Author Topic: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE  (Read 10746 times)

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2017, 09:07:32 AM »
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.

Right. But that's the point of my questions.
FIRE'd on January 4, 2017

mara

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2017, 09:17:17 AM »

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.

My dad closed his business when he was 90 because he had cancer. He may have been short of cash some of the time, but I think he enjoyed the work, too.

Sometimes I still have to fight workaholic, serial-entrepreneur urges. What won out was exhaustion. I come up with good ideas and have to talk myself out of doing them.

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2017, 09:28:11 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.

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.

Yes, he really does define himself by having a job.  Also grew up extremely poor, so some financial fear must be there.  I mainly told him that I'd be retiring soon to make sure they weren't trying to provide for me financially and forgoing vacations and the like based on that.  One of his jobs he likely has just because he likes hearing the students call him "sensei" (according to my mom).  He certainly would have stayed in the military longer if he could have just achieved one more promotion to extend his career a few more years.

My mom on the other hand is mainly working to keep social connections and keep busy since my dad is working.  She'd much rather take a chunk of their assets, buy a home in Hawaii and live out life on the beach.

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2017, 03:12:16 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.

That's great!

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2017, 03:16:55 PM »
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'

It may just have been her, but now that I've finally stopped traveling and gotten some sleep, I'm ready to write. it was a shock to encounter the hostility. My husband says that there is an entire backstory that I've been blessedly unaware of for years. I'm honestly happy to be back home and away from my sister's friends.

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2017, 03:25:56 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.😉

Financial literacy does seem to be a hard thing for many people, despite the fact that the mathematical part of it is easy. It is the psychological part that's difficult I think.

I went over my mother's finances while I was in Denver. She's been feeling unanchored since my father died in April. I offered to help review her investments and spending whenever I'm there and she agreed with such eagerness that you'd hardly think she helped run an accounting practice for decades.

She has enough money for a nice life and my father set her up with a nice diversified portfolio. She's paying higher fees than I would prefer but the fees are not ridiculous and they are buying her a relationship with good firm that has been responsive, kind and helpful to her. So I'm reluctant to remove her from these people and move her to Vanguard.

But what I did for her (interview her about her spending, add up the numbers, create a generous spending plan for her, and review her investments) wasn't complicated. She could have done it herself but she lacks the confidence, I think.

As to my sister's friend, I have no idea why she was so hostile. My husband maintains that it is envy and a solid belief that we were the incompetent poor ones and having that turned around was what was upsetting to her.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 03:31:40 PM by Metta »

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2017, 03:26:53 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.

Thank you!

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2017, 03:27:33 PM »
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.

LOL! That is a wonderful story!

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2017, 03:29:43 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.

When my parents retired, my mother immediately went out to get certified as a Private Investigator so that she could pursue a dream career. (She mostly does genealogical research for people.) When she heard that I was retiring she congratulated me and told me that I could now work at anything I wanted.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #59 on: January 20, 2017, 01:17:04 AM »

When my parents retired, my mother immediately went out to get certified as a Private Investigator so that she could pursue a dream career.

That is awesome! 
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2017, 03:00:23 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!
Very nice line there Stachey.
 I've been thinking about a statement to put on business card to tell people about MMM. The line may be a little long but I like it.
 I changed it a bit and added a line.
  "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 those cold, hard facts." 
 Can you be different, and make the choices to have a better life, visit MrMoneyMustache.
Blog--http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/all-the-posts-since-the-beginning-of-time/
Forum--http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/index.php
 Maybe the other side can have "The Simple Math to Early Retirement."
Just throwing out an idea.


Stachey

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2017, 11:41:08 AM »
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!
Very nice line there Stachey.
 I've been thinking about a statement to put on business card to tell people about MMM. The line may be a little long but I like it.
 I changed it a bit and added a line.
  "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 those cold, hard facts." 
 Can you be different, and make the choices to have a better life, visit MrMoneyMustache.
Blog--http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/all-the-posts-since-the-beginning-of-time/
Forum--http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/index.php
 Maybe the other side can have "The Simple Math to Early Retirement."
Just throwing out an idea.



Thank you very much BTDretire!
I don't mind being quoted...that's very nice.

