Author Topic: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE  (Read 10747 times)

Metta

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Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« on: January 08, 2017, 09:59:00 AM »
This is my first week after retiring and we've travelled to Denver (where I grew up) so that my husband can attend a work-related conference. I've accompanied him to help smooth things for him where I can and to visit family.

My sister invited me to a party with family and her friends, most of whom I've known since high school/college. One of her close friends, Kim, told me that they were so proud that their two children were going to expensive colleges and then asked me how my job was going. I said, "I guess fine but I'm not there anymore."

"Oh, I'm so sorry. I hope you'll find something else soon," she said.

"Uh..." Clearly my sister did not mention my retirement to anyone.

"Is that a good thing that you've left? Was it a terrible job?"

"No, it was a good job, but very long hours. I've retired."

It went seriously downhill from there. She fixed me with a strange look that I had a hard time figuring out. Loathing? Envy? Disbelief? What the hell was going on here? Why is she looking at me like that?

"You're giving me a strange look, Kim. What are you thinking?" 

"No one our age can retire."  (Point of reference: I'm 55. She's 53.)

By now I've given the Shockingly Simple Math to Early Retirement talk so many times I have it perfectly rehearsed, so I started saying "We've saved about half our income for the last twenty years. That is how we've been able to do this. Almost anyone can do it, as long as they have an above poverty-level income."

"That is not possible."

"I assure you, the money fairy did not land on my shoulder. We made deliberate choices that led here."

"I know all about this, my husband is a financial planner." Enter the husband into the conversation.

"We will never be able to retire. We just don't make enough." Said the husband.

"We work harder than you! We can't retire," said Kim.

"You had a car and a house more than a decade before we did. We lived in areas you thought of as slums because we were saving about a third of our money even when we were making $25,000 to $35,000 a year together. There is no magic here. Just choices. And there's nothing wrong with any choice. But some lead to early retirement and some don't."

I can't really describe here the looks and hostility I felt from her and I'm puzzled as to why. I asked my husband and he says that because we couldn't afford the pretty clothes, fancy cars, big houses, and exotic vacations that my family and my sister's friends enjoyed, people slotted us into the "Lovable Losers" category and that Kim, in particular, always condescended to us and thought she was better than we were. He thinks that there is some sort of cognitive dissonance that she is dealing with.

I think that I need to find a better way of dealing with conversation at parties. Has anyone else dealt with hostility around this? Figured out the cause of it? Figured out an elegant solution?

 

Dicey

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 10:14:11 AM »
No one wants to see that they made the wrong choices. It's as simple as that.

Please try to reframe that experience as the  positive affirmation of all the times you chose to save rather than indulge yourselves.

In future, use fewer words. It's really nobody's business but your own. And,

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hidetheloot

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 10:15:12 AM »
My parents retired at 40, it was pretty rough with the family. So bad, that I independently discovered FIRE and how to do it, as my parents wouldn't so much as utter a word in regards to money and personal finance, in fear that my siblings and I would repeat something. In current talks to friends, I've switched from saying 'retire early' to 'become financially independent'. I thinks it's hard for others to not feel a sense of shame. I'm almost 30. Most people I know have more than double the amount of life I've lived before they reach retirement, not even FI, just retirement. Your new job can be long term investing and working on financial planning. It sounds like a job, even if it only means checking into your vanguard account 1x/month. And just mentioning investing may be enough to bore the uneducated masses.

Libertea

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 10:17:30 AM »
Disengage yourself from such conversations ASAP? 

I think this gets back to the other thread discussing why people won't get on board with FIRE.  They won't get on board because they're committed to their upper middle class spending lifestyle.  It would be like if an atheist tried to deconvert an evangelical Christian, or an animal rights vegetarian scolded a guy who eats steak and potatoes every day.  There just isn't a common frame of reference to have the debate.  The best thing to do is to avoid being drawn into it in the first place.

FWIW, I'm 14 years younger than you, semi-FIRE'd last week, and my sister is also a spendthrift.  Unless she needs my help minding the kids (chasing around after her two toddlers is a great way to avoid awkward conversations), I don't attend social functions with her friends.  Ever.

