (and is very good at it). I know his financial picture and he is considerably better off than I am, but he is also obsessed with leaving as much as possible to his kids (who all have good jobs and are not in need of anything).

I've urged him several times to quit it all and just enjoy himself but he feels he is making a difference in the world and wants to keep it up as long as he can. While I admire that attitude, I don't share it.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:36 PM   #22
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I might add "family" to the question. It's worse with family. It's easy to avoid the questions with friends, brush off our situation. Money is never a good subject around friends and we tend to avoid it at all costs.

But family, a different story. They've know us all our married life. Gave us a hard time for so many things over the years. We just did not spend enough to satisfy them (mostly my side of the family). Our cars had 200,000+ miles on them. We sold one of them recently, but it was still running. We ignored name brand clothes, shoes etc. Stayed out of debt. One brother thought it was stupid not to have a mortgage, a matter of opinion. We now have valuable time. Staying healthy is the challenge.
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:00 PM   #23
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Iím 67 retired 12 years ago. One of my friends just said to me, you must have inherited a lot of money from your family to be able to retire so long ago. What did your dad do? Well, I really got about 25k from my parents estate. Guess they didnít think I was capable of doing it on my own. Always lbym. I just let it go by

Have noticed I lost ďfriendsĒ through the whole retire early
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:54 PM   #24
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I had a particularly nosey neighbor that didnít approve of me retiring early. He told me the reason he retired at 75 was because he didnít want his ďgood mindĒ to go to waste. I laughed out loud.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:21 PM   #25
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We only lost one couple from retiring at 53 and 58. They were older than us and still working.
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No one retires anymore?
Old 08-06-2020, 08:55 PM   #26
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No one retires anymore?

It can strain some relationships. As others have said, work relationships fade. No "shop" to talk. But they were work friends, not retirement friends and not true friends like my buddies from high school, college, and otherwise outside of work.

We do not know any folks our age that are retired, even though we are 60 and 62.

And as casual friends found out I had retired, (not something I publicize) there were a few with incredulous reactions. Just have to be ready for these. It can be disappointing, but human nature is what it is.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:48 AM   #27
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I notice that other women often give me "the look" that seems to say, "Huh! Living off the old man, eh?" or "Inherited a lot of money, did ya?" If possible I'll add that I've always been a naturally frugal person, didn't have kids, and worked, saved, and invested from an early age, so the numbers added up to ER for me. I wish people would ask questions instead of making assumptions, but then some folks consider money a private topic and don't want to pry.

One of my younger friends did inherit a small fortune and was able to RE. I'm happy for her!
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:07 AM   #28
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I am not retired, but I am financially independent and lost interest in my work. Most of my friends are older than me and some of them are very much interested in their work (teaching and research). Naturally, we do not have much to talk about when we are together to play cards, and no longer doing things like travel together.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:21 AM   #29
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But family, a different story. They've know us all our married life. Gave us a hard time for so many things over the years. We just did not spend enough to satisfy them (mostly my side of the family). Our cars had 200,000+ miles on them. We sold one of them recently, but it was still running. We ignored name brand clothes, shoes etc. Stayed out of debt. One brother thought it was stupid not to have a mortgage, a matter of opinion. We now have valuable time. Staying healthy is the challenge.

Agree. DW's side of the family thought I was a "cheapskate" for many years for LBYM. MIL would not speak to me for years because I did not accept her "gifts" (which always had strings attached). One BIL refused to let DW park her then 15 year old car in his driveway or in front of his house when visiting ("my neighbors will think I have poor relatives"). At one point a SIL told DW that she should withhold sex to get me to get her "nicer things". MIL and SIL have come around, but BIL now avoids us.


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I notice that other women often give me "the look" that seems to say, "Huh! Living off the old man, eh?"
Since I retired and DW continues to work part time, a few of her friends assume that she has to keep working. When the subject is brought up around me, I just say "I am enjoying being a 'kept man'". The looks I get are priceless.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:47 AM   #30
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I made the mistake of doing a retirement planning talk at w#rk, and letting folks know I had ER plans. Most often get incredulous reactions, and envious reactions...only true friends will be happy for you, but even they will not comprehend how ER is possible.
Yeah, I don't talk about early retirement at work at all as I feel there are too many potential risks around it. The most I let spill was that during the intro's of my team to a new manager, we had to include 3 interesting things about one's self and while racking my brain on what to say, I indicated that I was interested in Personal Finance.

