Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/)
-   Life after FIRE (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f29/)
-   -   Is There Any Yearning to Be Recognized for Your FIRE Success? (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f29/is-there-any-yearning-to-be-recognized-for-your-fire-success-107864.html)

capitalhockey 02-11-2021 10:17 AM

Is There Any Yearning to Be Recognized for Your FIRE Success?
 
I have been living below my means for 20 years while climbing up the corporate ladder. I invested extra funds from promotions and bonuses to get to my FIRE goal. I am FI and will work for another 10 years until RE.

From the outside, no one can tell my financial net worth. I live in smaller house than I can afford, drive old reliable cars with scratches and my wife jokes that I dress like a homeless guy. I like to wear socks until they have holes in them. I prefer my old jacket and don't buy much new clothes. I prefer my sweat pants to name brand outfits. I only dress up for work with a suit and tie.

On the other hand, I have a brother who lives in a big house with heavy credit card debts. He has a flashy car, latest phones/TVs and lavish gifts to others. Everyone thinks he is very successful even though he is living paycheck to paycheck.

Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

pacergal 02-11-2021 10:28 AM

Not really. I don't get my self worth from what others may think of me and what I own.
I buy what I want.
We do have two 5 year old cars, I have some designer clothes and purses ( but they were bought at a discount store), if/when we travel we go first class. Our house is 60+ years old.
I could afford to look a lot wealthier to the outside world, but why?
DH and I are happy where we are and how we live.

finnski1 02-11-2021 10:35 AM

No Not really and I think you'll have the last laugh in the end.
If your wired in such a way to achieve FIRE as you have it's hard to be the show off type. There is a lot of the "illusion of wealth " that goes on out there rather than the actual wealth that many of us stealth types achieve. I am certain that the majority of people see others with the "illusion of wealth" and fall in to the envy mode. Heck I see it all around my small neighborhood. One of the neighbors is about my age and is always crying poor mouth about how he'll never be able to retire. Meanwhile he built the house as a second home and probably over his budget but you know it impresses the other neighbors at cocktail time.

intent 02-11-2021 10:43 AM

Just the opposite for us. We would prefer people think of us as just getting by, making them less likely to ask us for money. We even considered allowing our families to believe that we are still working (I am still working until April - DW retired last year). Ultimately though, it seemed too difficult of a lie (or omission) to pull off.

ATX78701 02-11-2021 10:44 AM

I remember in college telling an advisor I hoped to be as successful as she and her husband. She paused and asked why I thought they were successful. I pointed out their businesses, her car and his truck, their home. She simply sighed and replied “ATX78701, sometimes you don’t know how much debt people have.”

At one time I fed my ego and showed off. Fancy this or that. Mostly the condo or house I had and some furnishings. Eventually, I saw them as the obstacles to FIRE. I want to enjoy want I have, but not to show off.

Freedom56 02-11-2021 11:06 AM

It's much better to stay under the radar but during your early retirement don't be afraid to spend.

youbet 02-11-2021 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

Thankfully, no. Fretting that my choices in lifestyle are not optimum is not a plague I have to fight.

Needing to be recognized for my goal achievement or needing to be critical of others for their lifestyle choices are real signs of insecurity. But over time you can learn to live in your own skin.

audreyh1 02-11-2021 11:14 AM

No, really prefer people think were just average among our peers in terms of being “well off”.

Now that this one company starting neighbor left, we could possibly be the wealthiest in our neighborhood not counting the developer. But do I want people to know it? No way!!

W2R 02-11-2021 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

Absolutely not.

I did what I needed to do, in order to live the life I wanted to live. I think many people who are not retired have done this, too.

youbet 02-11-2021 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2559426)
No, really prefer people think were just average among our peers in terms of being “well off”.

Now that this one company starting neighbor left, we could possibly be the wealthiest in our neighborhood not counting the developer. But do I want people to know it? No way!!

And, of course, "FIRE success" doesn't necessarily mean you're "well off." Just refer to the "How Low Can You Go" thread..........

audreyh1 02-11-2021 11:24 AM

We even once had some neighbors say something like “of course you young folks are still working”. Have no idea how they concluded that, but we didn’t disabuse them of their idea.

FIREd 02-11-2021 11:27 AM

I like to keep a low profile. And I thrive as a dark horse.

Nemo2 02-11-2021 11:27 AM

No desire to be 'recognized'.....especially in a police lineup.

scrabbler1 02-11-2021 11:28 AM

To answer the OP's question, I did when it came to a few, select people. Those people were the ones I knew but not too well (i.e. they didn't know I was planning to retire) and who stood to benefit from my retiring. They benefited from my added availability to be with them in our common activities.

Sojourner 02-11-2021 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by intent (Post 2559398)
Just the opposite for us. We would prefer people think of us as just getting by, making them less likely to ask us for money.

+1. Absolutely no desire to be "recognized" for my FIRE accomplishments.

Quote:

Originally Posted by finnski1 (Post 2559385)
One of the neighbors is about my age and is always crying poor mouth about how he'll never be able to retire. Meanwhile he built the house as a second home and probably over his budget but you know it impresses the other neighbors at cocktail time.

I know someone exactly like this. He knows I'm doing well enough financially to have been retired since my late 40s, and this has prompted him on multiple occasions to say "At the rate I'm going, I literally won't be able to retire until I'm 90!" Unsurprisingly, he has a very gold-plated lifestyle: country club membership, big fancy house, multiple luxury cars, vacation home, etc. etc.