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 10:36:20 AM »
No one wants to see that they made the wrong choices. It's as simple as that.

Please try to reframe that experience as the  positive affirmation of all the times you chose to save rather than indulge yourselves.

In future, use fewer words. It's really nobody's business but your own. And,

♡☆♡☆♡☆CONGRATULATIONS!!!♡☆♡☆♡☆

I don't really see that she made wrong choices. She made choices that were important to her and her family and I'm really OK with that. Everyone is different. She has social capital that I don't have because I didn't spend the time or money to join the groups she joined. Choices matter.

I am pretty happy with my current state of things and perhaps I am too obvious about it. Normally when she sees me I am miserable because I normally have altitude sickness. This time she saw me once the drugs I take for altitude sickness had worked and I was no longer curled in a miserable little ball. So perhaps it looked like I was gloating in my happiness.

You're right that I need to use fewer words. The more I explained the worse things got.

and
♡♡♡THANK YOU!!!♡♡♡

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2017, 10:38:39 AM »
My parents retired at 40, it was pretty rough with the family. So bad, that I independently discovered FIRE and how to do it, as my parents wouldn't so much as utter a word in regards to money and personal finance, in fear that my siblings and I would repeat something. In current talks to friends, I've switched from saying 'retire early' to 'become financially independent'. I thinks it's hard for others to not feel a sense of shame. I'm almost 30. Most people I know have more than double the amount of life I've lived before they reach retirement, not even FI, just retirement. Your new job can be long term investing and working on financial planning. It sounds like a job, even if it only means checking into your vanguard account 1x/month. And just mentioning investing may be enough to bore the uneducated masses.

Thanks for your perspective! My plan is to write books so I may just say that I've changed careers back to freelance writer and leave it at that. It means other awkward questions like "What have you written that I have read?" but at least it won't provoke hostility.

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 10:44:56 AM »
Disengage yourself from such conversations ASAP? 

I think this gets back to the other thread discussing why people won't get on board with FIRE.  They won't get on board because they're committed to their upper middle class spending lifestyle.  It would be like if an atheist tried to deconvert an evangelical Christian, or an animal rights vegetarian scolded a guy who eats steak and potatoes every day.  There just isn't a common frame of reference to have the debate.  The best thing to do is to avoid being drawn into it in the first place.

FWIW, I'm 14 years younger than you, semi-FIRE'd last week, and my sister is also a spendthrift.  Unless she needs my help minding the kids (chasing around after her two toddlers is a great way to avoid awkward conversations), I don't attend social functions with her friends.  Ever.

Congratulations on your semi-FIRE'd state!

Disengagement sounds like good plan. I need to practice gracious ways of doing it. I think that I have to attend my sister's parties because she is my sister. FWIW, my sister is a stunningly frugal person in her own right who has a lot to teach me. She just doesn't have much income and has had some bad breaks. Otherwise she would have a similar bank account. Her children are smart, accomplished, and frugal as well. So it is not my sister that's like this, it's her friends.

Dicey

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 10:53:15 AM »
No one wants to see that they made the wrong choices. It's as simple as that.

Please try to reframe that experience as the  positive affirmation of all the times you chose to save rather than indulge yourselves.

In future, use fewer words. It's really nobody's business but your own. And,

♡☆♡☆♡☆CONGRATULATIONS!!!♡☆♡☆♡☆

I don't really see that she made wrong choices. She made choices that were important to her and her family and I'm really OK with that. Everyone is different. She has social capital that I don't have because I didn't spend the time or money to join the groups she joined. Choices matter.

I am pretty happy with my current state of things and perhaps I am too obvious about it. Normally when she sees me I am miserable because I normally have altitude sickness. This time she saw me once the drugs I take for altitude sickness had worked and I was no longer curled in a miserable little ball. So perhaps it looked like I was gloating in my happiness.

You're right that I need to use fewer words. The more I explained the worse things got.

and
♡♡♡THANK YOU!!!♡♡♡
Re bold above. It's good that you see this. Make sure she knows that you do. I think it will go a long way toward preserving the friendship. Only if you want it to, of course.

□ ○ □ ○ □ YOU'RE WELCOME! □ ○ □ ○ □ ○
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Libertea

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 11:05:52 AM »
Congratulations on your semi-FIRE'd state!

