Author Topic: ashamed to be FIRE?  (Read 8289 times)

Sun Hat

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #50 on: November 18, 2017, 06:45:40 AM »
I read both Tom Hodgkinson's books "How to be Idle" and "How to do Nothing" a few months ago while I was struggling with the mostly internal struggle of identifying 'what next'. Although clearly meant as humor, I found that they instilled in me a delightful sense of freedom from that nagging pest that is a sense of obligation to be busy. While I unfortunately gave the books away in a fit of decluttering, I have the motto for The Idler hanging in my kitchen.

https://idler.co.uk/product/the-idlers-freedom-manifesto/

Step37

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #51 on: November 18, 2017, 04:53:05 PM »
Great discussion.

I have not had the conversation about it with family, but my business partner was rather shocked a couple of years ago when the subject came up. A company was interested in purchasing our business (did not end up happening, which is fine), and my comment was that Iíd stay on for maximum six months and then I would be OUT, so he had better be careful about ďsellingĒ me with the company (I was a 10% shareholder at the time). He was flabbergasted that Iíd consider being done at 41... ďbut Iíd want to start another business and Iíd need you, and how could you retire on that/Iím not retiring until I have about five million...Ē no. Just no.

I am about to scale back from four days per week to 2.5 (2 in office/balance from home) - still an owner so donít want to pull the plug unless Iím getting bought out. The way I see it is that Iíve opened up a f/t job for someone who wants/needs it. Iím not a drain on society. And I think my business partner believes me now that Iím NOT interested in working full time...

Scaling back is way easier to explain that fully stopping paid work, so Iím sure nothing much will be said by family until my husband pulls the plug in two years (at 50). Iím encouraging him to do it now, but so far he doesnít feel comfortable/want to (I think for many reasons that have been mentioned by others). I guess itís a good spot to be in; if the company starts to annoy him, he can exercise the FU money.

I think I will be comfortable telling people Iím retired (once I fully am!) if asked. I donít mind saying/explaining that weíve lived well below our means, not succumbed to lifestyle inflation, introducing MMM, etc. But itís a fine line. I would not want to seem to be bragging. I feel a lot of the same concerns as the OP.


Dicey

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #52 on: November 18, 2017, 06:54:12 PM »
I didn't retire until I was 54. I'm kind of embarrassed because my dad retired at 50.

I tell any and all who ask that I'm retired, and I never get any crap for it. Maybe it's because I'm older. More likely they feel sorry for me when they learn that my MIL and her pal Al Z. Heimer live with us. Yeah, it's sub-optimal, but it sure beats the hell out of working for a living.

Cashonda

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #53 on: November 24, 2017, 04:53:41 PM »
Aww I am just so happy to read all these amazing comments after being away a while. I laughed, I cried, it warmed my heart. <3

It makes me feel great just knowing you all are out there and that I am not alone in my crazy ideas. Or at least not the ones about financial independence. hahaha

I should clarify to say that as many of you also noted, I am not exactly embarrassed, more like... reluctant to deal with judgement, comments, jealousy etc. I feel like some people react with "oh you are so rich/lucky" and the others react with "oh you are so lazy". And I just am not thick skinned enough to not care at all.

My family seems to have accepted that I have a mysterious life and dont ask too many questions. I guess they figure I havent asked them for money and I look well fed so they arent too worried. I feel the pressure the most from friends, acquaintances and strangers really, who always have to ask "what do you do?" like there isnt any reason to exist except to work. It's easy to brush one off but when you have the same convo daily it gets old.

I am proud of my accomplishments and I wish I could be open about them but probably I will continue to do what so many of you are doing and just say I work from home - which is actually the truth - I just dont make enough to support myself 100% with that work. But when they start digging for details I always falter and feel like a phony. It makes me happy to read that some of you have similar issues and situations and that gives me a lot of strength. :)

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who has commented so far. It really made me happy and inspired, and hopefully will help others too.

Plus you all are super hilarious. Thanks for the giggles.