I am MUCH happier living my low-stress, comfortable, middle class FIRE lifestyle in relative anonymity than losing sleep and popping antacid pills trying to keep up a flashy, spendy, hyperconsumer lifestyle.

zekeboz 02-11-2021 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
... I can afford, drive old reliable cars with scratches and my wife jokes that I dress like a homeless guy. I like to wear socks until they have holes in them. I prefer my old jacket and don't buy much new clothes. I prefer my sweat pants to name brand outfits. I only dress up for work with a suit and tie.
....

True to my heart but is my wife's dismay. "Can you PLEASE take off your sweatshirt with paint stains before we go out..?"

Mr. Tightwad 02-11-2021 11:43 AM

I'm a lot more like you than your brother.

Dawg52 02-11-2021 11:54 AM

Nope. I was almost embarrassed when the subject came up. Now that I look old as hell it's not a problem. Medicare is usually the only subject that pops up within my circle of friends related to retirement. Ha.

ExFlyBoy5 02-11-2021 12:04 PM

No way, no how. I much prefer the stealth wealth mode of living. :)

I am actually pretty proud to roll around in my 10 year old Accord that has some dents/dings in it, it draws ZERO attention and I like to brag to my DW about the $18 a month it costs for insurance. ;)

My neighbor is very much status seeking (or appears as though he is) but not retired. He had a Raptor F-150 (I think it was a 2019 model) and just traded it for a brand new super duty "Tremor" that has a sticker price of almost $100K. I am not one to judge, but I find it somewhat comical to have such an expensive vehicle that sits outside. They also have a fairly new Jag they take out on Friday nights and it has had a spare tire on it for a couple of months now.

Music Lover 02-11-2021 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
I have been living below my means for 20 years while climbing up the corporate ladder. I invested extra funds from promotions and bonuses to get to my FIRE goal. I am FI and will work for another 10 years until RE.

If you're already financially set, why do you want to work another 10 years?

capitalhockey 02-11-2021 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Music Lover (Post 2559496)
If you're already financially set, why do you want to work another 10 years?

I have hit my "lean" FI number to cover our annual expenses. I am just padding the cushion for next 10 years. I joked with my wife that we are just building up bigger inheritance for our kids!

My current job is low stress with good pay and great health care. My pension increases with every year worked and I get to buy employer's healthcare plan for life with the full retirement package if I work 10 more years.

capitalhockey 02-11-2021 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freedom56 (Post 2559419)
It's much better to stay under the radar but during your early retirement don't be afraid to spend.

We plan to spend more money in retirement than we do now. More time to travel and splurge on nice things.

DawgMan 02-11-2021 12:51 PM

"Stealth Wealth" is my secret motto... for only DW & me to know. Let people think what they want.

brett 02-11-2021 12:51 PM

We are very much in the dark horse category. Not even our children know. That is how we like it.

We have always avoided debt, lived below our means, and invested wisely. Then we woke up one day and realized how much equity we had over and above the various annuity/pension income streams that cover our living expenses.

It seemed to have happened overnight but it did not. It took a working lifetime. We never had a sense that we deprived ourselves of anything....other than consumer debt and car loans.

My first boss in a commission environment, a very financially successful man, gave me some good advice. It is not about how much you make, it is about how much you keep and how well you invest it.

capitalhockey 02-11-2021 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zekeboz (Post 2559442)
True to my heart but is my wife's dismay. "Can you PLEASE take off your sweatshirt with paint stains before we go out..?"

I hear you! My wife wants to throw away my favorite sweatshirt with stains and a hole. It's my comfy home attire when I do chores around the house!

Dtail 02-11-2021 12:54 PM

I think in general with a mostly LBYM crowd on this site, you won't receive many responses of wishing for recognition.

capitalhockey 02-11-2021 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brett (Post 2559518)
We are very much in the dark horse category. Not even our children know. That is how we like it.

We have always avoided debt, lived below our means, and invested wisely. Then we woke up one day and realized how much equity we had over and above the various annuity/pension income streams that cover our living expenses.

It seemed to have happened overnight but it did not. It took a working lifetime. We never had a sense that we deprived ourselves of anything....other than consumer debt and car loans.

My first boss in a commission environment, a very financially successful man, gave me some good advice. It is not about how much you make, it is about how much you keep and how well you invest it.

That's great advice. My first boss wore a shoe with a hole in it. He was the millionaire next door type and was more wealthy than the flashy pinstripe suit wearing Director.

Midpack 02-11-2021 12:57 PM

Just the opposite from the OPs query - I DON’T want to be recognized for my financial success, FIRE or otherwise. It may not seem obvious online where I’m anonymous :blush: but in my real life, career and personal, I’ve always sought to be underestimated - and retiring hasn’t changed that at all. And it’s always worked exactly as intended. Once LBYM, always LBYM for us.

I’m not worried about what others guess our socioeconomic status might be, we want to be judged for everything else about how we live our lives and treat others.

I know and have known many people who live beyond their means and go to great lengths to “advertise” their success - most of the corporate types I’ve known ***. And I’ve never liked any of them, none have become friends of ours...

*** Most of the peer execs I worked with couldn’t understand my relatively frugal ways until I retired at 57 still at the height of my career with no end in sight. Then almost every one of them swarmed around me dying to know “how I did it?” They couldn’t fathom how I did it, they all guessed I made a killing in stocks, but I never shared anything... :laugh:

capitalhockey 02-11-2021 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dtail (Post 2559520)
I think in general with a mostly LBYM crowd on this site, you won't receive many responses of wishing for recognition.