Disengagement sounds like good plan. I need to practice gracious ways of doing it. I think that I have to attend my sister's parties because she is my sister. FWIW, my sister is a stunningly frugal person in her own right who has a lot to teach me. She just doesn't have much income and has had some bad breaks. Otherwise she would have a similar bank account. Her children are smart, accomplished, and frugal as well. So it is not my sister that's like this, it's her friends.
I don't think it's inherently ungracious to decline invites to social events you don't want to attend.  If it's someone you don't want to socialize with anyway, it's a good way to distance yourself.  And if it's someone you do care about, like your sister, then a nice way to handle it is to decline, then suggest doing something else instead.  You don't even have to give an excuse.  Just tell your sister, "thanks, but I can't go to the party with you Saturday night.  Do you want to get together for brunch on Sunday instead?"  That way she'll know you aren't blowing her off, just the party.

Oh, and congrats to you on FIRE'ing, too.  You've done something awesome and amazing.  Don't feel the need to justify yourself (and your life) to others who can't or won't understand.  You've earned the right to live your life as you wish and be happy.  To me, one of the nicest things about entering middle-age is that it's substantially easier now to get away with being a bit "eccentric." :-D

startingsmall

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 11:33:32 AM »
I think I would have changed "We've saved about half our income for the last twenty years. That is how we've been able to do this. Almost anyone can do it, as long as they have an above poverty-level income."

To this: "We've saved about half our income for the last twenty years. That is how we've been able to do this. It wasn't always easy, but we decided that it was a priority for us."

While there's nothing wrong with your original wording, it may provoke some defensiveness. Changing the wording leaves it up to them to decide whether they're interested enough to ask questions or instead just want to dismiss your priorities as different than their own.

frugaldoc

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 12:10:52 PM »
"No, it was a good job, but very long hours. I've retired."

This is where I would have ended the conversation.

"That is not possible."

I would have just smiled and shrugged and said "well, it worked out for us somehow". Instead of going into a lecture about money and lifestyle which likely came off as judgemental to the other person (and causing an incredible amount of cognitive dissonance) force her to ask how you did it. This puts her in control of the conversation and is much less threatening.


"We've saved about half our income for the last twenty years. That is how we've been able to do this. Almost anyone can do it, as long as they have an above poverty-level income."

"I assure you, the money fairy did not land on my shoulder. We made deliberate choices that led here."

"You had a car and a house more than a decade before we did. We lived in areas you thought of as slums because we were saving about a third of our money even when we were making $25,000 to $35,000 a year together. There is no magic here. Just choices. And there's nothing wrong with any choice. But some lead to early retirement and some don't."

Read these sentences and try to put yourself in her shoes. They are true of course, but imagine how they sound to the other person. Ask yourself if these could be interpreted as condescending and judgemental.

There is a great book I read a while ago called Nonviolent Communication. Highly recommended.
http://thehappyphilosopher.com/
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Stachey

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2017, 12:32:09 PM »
The prevalent mentality these days is that people feel entitled to the big house and the fancy car and the expensive hair salon and the world wide trips and the kids in expensive schools.   Even if they have to swim in debt forever they still feel its their right to have all this crap.

So when they are presented with cold, hard facts that by making more educated decisions about their choices that they could have a better life without debt AND with early retirement, they refuse to accept it. 

Congratulations on your choices that lead to FIRE!

Secretly Saving

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2017, 01:59:34 PM »
Sorry you had to deal with this.  I also subscribe to the "less is more" option when discussing why I don't have to work.  It's hard not to want to share with people all the great ideas that they could also use to get out of the rat race, but it's that old adage about "leading a horse to water."  Better to maintain a bit of vagueness/mystery and let people inquire if they want help/info.

boarder42

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2017, 02:06:52 PM »
Biggest takeaway for me is your friends husband should be fired
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Mr. Green

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2017, 02:36:54 PM »
Biggest takeaway for me is your friends husband should be fired
lol! Certainly says something for wanting to see that someone has the fruit on the tree before you heed their advice.

steveo

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2017, 03:20:00 PM »
No one wants to see that they made the wrong choices. It's as simple as that.