Cassie

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2017, 06:46:57 PM »
Both my DH and I talked about having pensions from the government for years.  A few of our friends were self employed and would encourage us to do it whenever we were having a tough time at work. We would repeat why we stayed. Then at 58 I retired. My DH got laid off soon after at 53 but we both could pull our pensions. We decided to sell our bigger house and buy a smaller 1 story one in town that was much cheaper as it needed a ton of work and my DH was very handy. So before I retire I start getting some messages on my work phone at night telling me I am making a big mistake on both fronts. Then when we do these things we get open hostility. They are 9 years older and still need to work.  Previously they said they love their work so much they never wanted to retire. Now they were singing a different tune. Then they inherit 350k and what do they do?  Buy a bigger house of course (3000 sq ft for 2 people). They can't sell their other home because it is under water so they rent it.  Their SS is low due to not claiming enough income for many years. Finally after about almost 2 years of crap I sever the friendships. The rest of our friendships remain intact. I was really shocked when this happened.  If either of them becomes unable to work they will lose everything ( age 71). Really a sad situation.

Sibley

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #63 on: February 06, 2017, 05:10:32 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.

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.

Why do you need a financial adviser at all?

Sibley

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #64 on: February 06, 2017, 05:24:33 AM »
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.😉

Financial literacy does seem to be a hard thing for many people, despite the fact that the mathematical part of it is easy. It is the psychological part that's difficult I think.

I went over my mother's finances while I was in Denver. She's been feeling unanchored since my father died in April. I offered to help review her investments and spending whenever I'm there and she agreed with such eagerness that you'd hardly think she helped run an accounting practice for decades.

She has enough money for a nice life and my father set her up with a nice diversified portfolio. She's paying higher fees than I would prefer but the fees are not ridiculous and they are buying her a relationship with good firm that has been responsive, kind and helpful to her. So I'm reluctant to remove her from these people and move her to Vanguard.

But what I did for her (interview her about her spending, add up the numbers, create a generous spending plan for her, and review her investments) wasn't complicated. She could have done it herself but she lacks the confidence, I think.

As to my sister's friend, I have no idea why she was so hostile. My husband maintains that it is envy and a solid belief that we were the incompetent poor ones and having that turned around was what was upsetting to her.

My guess is that your father handled the money, or at least steered the ship. My mom pays the bills, but my dad has always made the the overarching decisions. What you end up with is someone who can pay bills on time but lacks confidence or ability to manage the big picture. It's fairly common - women traditionally managed the household but didn't "bother their pretty heads" with money matters. It's a hard mentality to fight, especially with older people.

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2017, 11:37:42 AM »
Both my DH and I talked about having pensions from the government for years.  A few of our friends were self employed and would encourage us to do it whenever we were having a tough time at work. We would repeat why we stayed. Then at 58 I retired. My DH got laid off soon after at 53 but we both could pull our pensions. We decided to sell our bigger house and buy a smaller 1 story one in town that was much cheaper as it needed a ton of work and my DH was very handy. So before I retire I start getting some messages on my work phone at night telling me I am making a big mistake on both fronts. Then when we do these things we get open hostility. They are 9 years older and still need to work.  Previously they said they love their work so much they never wanted to retire. Now they were singing a different tune. Then they inherit 350k and what do they do?  Buy a bigger house of course (3000 sq ft for 2 people). They can't sell their other home because it is under water so they rent it.  Their SS is low due to not claiming enough income for many years. Finally after about almost 2 years of crap I sever the friendships. The rest of our friendships remain intact. I was really shocked when this happened.  If either of them becomes unable to work they will lose everything ( age 71). Really a sad situation.

I find this sort of thing mind-boggling and very sad. I'm sorry they became hostile. I think this hostility is perhaps some sort of projection? Perhaps they are angry with themselves and project that to us? I say that because this weekend one of my friends turned kind of weird after I'd said, "One of the best things about leaving my job has been having time to cook for everyone." (He likes my cooking and had been effusively complimenting the food.)

He responded with, "This is why everyone hates you."

I must have given him a surprised look because he quickly followed it by, "I mean we all want to do what you did but none of us will get to do it. I'm happy for you but I envy you. I still like you. But I hate you too."

It was such a strange conversation from my gaming buddy that I talked with my husband about it after the game. These are people who actually make more than we do and also do not have children. So technically he could do what we did if he truly wanted that. But he doesn't believe that he can. I think one of the first steps may be believing that freedom is attainable. If he doesn't believe that freedom can be had by anyone, he has to come up with some sort of justification for why it worked for us. Or he has to change his mind and become enlightened. Enlightenment is probably harder.