I think it's more of a sibling thing with my brother and I. It gets under my skin from time to time. It's easier to paint a mirage of success with debt.

He might get the short-term accolades but his finances were on thin ice. I rather be in my position than his for the long term.

pb4uski 02-11-2021 12:59 PM

No, not at all

mountainsoft 02-11-2021 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

Nope, I learned long ago not to care what others think of me. I would rather be "invisible" than worry about any kind of recognition. If you're rich, powerful, beautiful, and famous, good for you. I'm not impressed or interested in that life style.

Most of our life choices would not fit the "norm" (jobs, lifestyle, clothing, cars, finances, etc.), but it works for us. Obviously there are still times when someone will make a comment or expression that hurts. But when I think of why we made our choices, it all makes sense and those feelings go away.

RetireeRobert 02-11-2021 01:11 PM

Not really. I have been FIREly successful for going on twenty plus years now. Still drive one car 5 years old, second car 7 years old. In fact, am thinking of downsizing to the non-descript suburbs, the house I'm in is seeming too big and the grounds to large.

athena53 02-11-2021 01:13 PM

Nope. It's fun to be a closet multimillionaire! My travels are the only thing that may indicate to people that I'm doing pretty darn well.

ExFlyBoy5 02-11-2021 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Midpack (Post 2559525)
Just the opposite from the OPs query - I DON’T want to be recognized for my success, FIRE or otherwise. It may not seem obvious online where I’m anonymous :blush: but in my real life, career and personal, I’ve always sought to be underestimated

I was the same way in my w*rking years. I would do what was expected of me, but that was about it. I did a good job, but snubbed any kind of recognition...it has never been my style. As my best friend says, "I strive for mediocrity" :)

It reminds me of a couple of my Dad's friends. Friend "A" was highly accomplished and did some pretty awesome things in life. He was an editor for a large newspaper, an elected state representative and owned a successful restaurant in Germany after his time in the military. Never mind the several year sabbatical he took where he traveled all over the US, Mexico and South America where he met and married an AA flight attendant. When he passed away, his obituary was nothing more than a legal announcement...two sentences if I recall. Friend "B" lead a successful professional but otherwise unremarkable life. He worked for mega corp for 20 years, became a head hunter and retired at 65 years old. He did nothing in retirement and died at 72 of cancer. His obit was THOUSANDS of words that read like a Linkedin profile...it was honestly one of the saddest things I have ever read.

Yes, a bit of a ramble, but just an example of how folks live their lives and what seems to be important.

Nemo2 02-11-2021 01:18 PM

We have just the one vehicle, a 2005 Honda Civic with slightly under 140K km, (around 86K miles)...has a couple dings/scratches...who cares, it's just a freakin car. :laugh:

MichaelB 02-11-2021 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

ER Forum members get lots of recognition, from each other, and it seems to be enough for most of us. That's one of the things that bring us together here.

Midpack 02-11-2021 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 (Post 2559546)
I was the same way in my w*rking years. I would do what was expected of me, but that was about it. I did a good job, but snubbed any kind of recognition...it has never been my style. As my best friend says, "I strive for mediocrity" :)

To clarify, I didn’t want to be recognized for my financial success. I didn’t strive for mediocrity in job performance by any means, I always worked hard to be the best at anything I did in my career. I was always willing to go above and beyond. I never would have enjoyed all the promotions I was blessed with otherwise, that enabled me to retire early.

ExFlyBoy5 02-11-2021 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetireeRobert (Post 2559538)
...In fact, am thinking of downsizing to the non-desript suburbs, the house I'm in is seeming too big and the grounds to large.

While we don't live in a mansion by any means, it is pretty nice for the area we live; nicer than any house I have ever lived in. As soon as we moved in, I went to great lengths to remove any and all pictures of the interior (and exterior of the pool) that were on the MLS, Zillow, etc because...well, I don't have a good reason. ;D I just don't like the idea that others would make assumptions about our financial position, even though I really shouldn't give a rat's ass.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo2 (Post 2559548)
We have just the one vehicle, a 2005 Honda Civic with slightly under 140K km, (around 86K miles)...has a couple dings/scratches...who cares, it's just a freakin car. :laugh:

As I get older, I tend to look at a car as nothing more than an appliance.

Dtail 02-11-2021 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo2 (Post 2559548)
We have just the one vehicle, a 2005 Honda Civic with slightly under 140K km, (around 86K miles)...has a couple dings/scratches...who cares, it's just a freakin car. :laugh:

We all have a couple of dings and scratches.;D

Ronstar 02-11-2021 01:26 PM

No.

Dtail 02-11-2021 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559526)
I think it's more of a sibling thing with my brother and I. It gets under my skin from time to time. It's easier to paint a mirage of success with debt.

He might get the short-term accolades but his finances were on thin ice. I rather be in my position than his for the long term.

Well in the end, you will probably get recognized indirectly by retiring first.

ExFlyBoy5 02-11-2021 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Midpack (Post 2559551)
To clarify, I didn’t want to be recognized for my financial success. I didn’t strive for mediocrity in job performance by any means, I always worked hard to be the best at anything I did in my career. I was always willing to go above and beyond. I never would have enjoyed all the promotions I was blessed with otherwise, that enabled me to retire early.