I don't think that this is the case. I think that people like to live large and there is a cognitive dissonance that occurs when people don't have the same world view.

The idea that kids have to go to expensive schools is common.

Ozstache

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2017, 03:28:17 PM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2017, 03:34:34 PM »
It’s really tough to know how people will respond to the FIRE concept.  Unfortunately I think you’re more likely to get some degree of negative knee-jerk reaction for reasons others mentioned.  Knowing your audience helps.  If you don't know them, better to tread slowly and feel them out.  Unfortunately, if you decide to go into details about FIRE you might run the risk of the adversarial conversation you had.  Personally, I’m not one who relishes getting into those debates/arguments.  Pursing FIRE is a personal lifestyle choice that you shouldn’t have to defend, but the reality is some/many people will see it threateningly towards their own life style and choices.  It's anti-Joneses and many people are wired by our society to find that threatening. 

I’m not yet FIRE, but I’m within a few years of being in your shoes.  Occasionally I broach the topic in social settings, friends or family.  Depending on the initial reaction I decide whether to give more info.  If I think someone is going to go the hostile route, I put it as planning to leave my current career after I’ve saved enough to pursue a variety of other lower paying activities that derive personal interest for me.  This usually disarms hostility as it removes the “retired” component, keeps some concept of making money in the mix, and instead redirects it to aspirational work.  What I don’t share is most of my planned future activities are unlikely to generate income.  They don’t need to know that.  And it's low likelihood they break out a spreadsheet on you and start challenging your math.  Typically once you move the conversation it’ll redirect to the activities you raised or, more often, something else entirely.  I’ve done this quite a few times successfully.  My 2 cents.

boarder42

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2017, 04:40:29 PM »
No one wants to see that they made the wrong choices. It's as simple as that.

I don't think that this is the case. I think that people like to live large and there is a cognitive dissonance that occurs when people don't have the same world view.

The idea that kids have to go to expensive schools is common.

Very true I told a buddy of mine I was retiring at 37 he laughed in my face( off topic 2 others in the conversation approached me alone and asked for info and are well on their way to fire ) his wife is a financial planner. And I also said we were moving to a different school district that has very similar ratings to the one we were in but the property taxes are 2% lower. To which he said just wait til you have kids they need the very best schools in the high property tax areas. You just don't get it.

I always talk about fire. We live a very high life though spending is around 45-50k outside of mortgage. But I plan to embrace once free from work and tell people. It's worth one person who doesn't care to listen if one hears something and wants to know how.
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SwordGuy

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2017, 05:26:09 PM »
I've come to the conclusion that a lot of financial planners are really salespeople for a variety of investment products.

They know what they've been told to know, which happens to be stuff that validates to themselves what they are selling to others.


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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2017, 05:42:00 PM »
I've come to the conclusion that a lot of financial planners are really salespeople for a variety of investment products.

They know what they've been told to know, which happens to be stuff that validates to themselves what they are selling to others.

Couldn't agree more - and we count our IFP in the opposite group.  Last year, we made 15.93% return on our investments - before our contributions - and he charged 0.5%.  It took us a long time to find someone who would work for us on our terms.

We're good with that.

SwordGuy

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2017, 05:43:24 PM »
"That is impossible."

Could be answered with: 

"And yet, we are doing it, so it must be possible.  :)   If you ever have any interest in learning how, we'll be glad to tell you what we learned from others who successfully pulled this off.     What good movies have you seen lately?"


Daisy

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2017, 06:05:20 PM »
I hope I don't  encounter this when I FIRE. For casual acquaintences I just don't  want to get into too many details. I'll  probably say I am on a sabbatical.

I  casually throw in reading early retirement  blogs, the fact that I work in tech and can lose my job at any point, and that I don't  have children as reasons to prepare for it and be able to pull it off.

I have some retired friends that lead active lives that I do stuff with, and they get the concept because they are totally enjoying their lives. But they say "you are so young" as if they think I am talking about retiring 10 years from now . They'll  get a surpise soon!

tarheeldan

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2017, 05:33:28 AM »
No one wants to see that they made the wrong choices. It's as simple as that.