SachaFiscal

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2017, 12:17:47 AM »
Yeah I definitely felt this. I still do but it is starting to fade. For me itís mostly in my own head as no one has said anything offensive to me about it. My DH is still working so itís more like I feel like others will judge me harshly for quitting my job and depending on my husband even though Iíve save quite a sum. No one has said this to me though so it is probably mostly me judging myself. I was raised to have a crazy work ethic so I did for a long time. Iím slowly releasing myself from this. I told my family and DH told his family that I retired. My mom was a bit shocked at first but now she thinks Iím a housewife and since she was a SAHM mom and housewife all her life she somehow accepts me more and we seem to get along better now. She never really appreciated my career accomplishments anyway.

My siblings  are slightly jelly but mostly supportive which I appreciate. No one has said anything negative yet but Iím about to visit family for the holidays over the next couple of months so weíll see what comes up when weíre face to face and they have a lot of time to grill me. Iím pretty good at deflecting attention away from myself so I think it will be okay. Iíve sort of been walking back on the my initial declaration of retirement to say that Iím actually just retired from the particular career I was in and am taking some time to explore other options.

Iím taking some classes online and doing some volunteer work so Iím planning on just talking about those activities if I get asked ďWhat do you do?!Ē.

I'd like to recommend the book "How to be Idle", by Tom Hodgkinson. It is funny, reassuring, and factual on where and why some of us have that work ethic problem :) It's okay to let that go! Here is the intro:

"It's good to be idle. The purpose of this book is both to celebrate laziness and to attack the work culture of the western world, which has enslaved, demoralized and depressed so many of us.

Doing nothing, however, is hard work, as Oscar Wilde pointed out. There are always so many people around trying to make you do things. This is why I have tried to create a kind of canon of idle writing, from the philosophy, fiction, poetry and history of the last three thousand years, to give us idlers the mental ammunition we need to fight the fight against work. The sheer number of great idlers in history proves also that we are not alone.

Being idle is about being free, and notjust being free to choose between McDonald's and Burger King or Volvo and Saab. It is about being free to live the lives we want to lead, free from bosses, wages, commuting, consuming and debt. Being idle is about fun, pleasure and joy.

There's a revolution brewing, and the great thing is that to join it all you have to do is absolutely nothing. So join us, Liberty Lads and Liberty Girls. This should be the most enjoyable revolution the world has ever seen.
"

Thanks, Iíll check it out!

former player

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2017, 03:21:43 AM »
Love all the positive comments on this thread.  I was moved to read it by my builder who yesterday referred to my "life of leisure".  I just smiled and shrugged.

I may embroider the last part of the Idler Manifesto  (too idle to do all of it!) -

  • Life is Absurd
  • We are Free
  • Be Merry

Rollin

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2017, 05:52:25 AM »
Love all the positive comments on this thread.  I was moved to read it by my builder who yesterday referred to my "life of leisure".  I just smiled and shrugged.

I may embroider the last part of the Idler Manifesto  (too idle to do all of it!) -

  • Life is Absurd
  • We are Free
  • Be Merry

That looks like a good one to stick on my bike. I print these types of sayings out and put them under closer tape on my top tube. Nice to look dow and be reminded.

Here is another good part that relates to the PO's question. I've seen (felt) this rash from a BIL who works so hard he's had numerous stress related health issues and could have RE many years ago.

"To the bureaucrat, the man of business, there is nothing more offensive than the idea potentially productive citizens are prone, inactive, staring at the ceiling (this is from the chapter titled "10 a.m., Sleeping In"), while he is bustling away doing something "useful", like inventing new ways to sell popcorn to the masses or delivering summonses for non-payment of parking fines. Inaction appalls him; he cannot understand it; it frightens him."
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 11:10:52 AM by Rollin »

Accidental Fire

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #57 on: November 25, 2017, 10:39:50 AM »
I just semi-retired to part time and I don't feel ashamed at all but I admit it feels a little weird.  I think I just need some time to settle into my new reality.