Ah, thanks for the clarification. ;D Thankfully in the military (at least for us enlisted sweatys) promotions are tied to testing and a performance evaluation system that is (or was) pretty ineffective. Unless you were an absolute idiot, got a DUI or something similar you would get promoted up to E-7. The last two stripes did involve a selection board, but I had no desire to attain those stripes as I would have been relegated to flying a desk and I was very happy to be a "professional technician" and flying my arse off. I was very good at what I did and never busted a checkride and got quite a few "exceptionally qualified" checkride results so in that regard, I wasn't very mediocre. However, when it came to the other stuff that was expected outside my flying j*b, I didn't seek out those "opportunities" ;D

OldShooter 02-11-2021 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
... Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

No. I look at this as just a piece of an overall strategy wanting to be underestimated. I have found it to be an advantage in many situations both in business and personally.

My idol in this was a guy I knew maybe 25 years ago, Jim D. Jim was about 80YO and dressed in those dark green uniform shirts and pants that Sears used to sell. His shoes were the workman's low top black oxfords with ribbed oil-proof soles, topped with white socks. His hair looked like he had cut it himself. He ran several businesses, including building turnkey bioethanol plants and building airline fueler trucks. If he was worth a dime, he was worth $10M or more.

One fun time was at a city council meeting where both of us had business with the council. When Jim's turn came he shambled up to the lectern and made his case. The council instantly approve what the nice old man wanted. They never had a clue what they were dealing with. The man was an artist. I'm sure he is gone now, but I still think of him fondly.

brett 02-11-2021 01:34 PM

The other piece of advice I would give are...

-never fall in love with a stock. Sell it at the right time financially, not the right time from a tax perspective.

-don't fall in love with your employers stock or stock options. Don't drink the kool-aid about the future stock price.

I know of a number of people who put their retirement at risk by not exercising stock options before they went under water. OTOH, I know several who, like me, developed a realistic and laddered option disposition plan that allowed them to retire, protect that retirement, and leave with a very healthy nest egg.

YVRRocketSurgery 02-11-2021 01:36 PM

Morgan Housel has a great quote that essentially says that a lot of what our perception of wealth is driven by what we see other people buying. But in reality, financial wealth isn't what you see; it's what you don't see (ie what you don't spend and stached away in your savings/investment accounts).

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

For me, it's a bit of a yes/no juxtaposition.

Yes, because you know how it can be at family gatherings. :laugh:
And I freely admit I have a fragile ego. :laugh:
No, because I generally don't like being in the spotlight/under a microscope nor potentially saddled with expectations, real or perceived.

2k6_TX_Dad 02-11-2021 01:52 PM

Opposite
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

I'll take the opposite viewpoint. I would like to be recognized (by others than on this forum). But mainly to show FIRE is an achievable goal and so I can pass along how being FI can help you enjoy things others might find frustrating.

For example, I enjoy driving my 14y/o Toyota pickup, not because it's the only car I can afford, because it's helped achieve my goals.

Perhaps it futile, there are lots of posts on this forum related to the difference between spenders and savers and "never the twain shall meet", but I believe there are some in the middle and are overexposed to the ones who spend and underexposed to those who save. (By reading this thread, by their choice).

Lawrencewendall 02-11-2021 02:10 PM

We've been called the Clampetts by the neighbors but I'm RE and they are not. Suck eggs!

RetireeRobert 02-11-2021 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lawrencewendall (Post 2559584)
We've been called the Clampetts by the neighbors but I'm RE and they are not. Suck eggs!


Exactly! RE status is its own best reward.

I must admit though, I did so love submitting my resignation letter when I left my office and left all the BS behind. And I loved my former bosses seeing me walk away at age 54 with three kids then aged 7, 11, and 17, and them wondering how can he do that? And a few years later, designing and having built our dream home (where I now live) and being able to pay cash for it--no mortgage. And I knew my former bosses had to stay at work and put up with all the BS for years longer. Yes, I did like that, a high point in my life.

capitalhockey 02-11-2021 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetireeRobert (Post 2559587)
Exactly! RE status is its own best reward.

I must admit though, I did so love submitting my resignation letter when I left my office and left all the BS behind. And I loved my former bosses seeing me walk away at age 54 with three kids then aged 7, 11, and 17, and them wondering how can he do that? And a few years later, designing and having built our dream home (where I now live) and being able to pay cash for it--no mortgage. And I knew my former bosses had to stay at work and put up with all the BS for years longer. Yes, I did like that, a high point in my life.

Congrats!

I have two young kids under 4 now....hope to be in your shoes in 10 years. Did retirement allow you to be more involved in kids' school and activities?

Montecfo 02-11-2021 02:30 PM

We always lived well but spent less than similarly situated folks. Definitely more value oriented on vehicles.

But I learned long ago that cars are more often a marker for debt than financial success.

So try to keep a low profile and try not to get famous. Financial success is its own reward and allows you to be very charitable and help others.

Jerry1 02-11-2021 02:36 PM

More like vindication than recognition. In 2008 when people were worried about or actually losing their houses and jobs, it felt good to know that my LBYM lifestyle had paid off. Never had any concerns about losing my house, which was almost paid off by then and felt very confident that if I did lose my job, I would have been fine. That felt pretty good given that I did have times where I was a bit envious of my friends/colleagues with larger nicer houses. In the end, as was stated, I think a number of people did recognize that I retired early and were a bit envious of me.