Please try to reframe that experience as the  positive affirmation of all the times you chose to save rather than indulge yourselves.

In future, use fewer words. It's really nobody's business but your own. And,

♡☆♡☆♡☆CONGRATULATIONS!!!♡☆♡☆♡☆
+1 well said!

Gunny

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2017, 05:33:58 AM »
I have to say that I've run into no hostility from friends or family.  They've all been supportive.  I do get questions along the lines of "how".  When I explain living frugally and investing high percentages of income I usually get some push back regarding how impossible it is to raise a family and save that amount in today's economy.  At that point I just say something like "If I can do it, it can be done.  I'm not an anomaly".  I then let the conversation die. I do honestly try to be helpful when asked and try not to come across as gloating. 

Slee_stack

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2017, 08:52:23 AM »
Many people don't like to think about the consequences of their choices.  Even if a choice is the best for an individual, there's usually an opportunity cost somewhere in the background. 

The EASY thing for we FIRE folk is that we are forced to accept each opportunity cost as it comes.  Each small convenience or luxury we forego is felt/realized along the way.

The problem with a classic consumer is that they don't truly recognize each opportunity cost that accumulates.  In other words, there's no tangible negative event.

I tend to be pretty reserved about discussing FIRE.  I usually wait for a good feeling that someone is pretty open thinking financially before I mention anything.  I would probably play the retirement dodge game in a general social setting.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 08:54:27 AM by Slee_stack »

Accountant007

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2017, 09:35:15 AM »
I can't say I have any experience in this area because I have not retired yet (5 years to go).  However, in the 2.5 years we have been on this course we have not talked about it with a single person (except you guys, of course), mostly due to the fact that I don't want anything to get back to my work.  However, I also do not want to deal with these types of conversations.

I imagine after I retire, there will be some questions but I will deal with them in as few of words as possible and move on.  If anyone asks how we did it, my response will be that we made it a priority and spent many years working towards it.  End of discussion.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 09:50:07 AM by Accountant007 »

mara

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2017, 10:52:20 AM »
Short is sweet. Sometimes I tell people,

"I found a good website that told me how to retire early. Do you want the URL?"

You reminded me of a great answer I read, I think it was in The Millionaire Next Door. This woman (who was FIREd), when asked what kind of work she did, replied,

"I manage the family office."

It's a double entendre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_office

Congrats on your success!

aschmidt2930

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2017, 10:58:37 AM »
Your success directly challenges how they view themselves in the world.   You're probably correct in thinking they thought they were "better" and "more successful" than you.

I'm not sold there is a great way to "deal" with this.  Anytime a person accomplishes something of value, the skeptics/critics will appear.  If your success negatively impacts your relationship with others (provided you're not being arrogant about it), they weren't truly your friend to begin with.


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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2017, 08:33:52 PM »

I think that I need to find a better way of dealing with conversation at parties. Has anyone else dealt with hostility around this? Figured out the cause of it? Figured out an elegant solution?

As you know, Metta, I FIRE'd last week. When I told the personnel assistant that I was retiring, a bystander in the office blurted out “You're too young to retire!”

Like you I have worked hard and long for ER, so it was mildly annoying to hear that. Yet, very satisfying at the same time, and I too thought of the choices I made that made it possible.

For some reason I thought the comment needed a response. I've always been a bit of a cut up and kidder, so I said the first thing that came to mind: “I'm not the teenager that I appear to be” (I'm in my 50's too).

Deescalating with humor worked well, and there were no more incredulous comments, just nice parting words.
FIRE'd on January 4, 2017

Chrissy

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2017, 09:05:37 PM »
I think that I need to find a better way of dealing with conversation at parties.

Kim is the one who couldn't deal; you did great.

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2017, 09:37:44 PM »


"I assure you, the money fairy did not land on my shoulder. We made deliberate choices that led here."

"I know all about this, my husband is a financial planner." Enter the husband into the conversation.

"We will never be able to retire. We just don't make enough." Said the husband.

"We work harder than you! We can't retire," said Kim.

"You had a car and a house more than a decade before we did. We lived in areas you thought of as slums because we were saving about a third of our money even when we were making $25,000 to $35,000 a year together. There is no magic here. Just choices. And there's nothing wrong with any choice. But some lead to early retirement and some don't."