I think back to my moment of enlightenment and it was after reading Your Money or Your Life and even then I wasn't certain it applied to me. What did apply to me was living in a way that wasn't one problem away from catastrophe. That was the point when we decided to live on half our income. Not to achieve financial freedom but to put off financial ruin. When I found Mr MMM, that showed me that freedom was possible on less than I thought and that I was already on my way. Further I had to come to the conclusion that freedom was worth buying and I wasn't sure that it was for many decades of my life. About five years ago, I decided that freedom was worth just about anything (except my relationship with my husband).

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #66 on: February 07, 2017, 11:49:36 AM »
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.😉

Financial literacy does seem to be a hard thing for many people, despite the fact that the mathematical part of it is easy. It is the psychological part that's difficult I think.

I went over my mother's finances while I was in Denver. She's been feeling unanchored since my father died in April. I offered to help review her investments and spending whenever I'm there and she agreed with such eagerness that you'd hardly think she helped run an accounting practice for decades.

She has enough money for a nice life and my father set her up with a nice diversified portfolio. She's paying higher fees than I would prefer but the fees are not ridiculous and they are buying her a relationship with good firm that has been responsive, kind and helpful to her. So I'm reluctant to remove her from these people and move her to Vanguard.

But what I did for her (interview her about her spending, add up the numbers, create a generous spending plan for her, and review her investments) wasn't complicated. She could have done it herself but she lacks the confidence, I think.

As to my sister's friend, I have no idea why she was so hostile. My husband maintains that it is envy and a solid belief that we were the incompetent poor ones and having that turned around was what was upsetting to her.

My guess is that your father handled the money, or at least steered the ship. My mom pays the bills, but my dad has always made the the overarching decisions. What you end up with is someone who can pay bills on time but lacks confidence or ability to manage the big picture. It's fairly common - women traditionally managed the household but didn't "bother their pretty heads" with money matters. It's a hard mentality to fight, especially with older people.

My mother paid the bills and ensured that the business ran well. She chased people to get them to pay and kept things on an even keel. She didn't bother with the investments, which was my father's area of expertise. (He was an accountant and a stock broker.) She has a very low risk tolerance and forced the sale of some of their stocks in 2008/2009 when my father was ill and unable to prevent it. (We've asked her to promise to avoid doing that in the future before talking to one of us.) So even though she dealt with the finances, she doesn't have the stomach for anything that has the slightest amount of risk and doesn't really understand the stock or bonds markets. I know that she would like to put all her money into T-bills and municipal bonds and we have thus far managed to talk her out of it. She has a 50/50 well-diversified portfolio that is actually pretty impressively put together. I suspect that we are going to have to deal with the attendant risks of any stock portfolio before long. But I kind of hate dismantling what my father built for her.

So your guess is right, though it seems to me that her self-confidence has diminished since my father's death. This is part of why I value the good relationship she has with the firm that manages her portfolio.

Cassie

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2017, 02:03:23 PM »
Metta, it sure sounds like your friend is jealous which is sad. Some of my friends also work for the state and are in my position when they retire and some are older and happily retired. We lost 2 couples over this but that's life. We have also picked up some new friends along the way.

SachaFiscal

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2017, 06:19:24 PM »
I recently received some hostility from a long time friend. I'm not yet retired but planning on it soon. I think the friend was just frustrated that they were not as far along the path and may need to work ~10 more years. But they would still be retiring at 50 instead of 40, which is really good.  Because is has been such a long friendship I am reluctant to let it go. Instead I tried to put myself in their shoes and think about how I would feel if I were just finding out about the possibility of FIRE now and had to work another 10 years. I probably would feel the same way. Although I wouldn't express hostility about it. In fact I sometimes envy some of the younger folks here who figured this stuff out in their 20s and are FIREing in their 30s.

I guess my point is that having compassion for those people who express hostility at your good fortune or your success through hard work and good planning can help you not feel so bad.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2017, 06:27:49 PM »
I recently received some hostility from a long time friend. I'm not yet retired but planning on it soon. I think the friend was just frustrated that they were not as far along the path and may need to work ~10 more years. But they would still be retiring at 50 instead of 40, which is really good.  Because is has been such a long friendship I am reluctant to let it go. Instead I tried to put myself in their shoes and think about how I would feel if I were just finding out about the possibility of FIRE now and had to work another 10 years. I probably would feel the same way. Although I wouldn't express hostility about it. In fact I sometimes envy some of the younger folks here who figured this stuff out in their 20s and are FIREing in their 30s.

