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How do strangers see you?
Old 02-03-2021, 10:10 AM   #1
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How do strangers see you?

I don’t usually care about what others think, but after 5 years of being retired early, we find it funny (and kinda cool) that some people assume we are unemployed and to some extent, maybe even homeless!

We generally travel 5-7 months a year to escape the winters and this year, we’ve decided to travel on our little 27ft Trawler. It’s a luxury compared to most camper vans we’ve rented in New Zealand or Australia, but compared to the floating condos or homes that other people have, it’s very basic. We chose our boat for its size and it’s basic design so we can easily fix things ourselves when we run into issues. We also don’t see the need to spend a quarter of a million dollars on a boat that is a base of travel but not our full time home (only 3-6 months at a time) However, when we are not at anchor, we tend to stay at expensive marinas with the amenities we like and at times, go to good restaurants because we have been eating in while at anchor, so it’s not uncommon for us to run into people who generally have fancier boats. It is always interesting to see their reaction to their new poor neighbors on the little boat.

Before we retired, we may have been jealous of those with bigger boats but now, finding it fun, traveling and meeting people who assume we are ‘between jobs’ and live full time on our boat.

Curious how many of you with the “millionaire next door” lifestyle have experienced similar assumptions.
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:19 AM   #2
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As long as she's safe and reliable. Being frugal, I'd take it over the million dollar yacht.
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:38 AM   #3
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Man this sounds awesome! Congrats.
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:57 AM   #4
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They don't. As a man of a certain age I have become invisible to most of the outside world. This is a huge advantage.

Life is good.
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:59 AM   #5
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IIRC this whole ORG was founded by a fellow, Dory, who retired to go (motor) sailing. Very interesting fellow, I exchanged a few emails with him. Turns out he did not have much of a nautical background prior to retiring to full time on his boat. AFAIK it went well for him and adds some energy to those with dreams of a nautical retirement.
It wouldn't work for me. I would love having a boat in Hawaii, Tahiti, Atiutaki and many other places, I just don't want the blue water dailing between them, so not much for the sailing part as much as a 'condo in various beautiful places' part.
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:01 AM   #6
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They don't. As a man of a certain age I have become invisible to most of the outside world. This is a huge advantage.

Life is good.
Great quote.
Micro & Pilot trawlers are certainly nice rides in certain areas of the world OP . Good luck & Best wishes....
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:24 AM   #7
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I do have a nice what some consider a luxury motorhome, and some nice old cars. Beyond that my life is pretty normal and I don't really stand out. Plenty of people have larger RVs, or old classic cars.


I have never been one to be slave to fashion, around my house I probably look more like a bum than anything when in my work clothes. Many times I have to put on nicer clothes to go to the store or somewhere away from the house. Designer clothing and fashion accessories are non-existent for me. I am just fine that way.
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:33 AM   #8
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Sounds like a good life. Stealth wealth style. I would take pleasure in winking at the big luxury boat owners and asking about upkeep.
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:46 AM   #9
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I
I have never been one to be slave to fashion, around my house I probably look more like a bum than anything when in my work clothes. Many times I have to put on nicer clothes to go to the store or somewhere away from the house. Designer clothing and fashion accessories are non-existent for me. I am just fine that way.
It's a lot easier to make and fit one's own style than try to keep up with what others think style should be today. It looks and feels a lot better also.

I don't try to draw attention to myself when I dress, other than perhaps, wanting people to think I have good taste (which I hope I do have). I will accessorize my wardrobe with a natty hat from time to time. That's about it. As far as I'm concerned, male fashion has always been about doing the basics right - socks match pants, proper fit, get rid of the ragged torn stuff, cleanliness, etc. A $15 shirt can look just as good as a $70 shirt if the fit is right. Just like the OP's trawler can be as great a boat to travel and live in as some fancy yacht. It fits their style. Good for them. Boat on!
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:53 AM   #10
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They don't. As a man of a certain age I have become invisible to most of the outside world. This is a huge advantage.

Life is good.
This is pretty much me. I don’t think the rest of the world knows I exist. Might be a few neighbors who wonder about my pool but that’s only because they saw it going in this year. Plus, pools are not uncommon in my neighborhood. Blending in is just fine with me.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:02 PM   #11
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I am not going to let what others think bother me.

Some will never approve no matter what.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:08 PM   #12
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Yes, it very much happens to us.

We travel internationally (pre covid) about 4 months a year. Sometimes longer. We travel with carry on only and we are spontaneous travelers.

We can be happy at a no star chalet on an island in Thailand, in a six star resort, or a cruise ship.

We do carry on only because we can find ourselves climbing two or three flights of stairs in a European B&B or climbing over moored ferry boats or climbing in and out of long tail boat in Thailand, or have the valet insist on taking our bag in a luxury hotel or resort.