I can't really describe here the looks and hostility I felt from her and I'm puzzled as to why....

The bolded parts would anger a lot of people. The "you" statements while also telling them what they did "wrong" even if you did not mean it that way would set most humans off.

atrex

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2017, 10:56:40 PM »
There is a great book I read a while ago called Nonviolent Communication. Highly recommended.

+1, great book.  There's also a book called Words That Work In Business that is about implementing NVC in your work life, which really helped me meet my need for practical examples and practices ;)

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2017, 11:59:27 PM »

I think that I need to find a better way of dealing with conversation at parties. Has anyone else dealt with hostility around this? Figured out the cause of it? Figured out an elegant solution?

As you know, Metta, I FIRE'd last week. When I told the personnel assistant that I was retiring, a bystander in the office blurted out “You're too young to retire!”

Like you I have worked hard and long for ER, so it was mildly annoying to hear that. Yet, very satisfying at the same time, and I too thought of the choices I made that made it possible.

For some reason I thought the comment needed a response. I've always been a bit of a cut up and kidder, so I said the first thing that came to mind: “I'm not the teenager that I appear to be” (I'm in my 50's too).

Deescalating with humor worked well, and there were no more incredulous comments, just nice parting words.

This is similar to how I deal with hostility about FIRE.  It's hard to be offended about someone being hostile to something one thinks of as a joke - so I strive to not take myself too seriously.
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steveo

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2017, 03:34:26 AM »
I've come to the conclusion that a lot of financial planners are really salespeople for a variety of investment products.

They know what they've been told to know, which happens to be stuff that validates to themselves what they are selling to others.

I'm laughing at this because I work at a bank and I used to work in a branch and this is exactly what financial planners (and everyone's) job description was. It was all about selling products.

davisgang90

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2017, 03:50:16 AM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough. 
Check out my blog.  Early retirement from a military perspective.

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oldtoyota

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2017, 07:09:27 AM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough.

Funny. Did she want you to work another four years to make it to 32?

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2017, 11:49:55 PM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough.

Funny. Did she want you to work another four years to make it to 32?

And here I thought retirement was having enough money to never work again, and not having worked a specific number of years. I've been doing it all wrong, it seems...
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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canga

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2017, 04:58:13 AM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough.

Funny. Did she want you to work another four years to make it to 32?

How much is too much salary? A dollar more than what I'm paid.

Human beings are predictably irrational.

spokey doke

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2017, 09:01:07 AM »
My plan is to write books so I may just say that I've changed careers back to freelance writer and leave it at that. It means other awkward questions like "What have you written that I have read?" but at least it won't provoke hostility.

I think this is a really good strategy, if you are prepared for lots of questions about your brave career switch.

I recently just did this, and while the new gig is lots of work and will continue to be, and even though people either think I'm insane to have given up my (previous) career - or they treat me as their hero for 'giving it all up' to follow a passion, I haven't gotten into the FIRE dissonance/resentment beyond a few side comments like 'that is really great, if you can afford it'.

In any case, I think the 'I left my job to do X' is likely to get less hostility than 'I retired'
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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2017, 10:50:40 AM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough.

Funny. Did she want you to work another four years to make it to 32?

And here I thought retirement was having enough money to never work again, and not having worked a specific number of years. I've been doing it all wrong, it seems...

I have to wonder how the MIL feels about lottery winners. Should they keep working and contributing to society, or is it ok if they quit? If it is ok to quit, is it because they won the money? Or is there a magic dollar amount? 
FIRE'd on January 4, 2017

Ozstache

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2017, 12:50:30 PM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough.

Funny. Did she want you to work another four years to make it to 32?

And here I thought retirement was having enough money to never work again, and not having worked a specific number of years. I've been doing it all wrong, it seems...

I have to wonder how the MIL feels about lottery winners. Should they keep working and contributing to society, or is it ok if they quit? If it is ok to quit, is it because they won the money? Or is there a magic dollar amount?
For my MIL, it was mainly a Catholic work ethic issue.

evanc

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2017, 12:55:08 PM »
First they ignore you,
Then they laugh at you,
Then they fight you,
Then you win.