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What are your experiences with friends who did not understand the goals of FIRE or were unable to ?
Did the friendship survive ?
I'm retiring in about a year and a half at age 50.
When I really got serious about retiring early about 10 years ago I was widely mentioning it to friends because I was pretty excited to share the all this FIRE info I was coming across. The general reaction was that it was interesting because it was just an ambitious goal at that point with only a handful also seriously interested in retiring early. Nowadays, I don't really talk about it much except with a handful of friends who I know are doing well financially and we can share ideas. If anyone else asks, I'm just going to say I ended up quitting, to work on some personal projects and focus on a side business. Part of it is also the fact that I don't want to "advertise" that I have a big enough nest egg to retire which comes with its own potential risks and issues IMO.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:02 PM   #31
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I quit working in my 30s. I never call myself "retired" however, as it would be too provocative for the vast majority of people. I also keep details about my finances to myself and people don't really know how I support myself, even close relatives. I live a simple lifestyle by choice (very low WR) and people could be excused for thinking of me as an underachiever living off entitlements. But I don't mind. Nothing gives me more pleasure than being a dark horse. It always makes me chuckle when people try to go on a fishing expedition about my finances only to come back frustrated and empty-handed. Some family members will even speculate about my net worth in front of me and they always come up short. While they bait me into talking about my finances, I just smile politely but never give in. So, generally, I'm faced with more curiosity than jealousy.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:23 PM   #32
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:27 PM   #33
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I wish people would ask questions instead of making assumptions, but then some folks consider money a private topic and don't want to pry.
Anyone asking questions isn't going to get satisfying answers from me - the "need to know" concept definitely applies here.

I had an awkward lunch last year with an old childhood friend whose life is currently a bit messed up. Bad luck and bad decisions both play a part. It's difficult to simultaneously sympathize with the bad luck component and not sympathize with the bad decision component. Lack of money is one of his problems, but of course I didn't pry - it's none of my business.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:44 PM   #34
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Some family members will even speculate about my net worth in front of me and they always come up short. While they bait me into talking about my finances, I just smile politely but never give in. So, generally, I'm faced with more curiosity than jealousy.
You could always tell them you won the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes but had to sign a non-disclosure agreement and can't reveal how much you get per week for the rest of your life.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:10 PM   #35
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What are your experiences with friends who did not understand the goals of FIRE or were unable to ? Did the friendship survive ?
I have found that many friends were situational- lasting the duration of a job (many long), a marriage, my remarriage, my retirement at 56. Your friend might be stung just because she didn't have any idea- and yes, envy can come into play. You might be able to talk it out still.

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only true friends will be happy for you, but even they will not comprehend how ER is possible.
So true.

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ďI bet you donít know many people that saved half their incomeĒ. Some people donít get it.
Me, exactly- for the last 20 years I w*rkd! Boy, am I glad that I did!

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In your shoes, I'd probably take her to lunch and let her talk more, find out what's bothering her most, and try to move past it and just put finances in the back pocket where they've always been. But if it survives or not depends more on her than you at this point.
an enthusiastic +1

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I think ER simply speeds the sorting process, allowing real friends to shine and casual/transactional/accidental friendships to fade. And if you only end up with one or two real friends? Fine. Better to know that than to waste time on ones not ultimately worth it
Exactly.

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I do want to find some girlfriends too at some point, but during a pandemic is probably not the best time to pursue new friendships. So, that can wait.
We are looking for new couple friends who are more in line with us politically- also on hiatus due to the pandemic.

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Some of our neighbors made it a point to tell us their incomes after we told them we were retired, like they felt inferior about not being retired and were trying to impress us.
I've had people do that to me too- that's their problem. One friend (couple friend) mentioned one time that the cash back they got for spending 80k in a YEAR at Costco was over 10k (or some amount of not enough $ ever for that). I was the one still working and my base salary was less than that and we lived on half of that. The look on their faces was priceless.

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I might add "family" to the question. It's worse with family.
Amen on family. My DM seems to think we have a fortune (not that we spend that way) and from time to time makes remarks about how "lucky and fortunate" we are. The last time this came up, I explained to her that I'd worked like a slave and saved like a demon not only for us, but for HER benefit as well. She already has a "wing" in our house and we'll certainly not take any of DM's small SS ck. whenever she moves here full time. D Sis will always need help which we give within reason (lives in the land of crisis) & someday she will need a replacement mobile home on her lot. We couldn't live together, but I'll gladly buy her another one when the time comes. I didn't tell my DM that bit because I'm still hoping DS will get it together, but her SS ck will be minuscule and she definitely has little if any savings.