Ultimately though, you just have to live the life you decide is best for you. That’s what I did and I’m happy.

travelover 02-11-2021 02:38 PM

I only brag here, but on the internet, no one knows you are really a dog.

RetireeRobert 02-11-2021 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559590)
Congrats!

I have two young kids under 4 now....hope to be in your shoes in 10 years. Did retirement allow you to be more involved in kids' school and activities?

Yes indeed. I spent my early retirement ferrying kids to and back from school, and activities.

While my wife had at first maybe "worried" a little about me being home so much, she soon came to enjoy the relief from being principle taxi driver for all the kids' comings and goings! We were also able to take several family cruises/train trips/car trips from which memories were made.

I never for one second looked back at work and regretted my RE decision. With benefit of hindsight, I now know I would have regretted NOT going RE when I did.

Gumby 02-11-2021 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 2559597)
I only brag here, but on the internet, no one know you are really a dog.

I'm sure you're one of those fancy purebreds.

Out-to-Lunch 02-11-2021 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 2559597)
I only brag here, but on the internet, no one knows you are really a dog.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gumby (Post 2559599)
I'm sure you're one of those fancy purebreds.

He can't fool me. I can see that he is a duck!

unclemick 02-11-2021 04:05 PM

Hmm - early days I was 'plain in the butt cheap' and bent your ear - mainly on forums even if you didn't want to hear it. Loved the 'Four Yorkshiremen', dryer sheet posts and Dory36's - 33% That's My Story.

Time marches on. Now we are regular old 'phart' and 'phartet' of retirement age. Aka 70's.

Heh heh heh - And time in the Market has eliminated much of my former 'cheap'. 'frugal', er 'thrifty ways.' Ordinary and 'you can't take it with you mentality. :flowers:

pjigar 02-11-2021 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

Quite the contrary, I would like to fly under the radar forever. Sometimes it is hard to see people blowing off money knowing that they can't afford it. But I just remind myself that I choose to trade time+happiness for money which is a great deal IMHO.

pjigar 02-11-2021 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zekeboz (Post 2559442)
True to my heart but is my wife's dismay. "Can you PLEASE take off your sweatshirt with paint stains before we go out..?"

Lol, I visit lot of hardware stores in that handyman attire complete with sweatshirt with paint stain and jeans with holes. I do it because I am either in the middle of a project or about to start a project. My wife really hates it when I do that.

rk911 02-11-2021 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
...Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

nope. but it would be cool to see the look on
my sister’s face when she sees the extent of the estate when we’re both gone.

CoolRich59 02-11-2021 06:31 PM

When I RE'd, I expected lots of questions and discussion from family and friends. I thought it would be a good opportunity to 'advance the FIRE cause' so to speak. Plus, I admit, I wanted to bask in the glow of my achievement.

Not long after I RE'd, we hosted a family party. I even discussed with the DW how we would respond to certain questions. To my surprise, not only was there no discussion, my retirement was not mentioned once.

I was a little deflated, but the experience was humbling. Now, I prefer the "anonymity". In fact, I was talking to one of my nieces during the holidays. She asked if I was able to w*rk from home during covid and was surprised when I told her I'd been retired for close to three years. :)

RobbieB 02-11-2021 06:39 PM

I like to keep a low profile too.

I don't need recognition. Not going to work M-F is reward enough - :)

RetireeRobert 02-11-2021 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoolRich59 (Post 2559732)
......... In fact, I was talking to one of my nieces during the holidays. She asked if I was able to w*rk from home during covid and was surprised when I told her I'd been retired for close to three years. :)

That little interaction must have at least given you a little buzz! :dance:

pb4uski 02-11-2021 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lawrencewendall (Post 2559584)
We've been called the Clampetts by the neighbors but I'm RE and they are not. Suck eggs!

I suspect that some of of my BILs view us as "cheap" because we don't spend lavishly, we don't have many high-end brand name things, we have driven rather pedestrian cars for decades and usually keep them for a long time... no Mercedes, BMWs etc that get traded every 3-4 years wheher they need to or not for us. But we've been retired for 9 years and they are still working... so, whatever!

CoolRich59 02-11-2021 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetireeRobert (Post 2559745)
That little interaction must have at least given you a little buzz! :dance:

Sure did! ;D

Bigdawg 02-11-2021 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gumby (Post 2559599)
I'm sure you're one of those fancy purebreds.

He's the boxer on the left with the full house.

Koolau 02-12-2021 05:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
I have been living below my means for 20 years while climbing up the corporate ladder. I invested extra funds from promotions and bonuses to get to my FIRE goal. I am FI and will work for another 10 years until RE.

From the outside, no one can tell my financial net worth. I live in smaller house than I can afford, drive old reliable cars with scratches and my wife jokes that I dress like a homeless guy. I like to wear socks until they have holes in them. I prefer my old jacket and don't buy much new clothes. I prefer my sweat pants to name brand outfits. I only dress up for work with a suit and tie.

On the other hand, I have a brother who lives in a big house with heavy credit card debts. He has a flashy car, latest phones/TVs and lavish gifts to others. Everyone thinks he is very successful even though he is living paycheck to paycheck.

Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

As indicated by others, only by my peers here on the ER forum. :coolsmiley: Otherwise, the expression "under the RADAR" comes to mind. YMMV

HawkOwl 02-12-2021 06:19 AM

We live in the age of jealousy. There is absolutely no advantage to being recognized as financially independent. I would rather fly below the radar screen.