I guess my point is that having compassion for those people who express hostility at your good fortune or your success through hard work and good planning can help you not feel so bad.

Envy may be a predictable reaction to other's success. Hostility is not, nor should it be accepted.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2017, 11:47:38 PM »
Both my DH and I talked about having pensions from the government for years.  A few of our friends were self employed and would encourage us to do it whenever we were having a tough time at work. We would repeat why we stayed. Then at 58 I retired. My DH got laid off soon after at 53 but we both could pull our pensions. We decided to sell our bigger house and buy a smaller 1 story one in town that was much cheaper as it needed a ton of work and my DH was very handy. So before I retire I start getting some messages on my work phone at night telling me I am making a big mistake on both fronts. Then when we do these things we get open hostility. They are 9 years older and still need to work.  Previously they said they love their work so much they never wanted to retire. Now they were singing a different tune. Then they inherit 350k and what do they do?  Buy a bigger house of course (3000 sq ft for 2 people). They can't sell their other home because it is under water so they rent it.  Their SS is low due to not claiming enough income for many years. Finally after about almost 2 years of crap I sever the friendships. The rest of our friendships remain intact. I was really shocked when this happened.  If either of them becomes unable to work they will lose everything ( age 71). Really a sad situation.

I find this sort of thing mind-boggling and very sad. I'm sorry they became hostile. I think this hostility is perhaps some sort of projection? Perhaps they are angry with themselves and project that to us? I say that because this weekend one of my friends turned kind of weird after I'd said, "One of the best things about leaving my job has been having time to cook for everyone." (He likes my cooking and had been effusively complimenting the food.)

He responded with, "This is why everyone hates you."

I must have given him a surprised look because he quickly followed it by, "I mean we all want to do what you did but none of us will get to do it. I'm happy for you but I envy you. I still like you. But I hate you too."


I have conflicted thoughts about your friend. On one hand, I'm glad you guys are comfortable enough to be so honest with each other. At the same time, it's sad he isn't simply happy for your success.

Stachey

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #71 on: February 08, 2017, 11:02:29 AM »
I agree.
A friend should be happy for you when good things happen in your life.

And everyone should view FIREd people as motivation for what is possible in their own lives.  They should ask questions about how they can achieve it for themselves.  Here is someone standing in front of them having done something that they want to accomplish themselves...they should ask a million questions about how to go about it.  Instead they sit there and feel sorry for themselves.

With This Herring

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #72 on: February 08, 2017, 11:57:47 AM »
*snip*

I find this sort of thing mind-boggling and very sad. I'm sorry they became hostile. I think this hostility is perhaps some sort of projection? Perhaps they are angry with themselves and project that to us? I say that because this weekend one of my friends turned kind of weird after I'd said, "One of the best things about leaving my job has been having time to cook for everyone." (He likes my cooking and had been effusively complimenting the food.)

He responded with, "This is why everyone hates you."

I must have given him a surprised look because he quickly followed it by, "I mean we all want to do what you did but none of us will get to do it. I'm happy for you but I envy you. I still like you. But I hate you too."


I have conflicted thoughts about your friend. On one hand, I'm glad you guys are comfortable enough to be so honest with each other. At the same time, it's sad he isn't simply happy for your success.

I have used "hate" in this way before.  It's not really hate, just envy and "I want to be in your place."  For example, my favorite roommate in college (who is a wonderful person and I love dearly) has thick, black, gorgeous locks of hair on her head.  Meanwhile, I have a thin braid.  I would say "Oh, [roommate], I love you but I hate you and your perfect hair."  She would laugh and respond in kind.  I am happy for her that she has this naturally beautiful physical feature and would not take it from her to bestow on myself, but I want it too!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 08:36:45 AM by With This Herring »
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Libertea

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #73 on: February 08, 2017, 03:47:02 PM »
Hmm, Metta, I wonder if maybe it's not time to find some new friends.  I, for one, would be happy to be cooked for by someone like you.  I enjoy cooking myself, and I also enjoy eating other people's cooking!