Clearly, our selection of clothing is limited. No extras. That means on a cruise or high end hotel we are always casual. Shorts or dockers. We pass on the formal night (do not like them anyway). We also avoid those people who seem to want to judge us by what our occupations were prior to retirement. I mean really, who cares. Or they want to regale us with how important their children are or how well they are doing. We do not care.
This really varies by nationality of those we meet.

At one point one seven month trip we met a couple who seemed shocked that we were homeless simply because we had sold our home and placed everything in storage for a year. I could see in their faces that they could not understand how we could even be on this high end cruise. The other question was so did you sell your home in order to pay for your travel.

Some very strange responses except from the growing number of early retirees who are doing exactly what we are doing. We have met some wonderful friends along the way who we visit in Australia from time to time. But the bottom line.....NO we simply could care less what other people think. We are long past that on our life's journey. We view that concern as a complete waste of time and effort.

We also now live on a cul de sac. Most of our neighbors are early retirees. Usually two late model vehicles, often Acuras, Lexus, Mercs, etc. in the drive.
We have a 2006 Accord and a 2007 Solara convertable. Do we care? No? Do we feel that we need to keep up? Absolutely not. Especially when we are out of town so often during the year.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:10 PM   #13
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For the last few years I've been getting a lot of "sir" prefixes from other customers in stores, coffee shops, etc..
Posture, dress, bearing matters. I never leave the house unless neatly dressed.
Exception, going to my camp, them look like bubba from the back hills, with knife and gun hanging rom my belt..
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:28 PM   #14
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Nice boat.
I have the most god awful looking old bathrobe that is the most comfortable thing I could wear. Which I do frequently on my lazy days. I am sure some of our neighbors wonder about me when I take out the trash wearing it and my fuzzy slippers!
I don't care.
When we entertain or go out, we are dressed in good, comfortable clothes, some designer brands, some from Goodwill.
Accept me as I am, or not.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:31 PM   #15
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Since I retired early (57) in my thinking, I'm sure most think I'm lazy and quit a great job. I'm sure most think I don't have much or just making ends meet. Not working to most means on the poor side and can't afford doing much and just getting by on the very necessities.

I do dress well and try to keep a good appearance but you can be poor and still be clean and dress suitable.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:38 PM   #16
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Or they want to regale us with how important their children are or how well they are doing. We do not care.
Reminded me of sitting in the forward lounge of a transatlantic cruise ship. We got talking to a very nice woman, and were enjoying the conversation until her husband showed up.

Mr. 'Status Conscious' personified, he started right in talking about what 'level' they had attained with the one cruise line they 'always' sailed with, and couldn't grasp why we (pre Covid) used ships based on the price/departure port/sailing date/itinerary, and the size of the vessel. (We had/have cruise line preferences but they are simply a component in the overall selection.)

I'm sure that if the ship had fitted him out with a captain's uniform he'd've gladly spent all day walking the decks self importantly bestowing pontifical honors and pearls before swine.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:39 PM   #17
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I have no idea what people think of me. How strangers assess me might be affected by what I'm wearing at the time. I drive an old car (2004 Honda Accord) but it has no visible damage and it's not packed with clothes, so I don't think people would think I am homeless, living in my car.

As for friends, they know I live in a very basic home (1200sqft) and I don't spend a lot of money. I don't think they know I have money stashed.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:49 PM   #18
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Most strangers see me as someone who is stupid. Most acquaintances know I'm stupid and assume my good fortune as simply extremely lucky in life. No one has ever made the mistake of assuming I am financially independent because I earned it. I know because they tell me.
Of course, I do not see myself this way at all. I do play to this strong suit though; I kick butt at poker and intellectual games. Anyone who has played Trivial Pursuit or chess with me comes away extremely agitated. Ha! They simply are amazed and frustrated how lucky I am to have beaten them.
When I get annoyed with someone who treats me to their superiority demeanor, I can easily convince them to move along when I open discussion about black helicopters, government conspiracies', etc. In other words, convince them that their first impression of me was probably right.
Then there are those who recognize my guise as their own schtick and we bond. One such fellow is a 78 year old guy who was a machinist and builds the most clever things. He's taken me in under his wing and grants me access to his 'toy cave', a barn with every tool and machine imaginable to create and build stuff. We combine our talents and have created some pretty neat things. It did not surprise me at all when I showed up and he's built a hover craft from a riding lawn mower. It did surprise me to realize he wanted me to be the first to pilot it though. Maybe he also thinks I'm stupid. Tomorrow we find out if it works....
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Old 02-03-2021, 01:16 PM   #19
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Sometimes I will get the you are retired early comment, but otherwise no one knows nothing.
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Old 02-03-2021, 01:32 PM   #20
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How did people see me?

Back in my working days I used to work out hard for 1-2 hours each day at lunch in our on-site gym, then shower. One day my company's security officer gave my a notice that had been passed around our small complex of office buildings about me.
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