Author Topic: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?  (Read 7404 times)

vine

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I'm about two years into retirement and am noticing that my relationships with some of my longtime friends are starting to grow weaker. Of course relationships are always evolving, but it seems like the difference in our lifestyles (retired vs still working) is responsible for a lot of this gap. These are people I've known since high school or even longer.

Is anyone else experiencing this? And if you are what are the long term implications?

FINate

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 11:14:27 PM »
The composition of my relationships has changed post-FIRE. I have a lot more free time which generally gets spent with my wife, kids, parents, and other people with time to spare and/or flexible schedules. So in my case I wouldn't characterize it as longtime relationships getting weaker per se - I spend about the same amount of time with them ever (which is very little). But by comparison it feels like they are more distant than before.

No idea of long-term implications, not really worried about it. As you point out, this stuff is always evolving.

Fishindude

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 08:50:57 AM »
Yeas, many of my long time friends of the same age (57) are still working, just getting last of their kids out from under roof, paying down the mortgage, paying for weddings, etc. and don't have the free time or money.   I've found myself spending more time with a little bit older friends who are already retired.    If i want to take off fishing for a few days mid week, the retired guys can do it easily.   

Woodshark

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 03:38:48 PM »
Yes, but for two reasons. In our mid 50's we both retired and moved away from the town we lived for 25 years AND most of my old friends are still working.

onewayfamily

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 01:14:08 AM »
We had a couple of rare instances where people (who earn a lot more than we ever did) seemed to get jelous and start making a lot of snarky comments about how 'not everyone can just own a bunch of apartments' and things like that, as if we were just handed all of our investments, and didn't start from literally zero after University and build it up from scratch.

But they were the rare outliers - most of our friends are supportive and all know varying degrees of detail depending on how comfortable we think they'll be with it.

But eventually it becomes clear to everyone you interact with basically that you're not living a normal life - hints like always being in relaxed or workout clothes, always travelling, always spending time with the kids etc. - they build up over time.

Friends can come and go, nothing wrong or unnatural about that. Just stay around the positive people and limit the negative.
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Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2017, 09:39:13 AM »
Friends can come and go, nothing wrong or unnatural about that. Just stay around the positive people and limit the negative.

+1 to that!
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aGracefulStomp

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 05:12:53 PM »
I'm slightly worried about this. I mean I have fantastic friends who are very supportive but I can absolutely understand that envy would creep in and people may deliberately distance themselves out of bitterness.

The reality is that saving your money is such a hidden pursuit that it may seem like one day you just turned around and went "I'm retiring!" or "I'm working part-time!". I think it gives the impression that you were handed your wealth on a silver platter, and 'why the fuck should she/he now live a life of luxury when I'm still slaving away over at this shitty job'.

If you feel like there is some bitterness causing the distance, I would confront your friends (individually obviously). Ask if they are finding it difficult that you no longer need to work and then you can discuss about the sacrifices you made to get there with them.

If you don't feel like the distance is just a lifestyle thing, then I would suggest finding and forming some new friends that have the same lifestyle. Give it a few years and they will be your new longtime friends. However the fact that you have more time to hangout with them shouldn't cause distance other than if all you did was talk about work, makes me think that it's probably to do with envy.



TartanTallulah

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 09:25:45 AM »
Life transitions will always cause changes in friendships; retirement is no different. Most of my friends are people I know through shared hobbies and interests rather than work, and I expect to see more, not less, of them after retirement, because my current work commitments mean that I'm nearly always either working long days or recovering from having worked long days. Too often, friends and acquaintances will be visiting The Middle of Scenic Nowhere and will contact me to say, "We're here, when can we meet up," and I'm having to reply something like, "Feel free to drop round to my house after 8pm any day, if I'm not home yet I won't be far away, there are plenty of capsules for the coffee machine and there are cookies in the jar on the counter, but be prepared for the possibility that I might not be fit to do anything other than rock gently in a corner with my face turned to the wall." I'm looking forward to being able to say, "YES! Long day out on the trail and overnight camp? Count me IN!"