All kidding aside, I sincerely believe that not all relationships (friendships or romantic) are meant to last a lifetime.  In the same way that I don't still hang out with most of the friends I had in high school or college, I don't expect to stay in close touch with many of my friends from work now that I'm gone, either.  People change over time: their priorities, their interests, their likes and dislikes.  The semi-retired me has very different concerns and interests than the working me had.  I don't really care about the backbiting stories from my old job any more, for example.  It's hard for me to even fake being interested in hearing them these days. :-p

Daisy

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #74 on: February 08, 2017, 04:23:59 PM »
I agree.  I'd be pissed if I cooked for someone and got that reaction.

Libertea, I am still working and still don't want to hear this backbiting talk about work stuff...or any work stuff. I went to a birthday lunch with some female friend coworkers and got bored with the work talk during lunch. I kept trying to steer the conversation away from work. I guess I am a little different from them in that respect.

Metta

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #75 on: February 08, 2017, 05:47:34 PM »
My friend is an ok guy. He doesn't normally use "hate" in that way, so it startled me and started me thinking. Up until last year he and his wife made more than my husband and me. Like us, they have no children and don't intend to have children. So his comment set me back on my heels. My impression is that he was confused and (as I said) unwilling to become enlightened just now.

I think that if I am doing this, then people should look into their lives and say to themselves, "Metta is able to save enough to leave her job. How can I do that?" But that doesn't seem to be the reaction I get. Mostly people just look confused or a few have a moment of hostility.

Hmm, Metta, I wonder if maybe it's not time to find some new friends.  I, for one, would be happy to be cooked for by someone like you.  I enjoy cooking myself, and I also enjoy eating other people's cooking!

All kidding aside, I sincerely believe that not all relationships (friendships or romantic) are meant to last a lifetime.  In the same way that I don't still hang out with most of the friends I had in high school or college, I don't expect to stay in close touch with many of my friends from work now that I'm gone, either.  People change over time: their priorities, their interests, their likes and dislikes.  The semi-retired me has very different concerns and interests than the working me had.  I don't really care about the backbiting stories from my old job any more, for example.  It's hard for me to even fake being interested in hearing them these days. :-p

I would be delighted to cook for you. I love feeding people. This is one of my luxuries that keeps my grocery bill higher than it could be. But what is life without a bit of friendship and food?

I hope my relationships will last. Most of mine have, though in a less intense fashion.

Adventine

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #76 on: February 08, 2017, 06:29:48 PM »
If only I lived in your area! I'd love to share a meal and pick your brains about FIRE.

prognastat

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #77 on: February 09, 2017, 11:16:29 AM »
I think these kinds of behaviors are pretty common and come from a few things.
- Fitting in is a large part of most societies and early retirement goes against fitting in for most.
- People are jealous of your FIRE, but unwilling to make the cuts necessary to achieve this themselves and are mad at your for showing that unlike their common opinion on it, it is not impossible. By doing this you are taking away their excuse that it can't be done and instead it makes them responsible for their own actions.
- Growing up everyone in ingrained with the idea that you work until ~65 and that's just how it is so most have no idea about anything in relation to how retire earlier. Even for those slightly more rebellious retiring at 55-60 is considered a great feat. You are countering the common narrative here.
- Unfortunately finances are seen as a personal thing and even by talking about yours they likely feel judged for their financial choices that lead them to not being able to FIRE.
- In older couples they may feel offended that someone who is a lot younger than them has things figured out better than they do despite them having more life experience.

Very few people are actually predisposed to even try for FIRE and fewer probably succeed.

In cases where the person did not know what you were working towards until you FIREd you are also likely upsetting what they believe was the hierarchy between them and you. Like you mentioned about your sister's friend potentially thinking that they were better off financially due to their spending and your lack of spending. The feeling that they were wrong all along and that you are financially much higher than they are is likely upsetting too.

I will discuss FIRE with direct family, however unless someone specifically asks about it and shows an interest I'm not planning on bringing it up to friends, coworkers or strangers.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 11:19:20 AM by prognastat »

MrsPete

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #78 on: February 11, 2017, 08:20:10 AM »
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 agree.  She made her choices; you made yours.  Most people on this board have a similar mindset when it comes to spending and saving, but we don't have a right to tell other people they're wrong because their choices don't mirror our own. 

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.
Yeah, I can see how Kim could've taken these comments as condescending and judgemental.  In the future, I'd suggest you talk ONLY about your choices -- don't say "you had a house first" or "we lived in places you consider slums".  Her choices aren't connected to yours at all, so don't bring HER into it at all.  Instead, say, "We rented for a long time, we camped instead of taking expensive vacations, we bought used household goods, we cooked at home, we made do with one car."  Focus on we, we, we ... this is how WE did it. 

