Author Topic: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?  (Read 4291 times)

cloudsail

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How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« on: April 08, 2019, 10:25:15 PM »
There's a topic in general discussion about family and friends embracing your finance views. It reminded me of a little nagging doubt that I've always had in the back of my mind, ever since we set a FIRE date. Because while everyday spending isn't much of an issue for us, the greater goal of FIRE is a different matter.

Here's what I wrote in the other topic:
My parents think it's awesome. DH's family, on the other hand.... well we haven't formally talked about our goals with them, but knowing them and from just random stuff that they've said, if my husband does quit his job a few years from now I'm not sure how supportive they would be. I also worry a little about how it might change our relationship with some of our closest friends, as I know for a fact that none of them are as financially secure.

So my question for the post FIRE folks. How did your family and friends react? I know that we all have different familial relationships and many people simply won't care what anyone thinks. But DH is very close to his family. We also have some friends that we've known for many years and form the basis of our social network.

kei te pai

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2019, 01:21:28 AM »
Family absolutely fine, totally accepting and supportive.
Friends, well some are fine.  There are one or two that I had met through work, and a lot of the time together seemed to consist of complaining about work, now Im not doing that they have distanced themselves.
A friend who I have known since childhood is I think quite unhappy/jealous but trying not to be, or trying not to show it.  She hates her job. She and her husband have always had a fairly spendy approach and I think they assumed they were a lot wealthier than me, based on the our respective lifestyles.
I inherited a moderate sum when my last parent died, but actually had decent savings already, so it just hastened retirement a bit.
Nothing specific has been said, but there just seems to be a reluctance to visit or spent time together and I am not sure how to handle it.

former player

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2019, 02:29:20 AM »
Everyone was very happy for me.

My mother was also very happy for herself because it meant I had a lot more time to help her in her final years.

HipGnosis

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2019, 08:00:59 AM »
The people that know me well were worried for me at first.  That's because I retired a cpl years earlier than I had planned (which still would have been 'early') because the the Co I worked at (and loved my job) was bought by a HUGE, stereotypically impersonal corporation.  They told me I wasn't qualified for the job I'd been doing for 10 yrs (my degree isn't in my field of work).   They shaved off my job duties to 'their people' over 2 yrs and then laid me off.  I knew that was coming, they laid off about 15 people after they bought us, but I didn't know when it would happen to me.
I looked for another job, starting before the lay off.  After about 8 months, I gave up (and started looking into side gigs).
My older brother retired (near normal age) a year later.  He doesn't understand how I'm doing so well, since I bought a (used) car and (used) motorcycle AFTER retiring.  They are part of my retirement plan and very well may be my last vehicles (though I'm kinda looking for an electric scooter to run errands, since that's what most of my trips are these days).

LifePhaseTwo

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2019, 06:23:59 PM »
Family was super happy - DH and I became way more available for helping care for our grandkids, which we love doing. Some of my friends were happy, a few were jealous, and a few were confused - they didnít understand how I could live without a paycheck until I can collect my pension.

spartana

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2019, 06:30:36 PM »
Family was worried. I was 42, newly divorced ( and taking on expenses alone), and more ERE level of assets (and expenses). I reassured them it was just a 5 year sabbattical and then I'd go back to work. Then never did ;-). I eventually lied and said I was doing some p/t seasonal work but I don't think they bought it.

happy

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2019, 06:34:48 PM »
I retired at 60, so not so young. Both my parents are dead, so no judgement from them. My kids were very supportive from the word go...after working for 35years plus ( and raising them myself)  they think I should kick back, enjoy life and get to do what I want. My siblings were a bit bemused, but now accepting, and my brother is starting to talk about retiring too - he's younger than I.  Other folk are generally surprised, and a bit confused and then more or less OK about it. A few have been immediately happy for me and congratulated me. Nearly everyone else has a suggestion for MORE paid work I could do. No-one has been outright negative. I suspect that responses are due to my age.

Cassie

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2019, 08:14:57 PM »
Age does have the benefits of not being questioned so much about retirement:))

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 03:09:45 AM »
I was 50 so while young not overly these days. I also announce it more as were going to take a break and see how things go and now that I am almost 55 its even more acceptable for lack of better term. But i had people that would say how awesome! and then some you could tell they were wondering how, why what have you but never had anyone say anything negative and more happy for us than anything. I think your demeanor/confidence and not over selling it all goes along ways. Making it sound more simple.  Just a thing.

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 10:34:57 AM »
People are happy for me but only one is trying to replicate my success.