I like most - no, ALL - of my current work colleagues. I don't expect to keep in touch with any of them after I retire.



spjulep

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 09:44:33 AM »
...but be prepared for the possibility that I might not be fit to do anything other than rock gently in a corner with my face turned to the wall.
Haha, funny! I am hoping I can be a better friend once I am not so stressed with the daily grind. Be able to spend more and higher quality time with people.

sobezen

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2017, 04:21:17 PM »
Absolutely!  The vast majority of my friends still work and most lack any form of flexibility with their schedules.  So a big thing is for us to get together every two to three months just to catch up.  Otherwise the people I knew Pre-FIRE and Post-FIRE are very different types of people.  On that note, I'd actually like to meet more Post-FIRE people and make new friends.  Anyone have ideas?  Thanks!
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nottoolatetostart

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2017, 04:21:54 AM »
...but be prepared for the possibility that I might not be fit to do anything other than rock gently in a corner with my face turned to the wall.
Haha, funny! I am hoping I can be a better friend once I am not so stressed with the daily grind. Be able to spend more and higher quality time with people.

This made me laugh. This is my husband to a T with his former job. I am hoping he will be more social once he decompresses. He is a social guy, though introverted, but his former job just drained him and he has no energy to want to engage with others after the workweek....


EarthSurfer

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2017, 05:16:58 AM »
After 19+ years of on & off retirement (trending towards full when the current consult gig is done), I have found my friends now span a broader age and income range. 

Being single with no kids probably has a wider influence on my friendships than age and income.

My mid-week ski, hike and adventure buddies have trended towards both active retirees in their mid 60s and younger resort town workers. Many of my older ski buddies (including some kick-ass women) I met years earlier as a volunteer ski patroller, but our friendship only really started when we had our mid-week outings.

I have also built some rock solid friendships by caring for friends and acquaintances during times of health or medical problems. I live in an area with a high number of transplants without family support. I am willing to take someone for outpatient surgery or medical procedures, spend time with someone in inpatient care, and spend nights on the couch when recovering and shouldn't be at home alone. 

Yesterday I spent a few hours cooking and cleaning for a friend since he's mostly immobile due to knee surgery. I feel fortunate that I have the flexibility to spend about 4 hours a day with him to minimize the boredom and social isolation. (Most career minded single people in their early 40s never consider the costs and social impact of a major injury or illness.)

It's so much nicer to always be excited to spend time with friends because we have the time to make memories.
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o2bfree

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2017, 05:21:19 PM »

I have also built some rock solid friendships by caring for friends and acquaintances during times of health or medical problems. I live in an area with a high number of transplants without family support. I am willing to take someone for outpatient surgery or medical procedures, spend time with someone in inpatient care, and spend nights on the couch when recovering and shouldn't be at home alone. 

What an awesome thing to do for people! People sometimes avoid certain procedures they should have, such as a colonoscopy or oral surgery, because they don't have a ride home. Kudos to you!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 11:01:27 AM »
Our friends are for sure changing but for different reasons. We have a son that left this fall to our of State College (11 hours away) to play Soccer and our oldest daughter is leaving in January graduating HS early to go to college to play soccer 4 hours away. So we have done nothing with the parents for so many years we did with our oldest son and our daughters group all the girlls are going all over the place so that too is already changing as so many are graduating early. On the flip side we have two more boys that yes play soccer and one is five years younger than our daughter and one is 6 years younger so with those groups were making new friends.  But having said that with all the chasing we chose to do with select sports for the most part were home bodies and dont to much outside the sport. This in itself has over the years distanced us both from all our long term friends.
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Dicey

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 11:26:19 AM »
I got married and FIRE in the same year. In my single days, I was the one who traveled to see friends and family. My job included tons of windshield time and an unlimited cell plan, which I used to stay in touch. It also meant that I had a network of far-flung friendships.