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I wish people would ask questions instead of making assumptions, but then some folks consider money a private topic and don't want to pry.

One of my younger friends did inherit a small fortune and was able to RE. I'm happy for her!
That is great for your friend!

2 friends who asked me how I ERd started a plan to do it themselves. I didn't give them any private details, but I did steer them towards the resources & frugal living/ minimalism blogs I followed.

[QUOTE=jollystomper;2468049]Agree. DW's side of the family thought I was a "cheapskate" for many years for LBYM. MIL would not speak to me for years because I did not accept her "gifts" (which always had strings attached). One BIL refused to let DW park her then 15 year old car in his driveway or in front of his house when visiting ("my neighbors will think I have poor relatives"). At one point a SIL told DW that she should withhold sex to get me to get her "nicer things". MIL and SIL have come around, but BIL now avoids us.

Wow. That's sad. People can be so weird. Since DH & I each had spendthrifts as exes, we came into our marriage with a financial plan that we were able to act on 4 years earlier than expected. My family knows how careful I am with $ but they were still surprised when I pulled the plug. My j*b was becoming unbearable & I had to scramble to lock in retiree insurance/ pension benes prior to being assigned to a part of the company that was being spun off.

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Nicely said.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:39 PM   #36
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Interesting comments, but you do not have to be ER to have comments made. DW and I took a lot of trips in the last years I w**ked. I got some snide comments about it, until one day I told one person off.
I said, look- if you have $2k a month house payments, and I have $1K a month house payments, and we earn about the same, I have $12K a year to travel on.
They still did not grasp the concept!
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:48 PM   #37
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It's worth realizing that the ER "attitude" is not that common.

I've been retired for 19 years, but I have a good friend who is six years older than I am and still working because he loves what he does (and is very good at it). I know his financial picture and he is considerably better off than I am, but he is also obsessed with leaving as much as possible to his kids (who all have good jobs and are not in need of anything).

I've urged him several times to quit it all and just enjoy himself but he feels he is making a difference in the world and wants to keep it up as long as he can. While I admire that attitude, I don't share it.
Yeah, we only have two other couples that we would consider close friends (and neither of us has other individuals in that category). Both are better financially situated than us as of the date we retired and thereafter, but both guys were unready to quit.

Covid provided a sorting process that we discussed when we got together in June. One is a United Global Services traveler who is pretty high up in one of the international big oil companies. Staying at home with his spouse whilst zooming 10 hours or more a day made him realize that the down time with her was pretty nice. So, as of the end of this year, he'll no longer be working for his hypothetical grandchildren.

The other, however, is an orthopedist who figuratively was experiencing DTs because of his cold turkey withdrawal from surgery. He'll continue working until at least his mid-60s, we suspect--even though no financial need to do so.

Fortunately, no negative feedback whatsoever from either couple on our decision to retire to travel.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:42 PM   #38
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I've had people do that to me too- that's their problem. One friend (couple friend) mentioned one time that the cash back they got for spending 80k in a YEAR at Costco was over 10k (or some amount of not enough $ ever for that). I was the one still working and my base salary was less than that and we lived on half of that. The look on their faces was priceless.

We call it the "I'll see your early retirement and raise you a $300K annual household income syndrome". One guy we just met told us enough for us to put together a financial statement on him in the first 10 minutes.
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Old 08-08-2020, 09:06 AM   #39
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One of the lessons I have learned in life is that there are people who may be friends, even close friends - as long as they perceive they are in a better "state" than you, or that you are as miserable as they are. As soon as they see you as having an advantage or being happy, the friendship can wane.
You have put it precisely.

While I feel bad that I have to keep distance to this friend but in the same time, I feel that its psycho to deal with such personality.
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Old 08-08-2020, 09:20 AM   #40
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We call it the "I'll see your early retirement and raise you a $300K annual household income syndrome". One guy we just met told us enough for us to put together a financial statement on him in the first 10 minutes.
That's too funny! There's no way I'd trade any amount of $ for the last almost 4 years of retirement.
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