Andre1969 02-12-2021 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lawrencewendall (Post 2559584)
We've been called the Clampetts by the neighbors but I'm RE and they are not. Suck eggs!

Hell, I've called myself that, from time to time...so I don't take it as an insult! :p

Andre1969 02-12-2021 06:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pb4uski (Post 2559782)
I suspect that some of of my BILs view us as "cheap" because we don't spend lavishly, we don't have many high-end brand name things, we have driven rather pedestrian cars for decades and usually keep them for a long time... no Mercedes, BMWs etc that get traded every 3-4 years wheher they need to or not for us. But we've been retired for 9 years and they are still working... so, whatever!

Years ago, I had a co-worker whose parents were pretty well-off. His father had been some high-up executive at Chrysler, and they could get some kind of employee pricing on their cars. One time, the mother traded a 1999 Concorde for a 2001 LHS, because all her friends had seen her in the other car! Sounded like an I Love Lucy episode, with Lucy's rationale for getting a new dress!

Unfortunately, my co-worker tended to get into the same living-large spending habits. But he didn't have the bank account to back it up, like his parents did. Sadly, it all came crumbling down eventually. Last I heard, he and his wife are now on disability, and living in some really low cost of living area in Appalachia. They had two daughters, but I think the daughters learned from their parents mistakes, and made choices that were much more level-headed, when it came to finances.

retire48in2018 02-12-2021 07:04 AM

When you FIRE, it will be understood that you LBYM to do that.

Some don't consider LBYM, and don't think about retirement or saving up for themselves.

There are a few that I have been able to mentor, and that, to me, brings great joy.

big-papa 02-12-2021 07:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capitalhockey (Post 2559367)
I have been living below my means for 20 years while climbing up the corporate ladder. I invested extra funds from promotions and bonuses to get to my FIRE goal. I am FI and will work for another 10 years until RE.

From the outside, no one can tell my financial net worth. I live in smaller house than I can afford, drive old reliable cars with scratches and my wife jokes that I dress like a homeless guy. I like to wear socks until they have holes in them. I prefer my old jacket and don't buy much new clothes. I prefer my sweat pants to name brand outfits. I only dress up for work with a suit and tie.

On the other hand, I have a brother who lives in a big house with heavy credit card debts. He has a flashy car, latest phones/TVs and lavish gifts to others. Everyone thinks he is very successful even though he is living paycheck to paycheck.

Is there any yearning to be recognized for your FIRE success?

No. Couldn't care less what others think about that. To me, work has always been about enabling life, not being life. And for me, life is more about "doing" rather than "having".

I see a great example today in our nextdoor neighbors. They've only been there a few years. They appear to be in their late 40's/early 50's. He's not worked outside the house since they moved here. She worked for the first few years, but not anymore. They are the consummate do-it-your-selfers and are constantly working on the interior of their house and truly enjoy it. They bought a used class B camper recently and are frequently off on adventures.

Cheers.

jollystomper 02-12-2021 07:20 AM

The only person I care about recognizing my FIRE success is my DW, and she gives much more credit than I deserve for it.

Golden sunsets 02-12-2021 07:28 AM

We follow the same low profile as most LBYMers here. We've lived in our house for 30 years. It's a very nice neighborhood, but our house is the smallest. Despite many blow out years income wise we never upgraded. We never joined the country club unlike most of our children's friend's parents. We drive nice cars but keep them for 10 or more years. One of our cars is 13 years old. Our Withdrawal rate is never more than 1/2 of 1%. The fact of the matter is we like saving more than spending. That I think is our biggest problem.

Markola 02-12-2021 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unclemick (Post 2559643)
Time marches on. Now we are regular old 'phart' and 'phartet' of retirement age. Aka 70's.:



Good point. Being odd duck early retirees is only a temporary state until most of one’s cohort joins you in retirement.

skyking1 02-12-2021 08:52 AM

In my case, my DW deserves more credit than I do. I just want to spend time with her doing things we enjoy while we can. Nothing there to brag about, and I am still full of doubts that we have enough to make the move to retirement.
What I do take pride and credit for is my being able to do everything. I remodeled the entire interior of our home for pennies on the dollar, building my own cabinets and only hiring out some plumbing because I'm not that fond of heavy work in crawlspaces. I will build our last home most likely, and only hire out the odious tasks like concrete and drywall. Two repaired rotator cuffs just say NO to drywall!

Andre1969 02-12-2021 09:35 AM

I have no desire to be recognized for retiring early, or having it be the main thing people associate me with. I tend to be a serious live-below-my-means type, but I think I might have blown my cover a bit, a few years ago. I bought a new house, more house than I need, with a large yard and a swimming pool. It's definitely extravagant, compared to what I'm accustomed to. But, it still counts as living below my means, if I could have bought an even fancier house if I wanted to, right?

Anyway, I'm still working, so that might have lessened the shock, somewhat. And, I haven't actually had anyone come right out and question where I got the money to buy that much house. Well, I take that back. My Mom asked me if I was going to be okay with that big of a mortgage, but she was doing it more out of concern for me, than any kind of snooping.

Still, I've learned to watch what I say. For instance, a few years back, I made a comment about going back to the old house to sort through some stuff, and they just responded with "Wait? You have TWO houses..." I backtracked pretty quickly with "yes, I haven't been able to sell the old one yet, so the carrying costs of two houses at the same time is killing me!" But still, I could see the little hamster wheel in their brain spinning, trying to process it, and thinking "Two houses = lots of money!"