Now my MIL w/ ALZ lives with us and I never have time to sit down, much blab on the phone. Being an active participant here is the only time I sit, but the (positive) trade-off is that I don't feel isolated or trapped here with my MIL.

Also, having a husband means I have someone handy to play with.  I literally don't  want to be away from him,  so I don't, for example, spend weekends at my sister's or travel longer distances 2-3 times per month.

One solution is to make more friends locally. I began implementing that plan years before I got married by volunteering at my local library. This week, I have three events where I will know lots of people as a result of making those connections. All free to boot.

As for my old friends, we still have a bond, even if we don't talk as often. It's highly possible that as our lives change, well be closer again in the future.

We used to sing a Round in Girl Scouts, "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." Doesn't matter which one is which, as long as you have some of both.
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EarthSurfer

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2017, 01:57:43 PM »

...I am willing to take someone for outpatient surgery ...

What an awesome thing to do for people! People sometimes avoid certain procedures they should have, such as a colonoscopy or oral surgery, because they don't have a ride home. Kudos to you!

Thanks. I am wired as a caretaker personality, and the situation is symbiotic: I get a high internal reward for caring for others, and the other person has less to worry about. In a way, I do this entirely for my own fulfillment. LOL
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arebelspy

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2017, 09:25:23 PM »
Many of my friends lived quite far; I've gotten to see them more now, post-FIRE, than when working.

Now instead of BOTH of us needing to find time, or coordinate schedules, mine is wide open, so when they're free, I can be there.

My best friend had a bachelor party that was a weekend on an island in the San Juans (off Washington) with a group of his friends and brothers.  I had plans to be in Mexico that weekend. Cancelled them, and flew up. Maybe you can do that with a job, maybe not. But in FIRE, you definitely can.

Friendships change? Probably. But for the worse? Not necessarily.
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Jon_Snow

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 09:37:43 PM »
Some (if not most) of my close friendships were developed in the trenches (literally) at work over the years. When I left my career behind, despite trying hard at first to maintain them, these relationships have withered. Perhaps these friendships were not as healthy as I though since perhaps they were dependant on the mutual "trauma" of the worksite to thrive. This was one, and perhaps the ONLY, element of FIRE that perhaps I had underestimated...and gotten wrong.

I'll tell you what has been a revelation. This forum. Much more so than "the message" of this place...I now believe it's greatest contribution to my life has been the friends I have made here. Some specatacular people here.

arebelspy

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 09:58:02 PM »
I'll tell you what has been a revelation. This forum. Much more so than "the message" of this place...I now believe it's greatest contribution to my life has been the friends I have made here. Some specatacular people here.

Hell yes.

We've literally stayed in Mustachian's homes in Dusseldorf, Munich, Melbourne, Perth, BC, and a few other places I can't recall off the top of our head.

Plus met up with Mustachians all over the world, and many multiple times. We'll probably spend ~5% of our budget next year just attending Camp Mustache events.

So many good friends made, friends with common interests and mindsets that bond very quickly.

Can't wait to see many again, and meet new ones.  :)

Great point, JS!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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You can also read my forum "Journal."

mara

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2017, 01:17:37 PM »
Yes. Feeling very sad today. I went from full time work to occasional consulting for my main client two years ago. We started working together back in 2000. When I told her I was retiring, she said she would miss talking with me. I said I would still be available to talk any time.

Her communications became more and more terse. I've finally figured out she must have meant that she would stop talking to me.

Okay, so we need to move on sometimes, but it's still sad. I didn't have many friends anyway, so I joined an art group. But, I don't seem to be fitting in very well. I have made one or two friends in the group, but relationships seem difficult. Most members seem to struggle to sell a few works for very little money, so maybe there is a jealousy thing there. My strategy to make friends is to try to be helpful to others.

I guess we need to keep up with efforts to socialize. It's been interesting to read the other posts above. It's good to be able to share experiences. So, how do you make friends on the forum? Meetups?