JoJo

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2019, 12:33:36 PM »
My parents were initially not wanting me to not be working, but as they hear me complaining about my job they're warming up to it.  I hinted how much I had saved up so they know they won't need to support me.

cloudsail

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2019, 04:13:26 PM »
I got mysteriously banned from the forum for the past week and my responses to this thread seem to have also gotten eaten up as well.

The response about unsaid jealousy is exactly what I worry about. We are pretty low key and I think most friends know us as, if not particularly frugal, at least not spendy. Some friends know that we have rental properties but that's about it. It may come as a shock to some when we stop working altogether. And I've been privy to financial difficulties that various friends have had, that could probably have been avoided with prudent saving and investing. I never offer unsolicited financial advice, so no one is actually aware of our ultimate goal of early retirement. I know no one will be openly negative, but what is unsaid could have a serious impact on old friendships.

With regards to family, it's the other way around. I worry that DH's side will be too vocal with their disapproval, and that it will make DH doubt our plan (he's not good with the financial stuff and basically trusts me to work out the numbers).

Ozlady

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2019, 09:44:19 PM »
We have always been low key and portray a humble , frugal type of existence...recently a couple whom we have known for a while (but would not say we are close close) caught on that we are going to retire soon...and well too! thanks for asking...

They are the type , i wouldn't say is spendy but would say pretty status conscious...as in they would subtly drop hints on how much they paid for their beautiful house...but i know for a fact it came with a huge mortgage as wife has been telling me how stress their marriage has recently become behind that facade...the husband is the same age as my hubby...

So it came as no surprise that the couple has recently started to avoid us .. in group conversations, it can become quite awkward....as the hubby's words come across as shallow and he knows we know::((


MasterStache

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2019, 07:35:29 AM »
My father is a gambling addict and my mother is a shopping addict. Both horrible with money. Both of my brothers are deeply in dept. None of them really understand and when I try to explain finances and early retirement to them their eyes just kind of glaze over. I might as well be speaking gibberish. 

Malkynn

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2019, 08:12:55 AM »
I got mysteriously banned from the forum for the past week and my responses to this thread seem to have also gotten eaten up as well.

The response about unsaid jealousy is exactly what I worry about. We are pretty low key and I think most friends know us as, if not particularly frugal, at least not spendy. Some friends know that we have rental properties but that's about it. It may come as a shock to some when we stop working altogether. And I've been privy to financial difficulties that various friends have had, that could probably have been avoided with prudent saving and investing. I never offer unsolicited financial advice, so no one is actually aware of our ultimate goal of early retirement. I know no one will be openly negative, but what is unsaid could have a serious impact on old friendships.

With regards to family, it's the other way around. I worry that DH's side will be too vocal with their disapproval, and that it will make DH doubt our plan (he's not good with the financial stuff and basically trusts me to work out the numbers).

I have a pretty simple strategy for dealing with unsaid jealousy: I simply avoid emotionally engaging with anyone who isn't enthusiastically supportive of my happiness and success.

Sure, I have plenty of passive aggressive people in my world, but I either avoid them as much as possible or just don't take them seriously as adults. I wouldn't take the moody bullshit of a teenager seriously, so why take the moody bullshit of a poorly matured adult seriously?

If someone can't handle someone else's happiness or "success" (whatever "success" even means), then that's on them and not me, so I'm not the one who needs to modulate my behaviour. If they're uncomfortable, it's on them to grow up or deal with their own discomfort.

Until they do, I just won't allot much energy towards concerning myself with their responses because they simply aren't important.

As for your DH, just because he doesn't understand the numbers doesn't mean he can't be just as involved and invested in the financial decisions.

Numbers are just placeholders for time and energy. Entire, detailed strategic conversations can be had about planning your financial life without ever mentioning numbers. I find it actually helps in making sure that DH and I are both actually really on the same page in terms of priorities.

We recently made a real estate purchase where we had a tough decision between options and our entire conversation about it never mentioned dollars. It was all about time and energy now vs later and lifestyle impact.

We ended up making the most financially sound decision *for us* based not on what the numbers and returns would be, but what those numbers represent.

That's how I talk about my personal finances with everyone, in terms of the real life impacts and trade offs. I don't talk about money, I talk about what role money plays for me.

If someone gets jealous that I've carefully considered my options and made deliberate plans to optimize my life according to my very personal values, then as I said above, they aren't worth investing any emotional energy.
They're just noise among all of the other noise out there.

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2019, 10:01:14 AM »
Sure, I have plenty of passive aggressive people in my world, but I either avoid them as much as possible or just don't take them seriously as adults. I wouldn't take the moody bullshit of a teenager seriously, so why take the moody bullshit of a poorly matured adult seriously?

@Malkynn , words to live by!