That said, some of my nosy neighbors have taken notice. I do not go into work every day now and they're wondering what's going on!  My plan is to just tell them that I'm working more and more online now as others in this thread mentioned.  Sounds like a much easier conversation that going anywhere near FIRE.....

markbike528CBX

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #58 on: November 25, 2017, 11:00:00 AM »
The thread http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/how-do-you-answer-%27what-do-you-do%27-without-explaining-your-finances/    has many suggestions to answer the question "what do you do?"

Gentleman of Leisure is my current favourite, but I have 6 months to FIRE.

Accidental Fire

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2017, 03:31:08 PM »
Gentleman of Leisure is my current favourite, but I have 6 months to FIRE.

I'm partial to Professional Recreationalist

StockBeard

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2017, 01:31:15 AM »
He would even complain that he had to support me, when he was living in my house without paying rent! But I think in his mind, I didnt "work" so I was poor and so he must be supporting me- although probably it was the other way around!

I'm wondering how that person could have such poor math skills that he was thinking he was the one supporting you, when it was clear you were more than supporting yourself. Weird.

stashgrower

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2017, 06:09:01 AM »
Great thread, really love the replies :D

zinethstache

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2017, 03:09:01 PM »
Since we are full time RVing in our first phase of FIRE, it is like we are in a sea of like minds. I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say I am a "full timer" when asked (that is the first thing you get asked in the Thousand Trails park system). I am quite young compared to most and DH looks way younger since his hair is long and blond and is down to his butt. I enjoy sitting in the lodge surfing the web, listening to the chatter. People will be discussing which campground memberships they have, how they like them. Where they are heading to next, etc.

In other threads I've mentioned the happy nature of the staff we get to interact with every day. They might know we are full timers, but they are not sure so they are all smiles and happiness when dealing with everyone. I love it! I wish there was more happiness outside the campground system we live in! I find now that when I am out in "public" I purposefully try to get folks to open up and smile at me, a for real smile, not the half tepid ones people give. It is a fun challenge. I've noticed DH does the same thing, tries to draw people out.

Prior to retiring we got some pressure from DHs family, mainly his dad. I solved that by showing him our books. That took care of that! My mom never questioned us, she trusts we know what we are doing. I lived on her property the last six months of my career as well as the first couple month's of FIRE, we had a great time together. It is the only time we've been in close proximity on a daily basis since I was 16 (I am 49). She is fully supportive but cannot understand our desire to travel full time. She lives on 5 acres and has horses, dogs and a big garden to tend. So there we differ greatly.

When pressed, I do say we can travel because of passive income from our rentals, which is true. We have ended up needing less to live than my initial budget so now I plan to draw from my retirement only when needed. If we did settle down in one location where we paid for utilities and property taxes again, we would start to draw on my retirement funds.

gerardc

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #63 on: December 16, 2017, 12:42:03 AM »
"I work with computers"
"I contract for X and Y companies"
"I work part-time"

or if they protest,

"I have 3M in the bank"
That'll shut them up real quick.

Exflyboy

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2017, 01:33:49 PM »
Personally I don't care one bit about the judgement of others.

DW is/was a little more circumspect. Then again over thanksgiving the old "what do you do" question came up and DW said "we're retired".

The person then asking asked.. "so are you independently poor or independently wealthy?"

DW told her we do't need outside sources of income.. Great!

Now I just tell people "I am independently poor".. because it gets a laugh and people who know me know thats about as far from the truth as is possible...:)

Cashonda

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #65 on: December 18, 2017, 12:55:09 PM »
Now I just tell people "I am independently poor".. because it gets a laugh and people who know me know thats about as far from the truth as is possible...:)

I love this. It kind of describes my frugal situation right now.

I find that people dont ask me very often, except the typical first question "what do you do?" from strangers where they dont really care at all what you say in response. "I am independently poor" might get them to actually notice what you said rather than the typical glazed look as everyone talks about their jobs. :)

o2bfree

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Re: ashamed to be FIRE?
« Reply #66 on: December 19, 2017, 02:11:20 PM »
One way I see RE is that I don't need to work for money anymore, so instead of being greedy and continuing to work I'm choosing to give my nicely-paid position to someone who needs the money. I'm making a sacrifice to help out the needy, now isn't that nice??