-Gandhi

Stachey

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2017, 07:32:28 PM »
First they ignore you,
Then they laugh at you,
Then they fight you,
Then you win.

-Gandhi


Definitely!

Laura Ingalls

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2017, 09:07:28 PM »
I encountered BS from a family member a couple of years ago.  I think it was a combo of jealousy, entitlement, and total lack of mathematical literacy.  I think the same forces are at work in this case.😉

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2017, 10:01:31 PM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough.

My dad was pretty incredulous when I once had a conversation with him about how I'll be retiring in a few years (before 50).  He has a military pension, is building up a civilian pension, 5 rental properties, monthly bills that are under $1000 ($400 rent, shops at the commissary and cars are paid for) and yet he still works 2 jobs (3 during the holidays) and can't understand why anyone would stop working.  My mom is still working as well...  they may just be the richest people in the graveyard when they pass.

Txtriathlete

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2017, 10:47:16 PM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough.

My dad was pretty incredulous when I once had a conversation with him about how I'll be retiring in a few years (before 50).  He has a military pension, is building up a civilian pension, 5 rental properties, monthly bills that are under $1000 ($400 rent, shops at the commissary and cars are paid for) and yet he still works 2 jobs (3 during the holidays) and can't understand why anyone would stop working.  My mom is still working as well...  they may just be the richest people in the graveyard when they pass.

Some people find meaning from work. I'm struggling with this now as I RE'd a few years ago but now find myself applying for full time work again. It's not always a money thing.

okits

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2017, 11:22:05 PM »
Congratulations on ER, Metta!

The hostility you encountered is because people want to keep thinking they're better than you.  They don't want to hear that they haven't been doing everything "right", and to see someone else with the big ER prize they consider "impossible" leaves them feeling inadequate and angry.

The people closest to you who you want to share with can know you're retired.  I'd spin a good story for everyone else.

"I decided to become a writer!"

If anyone asks how you can afford that, give a vague answer like "oh, we'll manage to get by, somehow".

I do like Chrissy's response, below.  :)

I think that I need to find a better way of dealing with conversation at parties.

Kim is the one who couldn't deal; you did great.
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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2017, 01:45:36 AM »
My father retired at age 56 he was an Engineer; my mother is from Mexico and back then her English was not the best, she had a heavy accent.

My parents were at a party with a new friend my father meet who was a retired Admiral. There were a lot of high society types for my little town present.

The ladies in the group were talking about what their husbands did for a living. One lady asked my mother what my father did my mother responded oh he doesn't work he is "retarded" a few ladies gasped and one commented he looks normal.


dougules

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2017, 08:29:23 AM »
The worst hostility I've had to deal with was from my mother-in-law in my first year of FIRE. Regardless of my financial independence, she considered that I was too young to retire and that I should keep contributing work-wise to society. She has since mellowed and we even have a laugh now about whether I am still looking for a job or not. Overall, I have found that people are initially shocked at the concept of FIRE but they eventually get over it. Some take longer than others.
I got the same thing from my MIL when I mentioned that I didn't intend to work full time after I retire from the Navy.  She said I hadn't worked long enough to retire.  She was a school teacher for 32 years.  I'm planning to retire after 28 years in the Navy.  I told her that's close enough.

My dad was pretty incredulous when I once had a conversation with him about how I'll be retiring in a few years (before 50).  He has a military pension, is building up a civilian pension, 5 rental properties, monthly bills that are under $1000 ($400 rent, shops at the commissary and cars are paid for) and yet he still works 2 jobs (3 during the holidays) and can't understand why anyone would stop working.  My mom is still working as well...  they may just be the richest people in the graveyard when they pass.

it could be some kind of financial fear, but it really sounds like your dad just enjoys going to work, and doesn't quite get that not everybody does.  The massive amount of money they're building up is irrelevant.  My dad loves playing the martyr about having to work until 70 to pay for my mom's healthcare, I'm pretty sure he secretly would rather be at work and the paycheck is just a bonus.  I don't know exactly what their finances are, but just based on what I do know, I'm pretty sure they're well past FI.