Buffalo Chip

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2019, 10:15:19 AM »
This will be an interesting question to find out the answer to as I just set the date last week. So far the few friends Iíve discussed with have been pretty supportive. DW was the one I worried about; she seems to be OK with it.


Acastus

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2019, 10:37:07 AM »
Sister - What?! You are too young to retire. Plus I am wicked jealous. I am sick of working, too.

Friends - Well, Oookaay. Are you sure you really have enough money? What about kid's college? What about healthcare? What if something bad happens. We have no interest in retiring yet. We like our jobs.

Me - I used to like my job, but a few years ago, it became a real grind. I would love to have job I love. But I really need some time to figure out what that is now. Not 50 hours a week, for sure.


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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2019, 12:01:12 PM »
Pretty much everybody I know is psyched for me. Universally when I tell them I'm retiring at 53, they say, "That's so awesome!"  My wife has her trepidations because she knows I have a strong wanderlust streak and she's concerned I'll be taking off to explore the corners of the globe while she's still working for the next 5-7 years, but I think she's finally come to terms with it. I will do my best not to be taking off all the time, but have made it clear that I do need time to do my thing now while I'm still (relatively) young and fit, and frankly, I think time away makes me appreciate time together.

DaMa

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2019, 01:59:11 PM »
I can't think of any negative responses (except my dad, and that's a long story).  I've never lived spendypants and have been actively downsizing and living small for the past 10 years.  Generally I say, "I should be ok as long as I'm careful."  I say that I can live easily on $1,000 per month, not including healthcare.  That always turns the talk to monthly expenses and how I live small.  And that usually leads to the "I can't live without my cable, iPhone, big SUV, etc..." part of the conversation.

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2019, 03:21:16 PM »
I have a small friend/family circle, while I don't advertise my balances I think everyone knows that we are trying to be financially independent within 5 -10 years.  I've told many people that we "invest an obscene amount of money each year" to meet this goal.  Some are interested in learning more about investing and cutting spending, but a greater amount don't care.  My family is proud of my success in life and our goals.

I have a friend who is about 10 years older than me who retired in his 40's.  he had over 20 rental properties.   For years we hung out offroading in jeeps together, then he bought an RV with his wife and they traveled across the country.  They still do it now but not as much.    I'd say that I'm jealous of his ability to do this, but instead of being upset about it, I used his success to drive me to start saving "obscene amounts" of money and cutting spending in order to meet my own goals. 

For me, if someone was negative or upset about our success, then I just won't deal with them.  Even if it was family.  This is my personality though, I'm sort of a loaner.  I keep my circle of friends small, I don't have the energy for negative people. I realize not everyone can do this.  but my advice would always be to never let negative people affect you, life is too short and there are too many good people out there to be around.

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2019, 01:53:36 AM »
After a lot of talking, I've managed to convince my parents that RE is a good idea; they're now on board. My partner's parents are also on board, which means a lot to me.

I don't think I've ever encountered any jealousy or hostility to my FIRE plans. It helps that most of my friends and family are financially successful themselves, which limits the scope for envy. It also helps that any negative people in my life (not critical or questioning, but flat out negative in a personal sense) I quickly cast aside. I got no time for personal negativity. I want positive and pro-active people in my life.

My partner's parents are fairly low income, but self-sufficient, and I'm grateful that they have no issues with my version of "fatFIRE", and are pretty quietly supportive - part of that is due to my partner who is great. She does not actually want to RE - she wants to keep working in her career - and I said that's fine. Whatever money she earns beyond my FIRE date is for her to spend on whatever she likes, I don't care.

TheWryLady

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2019, 10:34:21 AM »
One comment recently was accusatory. "All the people like you on ACA are making Medicare cost more."   Mental note:  Do not mention that we paid zero taxes this year.

We also got comments before retiring...

"People with money never want to let go of it."  When we balked at loaning a financially irresponsible relative more money.  Answer...Did you ever think that is why they have money? 

"You are always trying to get deals on everything."  From my boss, when I mentioned my long to short haircut was free when I donated the hair to Locks of Love.  Answer...Every little bit counts.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2019, 11:39:20 AM »
... Mental note:  Do not mention that we paid zero taxes this year.
...

My average tax rate since RE has been about 3% NEGATIVE.  Good old ACA subsidies!  Paying taxes for a lifetime is a lifestyle choice in the United States.  Not everyone appreciates the evidence though.

bacchi

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Re: How have family and friends embraced your early retirement?
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2019, 03:48:34 PM »
SO's mom is recently retired at 65 and enjoying it a lot. I think she's a bit envious that I ERed so young because she could've and would've done it too if she had known about it.