Yeah, she'll mentally fill in the blanks, "I bought a big house, I flew to the islands -- sometimes twice a year, I have never been inside a Goodwill, I eat out several times a week, and I gave my kids cars for their 16th birthdays."  But let her connect those dots.  YOU don't need to say those things out loud.  Nothing but praise for your accomplishment, but comparing yourself to her does make you look a bit petty -- and I don't think you meant it that way. 

I  casually throw in reading early retirement  blogs
I think people KNOW where to find this information; I certainly knew about it before the internet and blogs were "a thing".  Most people don't want to think about it TODAY because that'd mean taking action TODAY, and it's more comfortable to think there's time for all that later. 

Kim is the one who couldn't deal; you did great.
I agree that she's the one who has a problem.  Her problem is that she can't believe you did something she never considered. 

I don't think you did "great".  If you had, you wouldn't be feeling awkward about the conversation and wouldn't be bringing it up now.  I think you did "okay", and I think next time such a topic comes up -- which will happen somewhere, sometime -- I think you'll be ready to handle it more gracefully, and you'll come away feeling better about it. 

Financial literacy does seem to be a hard thing for many people, despite the fact that the mathematical part of it is easy. It is the psychological part that's difficult I think.
I think it's the self-discipline.  Everyone knows that we should all save for our futures, but LOTS of people talk themselves into thinking that it's okay to wait a while:  I can't save now because it's more important to get into a house ... to furnish the house ... the kids are only young once ... daycare eats up my whole salary ... braces, insurance, cars, college ... if you lack self-discipline, there's ALWAYS something that seems more important than saving.  Yet I don't think that means people don't KNOW they should be saving. 

My husband maintains that it is envy and a solid belief that we were the incompetent poor ones and having that turned around was what was upsetting to her.
I believe that.  You said she's a social person, a member of all the right groups ... whether she consciously ranks people or not, she probably did think you were not doing as well as she was, and it's threatening to have her assumptions proven wrong. 

Envy may be a predictable reaction to other's success. Hostility is not, nor should it be accepted.
I agree with that, but I'll throw in this thought in terms of the OP's original comments:  Kim was shocked and blindsided by the news that someone her own age could retire.  Her response was foolish and a bit hostile.  In this situation, I'd give her time to assimilate this information, to come to grips with the fact that the world isn't completely as she believed it to be, to accept that her assumptions about these "Lovable Losers" was wrong.  I'd definitely wait to see how she behaves next time the group gets together. 

SwordGuy

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #79 on: February 11, 2017, 09:19:57 AM »
MrsPete, you make some very excellent points!

steveo

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #80 on: February 11, 2017, 03:05:18 PM »
I think it's the self-discipline.  Everyone knows that we should all save for our futures, but LOTS of people talk themselves into thinking that it's okay to wait a while:  I can't save now because it's more important to get into a house ... to furnish the house ... the kids are only young once ... daycare eats up my whole salary ... braces, insurance, cars, college ... if you lack self-discipline, there's ALWAYS something that seems more important than saving.  Yet I don't think that means people don't KNOW they should be saving. 

I just wanted to add that all of these expenses are real expenses. We've just paid for braces for my daughter. It was $5k over 2 years. We've paid for daycare and it did eat most of my wife's salary. We did buy a house because we had 3 kids. I don't regret any of these decisions.

We've also managed to save I think a fair amount of change. So you can have these things and still save.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 02:21:20 PM by steveo »

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #81 on: February 12, 2017, 09:35:40 PM »
Envy may be a predictable reaction to other's success. Hostility is not, nor should it be accepted.
I agree with that, but I'll throw in this thought in terms of the OP's original comments:  Kim was shocked and blindsided by the news that someone her own age could retire.  Her response was foolish and a bit hostile.  In this situation, I'd give her time to assimilate this information, to come to grips with the fact that the world isn't completely as she believed it to be, to accept that her assumptions about these "Lovable Losers" was wrong.  I'd definitely wait to see how she behaves next time the group gets together.
Taken in context, I can understand what you mean. Hostility on the part of the FIREe can breed hostility in others.
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Re: Dealing with Hostility Post-FIRE
« Reply #82 on: February 16, 2017, 10:33:36 AM »
Biggest takeaway for me is your friends husband should be fired

This was my thought as well. The cobbler's children truly have no shoes.