My work sent us home to telecommute in March of last year, just a few weeks before my 50th birthday. I don't really talk much to the neighbors out here in the new neighborhood. It's a rural enough area that the mailboxes are all on the same side of the road, so my neighbor across the street has to come over to my side to get his mail. We've chatted a few times, and in the small talk, I do remember mentioning once about how I'm trying to get used to this work-from-home stuff. So, when I do finally retire, I don't think it would raise any eyebrows from them, as they're used to seeing me around the house all the time, anyway. Plus, I've never really gotten past the "driveway small talk" phase with them.

I have a feeling that once I do retire, most people won't even notice. If everything goes as planned, it will probably be within the next year or two (I keep suffering from OMY syndrome). So that would put me at 51-52, maybe barely into 53. My Mom will question it, I know, but again, mostly out of concern. The old, "can you really afford it" type of things. She's retired, having gone out at 62, but she was federal government, under the old CSRS system, and gets a nice pension. Medical is pretty good too I think, so she's fairly secure.

When I'm out and about, I'm usually driving my 2003 Buick Regal, with 100,000 miles, a couple dents, and no hubcaps. I'm usually in jeans and a t-shirt, and either sneakers or boots, depending on the weather. And usually not expensive, flashy ones. So for the most part, when most people look at me, I don't think I exactly scream "MONEY" ;D

Nick12 02-12-2021 09:43 AM

Low profile all the way. Showing off can at times attract the wrong crowd.

Amethyst 02-12-2021 09:50 AM

I'm not wired to crave recognition, and tend to stay out of the limelight. You'll never see me on a committee, board, etc.

However, Mr. A. and I like nice things, so although we've always lived below our means, it only went so far with us.

Nemo2 02-12-2021 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amethyst (Post 2560006)
However, Mr. A. and I like nice things

Ah.....a whole new thread looms: "What do you classify as 'nice things'?" - that should keep everyone busy for a few pages. :laugh:

Winemaker 02-12-2021 10:13 AM

We have always flew under the radar, until some neighbors noticed that we didn't go to w*rk anymore. Then they asked our age, as I have had white hair since I was 50, when I told them a young 56, they were shocked. Although we always LBYM, we did have a BTD moment in November 2019, when we had a great deal on a used pristine Mercedes.

Years ago, when the city inspector came for his annual inspection at one of our rentals, he noticed a new flashy Jaguar parked out front. He smirked that it must be great to be a landlord. I told him it was, renting to doctors who drive Jags. I showed him my aged Chevy pickup.

The doctor moved out years ago to purchase a house in the same neighborhood, and has bought out a thriving practice, 3 doors down from another one of our rentals.

marko 02-12-2021 10:30 AM

There used to be an old Mercedes commercial that said: "Meant to impress the people on the inside, not the outside".

As my signature says "Living well is the best revenge".

We live what some might call 'high' (within our means) but we do it only for our own comfort. We have a lot of nice material things but never, not once, did we buy them thinking to impress anyone other than ourselves.

I was brought up with a 'you won't be sorry for buying the best there is' mentality and 'for a few dollars more' is how we generally spend but it never even enters our mind on what someone else might think.

brett 02-12-2021 10:36 AM

We were brought to buy on value not price and with this old saying

'you buy cheap, you buy dear'

We are not yearning to be recognized. We have our own recognition....the ability to travel internationally to where ever we want and as often as we want. Which is what we have been doing in spades. My wife seems embarrassed when we review our investment porfolio.

Out-to-Lunch 02-12-2021 11:42 AM

Honestly, no. Not because of some desire to be under the radar, but it just never occurred to me. Also, I don't think that even we realized that we were saving enough to get FI early; it was just what we thought we needed to do to have a normal-aged retirement.

However, I will admit to some manifestation of, oh, I don't know, pride? when recently announcing my retirement.

6miths 02-12-2021 12:32 PM

We are pretty big on stealth wealth although did have a fairly large house due to the four kids and MIL living with us. But not in an 'exclusive' neighborhood and always drove regular cars.

The recognition I did/do enjoy is that of peers and younger colleagues asking for advice as to how to get to the same place.

doneat54 02-12-2021 01:33 PM

"drive old reliable cars with scratches and my wife jokes that I dress like a homeless guy"


I have to chuckle at that, and at myself sometimes. With a NW that I never believed I would have, I'm driving a $1300 Taurus wagon and especially with the pandemic, wear the same ratty clothes everyday until they don't pass the smell test anymore. Like others have posted, I think there is some inherent safety/upside to not looking wealthy. Been FIRE's 4 years now, just turned 59 last month.


I *am* going to buy myself a nice 1-3 year old SUV this spring however...... but I'll keep the wagon DW call's "shitbox" as long as it still runs...

doneat54 02-12-2021 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 6miths (Post 2560114)
The recognition I did/do enjoy is that of peers and younger colleagues asking for advice as to how to get to the same place.


Yes. Or when they ask "How do manage to retire at 54?" I say, I decided that was what I was going to do 30+ years ago and lived the life needed to make it happen...

RetireeRobert 02-12-2021 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doneat54 (Post 2560136)
Yes. Or when they ask "How do manage to retire at 54?" I say, I decided that was what I was going to do 30+ years ago and lived the life needed to make it happen...

I can relate to that almost exactly.

I retired at 54 with my three kids then aged 7, 11, and 17. Wife was stay at home mom ever since our oldest was born.