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2017, 03:19:51 PM »
I didn't have many friends anyway, so I joined an art group. But, I don't seem to be fitting in very well. I have made one or two friends in the group, but relationships seem difficult.

Making friends as an adult is hard, regardless of FI status, at least it is for me as an introvert.  I decided to learn to sail a few years ago, so I joined a sailing club, which eventually became my primary social outlet after getting to know more and more people there.  It took a while for that to happen though and for a while I felt like the outsider, so the fact you've made a friend or two in your art group already I would say stick with it if you enjoy the activity itself.  You'll keep getting to know more people the longer you're there.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2017, 11:26:17 PM »
We have one couple of friends of which the man already has retired (in his 60ies). His wife is still working. I guess we will still see them after FIRE. But it is weird having very different lives than other people. I expect to get more in touch with older people, already retired. As My DH and I will be approaching 50 at FIRE, the difference in age is not enormous compared to early retirees at 62, which is pretty common.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 06:45:22 AM by Linda_Norway »

pbkmaine

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2017, 11:53:01 PM »
Nope. Old friends are still there at the touch of a dial, text or email. I am still having conversations that started 40 years ago. Life gets busy, the conversation is interrupted for a bit, but then it picks up again, effortlessly. I guess the big surprise to me is that some of my favorite former clients still want to be in touch. I got some lovely unexpected messages after Irma.

mara

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2017, 08:06:48 PM »
I didn't have many friends anyway, so I joined an art group. But, I don't seem to be fitting in very well. I have made one or two friends in the group, but relationships seem difficult.

Making friends as an adult is hard, regardless of FI status, at least it is for me as an introvert.  I decided to learn to sail a few years ago, so I joined a sailing club, which eventually became my primary social outlet after getting to know more and more people there.  It took a while for that to happen though and for a while I felt like the outsider, so the fact you've made a friend or two in your art group already I would say stick with it if you enjoy the activity itself.  You'll keep getting to know more people the longer you're there.

Your story is very encouraging. Thanks!

englishteacheralex

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2017, 08:20:23 PM »
Huh. Interesting. I have a girlfriend contemplating becoming a SAHM and I'm pretty sure that if she does I'll get closer to her. She'll have more time and more flexibility to hang out! I work full time, but as a teacher I get a lot of time off and am always wishing for SAHM friends to hang out with.
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Drole

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2017, 05:53:31 AM »
I was struggling with this last night myself.  My google search turned up this article (and comments) which I found kinda helpful:  https://livingafi.com/2014/09/20/friends-and-fi/

We FIRE'd and immediately began traveling.  Now that we are working on a rotational plan for where we live, I'm back where we used to live and am finding very little in common with folks we used to spend a lot of time with.  We've been trying to make sure to reach out to people and have people over, but honestly, so far, its just not working.   

Between FIRE and no longer drinking, things are just different. 


TravelerMSY

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2017, 01:02:33 PM »
It is a little awkward sometimes. You say 'retired' and people start to assume you're rich and make assumptions. Sometimes I just say "unemployed."

You really do get a sense of how wrapped up in work Americans are once you stop working.

On the other hand, relationships with out of town friends and family are stronger because it's so much easier to visit them.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 01:04:26 PM by TravelerMSY »

Cassie

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Re: Did anyone's longtime friendships change after you retired?
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2017, 04:07:15 PM »
WE retired at 53 and 58. WE ended up losing 2 couples as friends that we had been friends with for 16 years.  They knew for years that we worked for the government for lower salaries so we would get pensions.  One older couple was self-employed and worked from home. WE downsized our home and they started questioning our choices. Then they were 10 years older then us and inherited some $. They immediately bought a 3k sq ft house even though their other one was underwater.  Then they got grumpy because they still had to work with no end in sight.  WE both choose to do some consulting p.t.  WE also started to travel because we could afford it.  These 2 friendships did not last much over a year. All our other friends were fine with it.