For 26 years my aim and lifestyle was to be able to retire early.

GravitySucks 02-12-2021 02:07 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here you go.Attachment 37690

pjigar 02-12-2021 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doneat54 (Post 2560136)
Yes. Or when they ask "How do manage to retire at 54?" I say, I decided that was what I was going to do 30+ years ago and lived the life needed to make it happen...

+1. I have been meticulously planning for 15+ years. Getting closer by the year.

Fermion 02-12-2021 02:37 PM

I am fairly competitive in gaming and find that same feeling follows into finances, so yeah there is a good feeling when being recognized for FIRE success.

I am being honest here and not lying to myself.

ExFlyBoy5 02-12-2021 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andre1969 (Post 2559996)
I have no desire to be recognized for retiring early, or having it be the main thing people associate me with. I tend to be a serious live-below-my-means type, but I think I might have blown my cover a bit, a few years ago. I bought a new house, more house than I need, with a large yard and a swimming pool. It's definitely extravagant, compared to what I'm accustomed to. But, it still counts as living below my means, if I could have bought an even fancier house if I wanted to, right?

We did the same thing and that's why I was so adamant about removing the pictures from the internet. I am sure I will hate replacing the fancy 48" stove (especially since it looks like the "cheap ones" are about $10K!) but it's quite extravagant to me as well as the pool. We purchased some land behind our house to fend off development and I was sure to title it in an LLC to make it difficult to know it belongs to us. Is this overkill? It is, but I really am all about the stealth wealth. Thankfully, our mailing address has a country bumpkin city, so most folks don't associate it with "nicer" houses.

Thankfully, our immediate neighbors pretty much keep to themselves, so there isn't a need to explain why we are home all the time. :)

ExFlyBoy5 02-12-2021 03:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by marko (Post 2560033)
There used to be an old Mercedes commercial that said: "Meant to impress the people on the inside, not the outside".

Is this the same auto manufacturer that has the option to ILLUMINATE their badge? :coolsmiley:

Winemaker 02-12-2021 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 (Post 2560208)
Is this the same auto manufacturer that has the option to ILLUMINATE their badge? :coolsmiley:

That was a $600 option on a 2014, according to the sticker in the glove box.

Andre1969 02-12-2021 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 (Post 2560205)
I am sure I will hate replacing the fancy 48" stove (especially since it looks like the "cheap ones" are about $10K!) but it's quite extravagant to me as well as the pool.

I had a run-in along those lines at my house. In 2019, the refrigerator started to go bad. In the past whenever that happened, I'd just get rid of it. I'd usually have a spare in storage, that was handed down from a family member, or a neighbor or friend gave to me when they remodeled. Well, this one in the new house is extra wide, extra deep, has the double doors up top, and two pull out drawers for the freezer in the bottom. I looked it up online. It was still in production, and a new one was around $2500! Needless to say, I spent the ~$300 to get this one fixed!

While I could have gotten away with just finding another hand-me-down at the old place, I can't do that at the new place. I mean, I could if I really wanted to, but the kitchen is just too nice and upscale, so it would junk it up.

I guess that's one problem with going upscale. It's not just the cost of entry, but the maintenance/replacement costs, as well. Sort of like a luxury car, I guess.

ls99 02-12-2021 04:19 PM

NO!

Andre1969 02-12-2021 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Winemaker (Post 2560225)
That was a $600 option on a 2014, according to the sticker in the glove box.

Jeezus Chryler...I think a '49 DeSoto would light up its hood ornament (of Fernando) as standard equipment!

ncbill 02-12-2021 09:04 PM

Never...I have seen people close to other family members who made a lot of money & spent it via a high-consumption lifestyle targeted by every huckster & scammer out there.

I would rather people think I was on disability & food stamps than FIRE.

firewhen 02-13-2021 03:55 AM

Same thinking
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ncbill (Post 2560418)
Never...I have seen people close to other family members who made a lot of money & spent it via a high-consumption lifestyle targeted by every huckster & scammer out there.

I would rather people think I was on disability & food stamps than FIRE.

It is so much easier for people to not know our wealth. DW has been slowly letting on to folks that I am not working and that there were layoffs (there were) though I independently RE. I guess eventually people will stop asking about my status or I can say I have some consulting gigs. When she has said to a select few that I stopped working, they were speechless. Just better not to get into it. In the meantime, probably will need to replace our cars at some point, with the two of them having a combined age of 30 years. But especially with the pandemic we hardly go anywhere and they run fine.

gayl 02-13-2021 06:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo2 (Post 2559548)
We have just the one vehicle, a 2005 Honda Civic with slightly under 140K km, (around 86K miles)...has a couple dings/scratches...who cares, it's just a freakin car. [emoji23]

My 7 yr old Honda Civic has wonderful memorial dents in it. GS1: (1) was learning to drive, mistook gas pedal for brake, drove under garage desk, dented hood (2) Backed into fence (3) Somehow scrapped side of bumper. DS pulled out dents (somewhat) and I got a can of spray paint. Ah, wonderful memories!!! Very few people at Synagogue ask me for donations

kcowan 02-13-2021 07:06 AM

We have lived our own life ignoring outsiders. Since we decided to Blow The Dough, we have been attracting a bit of attention. Upgraded our Escape to a MER. Sold our modest condo for a luxury one. Filling it with art of our choice.

But we think we will survive it.

We do keep our charitable donations anonymous .


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:50 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.