Author Topic: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships  (Read 1460 times)

SteveLP

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Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« on: November 14, 2017, 03:59:39 PM »
I was wondering if people who have retired young see drastic changes in their relationship with family and friends?

Have relationships with family and friends changed post-FIRE?
How do you handle professional relationships with people who still may be working?
Do you have opportunities to network/build new relationships post-FIRE?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 04:30:54 PM by SteveLP »

spartana

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 08:08:20 PM »
I think all my relationships improved greatly because I had so much free time. Things (including relationships) like chores, pet care, sports, fitness, etc..that I had to cram into my life between work and commute I was able to do at a more leisurely pace while others were at work. So that when they were off work and free, I was able to spend full quality time with them.

My only issue was dating. I FIREd single (divorced) and while I found it much easier to meet people due to all that free time,  it was very hard to meet someone interested in FIRE - especially the RE part.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 08:10:24 PM by spartana »
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MrMoneySaver

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 08:27:37 PM »
My only issue was dating. I FIREd single (divorced) and while I found it much easier to meet people due to all that free time,  it was very hard to meet someone interested in FIRE - especially the RE part.

Can you elaborate on that? Was it that they liked their jobs, or was RE just not realistic for them?

spartana

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 09:29:25 PM »
My only issue was dating. I FIREd single (divorced) and while I found it much easier to meet people due to all that free time,  it was very hard to meet someone interested in FIRE - especially the RE part.

Can you elaborate on that? Was it that they liked their jobs, or was RE just not realistic for them?
Both I think. Most had more spendy lifestyles and were willing to work until a more traditional retirement age to have all the shiny things. And they often expected an SO to work too. Or they were divorced with young kids they supported (and sometimes ex-spouses too). Lots of debt and current and future obligations. Or, while they didn't have debt or kids or ex spouses and wanted a more simple frugal life, they just really liked their lives as is and didn't want to FIRE. Not a biggie to me as I wasn't looking for a long term relationship then but the FIRE life isn't for everyone. Even married couples around here have had to deal with a lot of issues when one wants to FIRE and the other doesn't.
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Rollin

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 07:43:38 AM »
Better with family and friends, but if I don't reach out and keep in touch with former co-workers they tend to drop off ( I think they are pre-occupied with something - hmmmm, I wonder what that might be??). There are a few that I do keep in touch with (the others I don't want to), but again it is mostly my efforts.

Funny that I was just having this conversation with a friend last night (over local beer accessed during a bike ride) and I stated that I almost never think about my former work or co-workers. I rode to Clearwater beach recently to have coffee and watch the sun rise at this little cove that I love (there area couple of manatees in there regularly) and as I rode back home I actually cut right through the building that I worked in for 10 years (it has a parking garage attached that I can short cut through). It wasn't until I looked up and thought "oh crap, this is where I worked for all those years, and I didn't even think about that when I came through here on my way to the beach!" I don't miss it.

Anyway, the relationships change and I have to decide how much effort to put into them to keep them alive. I really like to go with the natural ones that are reciprocal, but don't mind planning a few get together just to keep them rolling along.
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lthenderson

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 07:43:57 AM »
My relationships with family hasn't changed or has gotten better because I can spend more time with them.

My relationship with former colleagues has dwindled over the years to the point that I can't think of the last time I contacted any of them other than to 'Like' something they posted on Facebook. They were good friends of mine in the context of work but when that context is gone, it makes things more difficult. For awhile we still got together but they liked to talk shop which continued to lose interest for me and they weren't really interested in my life because it was something they couldn't do. We just drifted apart.

However, all that leads into your last question.  I have plenty of time to develop new relationships of others similar to me. I now have more close friends than I did when I was working and better yet, they have the time to go out and do things during the daytime or weekdays. What connects us are our interests outside of work which is a much stronger bond than just working at the same place.

Accidental Fire

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 03:30:57 PM »
I'm only semi-retired to 20 hrs a week for the past two months so my observations are new, but it's better for family as I have more time to take care of my Mom.  But I have noticed my longtime friends treating me a bit different.  Not treating me bad per se, but I know them well enough to detect a touch of jealously and/or anger. 

But the last thing I want to do is start teaching them how to do what I did.  If they want hep they can ask and I'll help, but I doubt they will.  They're pretty spendy.

Drole

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 03:58:03 PM »
Relationships with family have not changed much as most live in other places.  I suppose I do see some (parents) more often, but that is more due to having kids rather than more "time-off."

Former Colleague relationships have mostly disappeared.  There are a few I liked and try to stay in touch with, but while leisurely lunches and mid-morning coffees are great for me, they are a bit more time-constrained.  And I have little desire to go meet them for a fast lunch at some crappy restaurant. 

New Relationships have been sporadic as we have been traveling on and off since FIRE, so it has been harder to build new, deep networks, but mostly because of being in entirely new places.  My conclusions for this type of post-FIRE lifestyle is to be pretty aggressive about meeting and following up with people. 

There is for me a certain amount of awkwardness in prior colleague and friend relationships.  For those who don't know me/us well, they don't understand how my/our lifestyle is possible.  They can guess my former salary, etc.  For those that do know me/us well, they see some surface level stuff (I don't buy food out when we go places and don't buy my kids all sorts of random plastic stuff), but then I think they still wonder about it. 

So I am still seeking out new relationships to fill the gaps.  There's a delightful 75-year old guy I need to meet for lunch sometime soon.  Also met a semi-FIRE'd guy who is fun to chat with-- but I'm worried he's got more than just friendship on his mind. 


Cashonda

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 06:13:33 PM »
Great question SteveLP!

As soon as I FIREd I moved abroad, actually that was the cause of my FIRE. So all my relationships changed due to physically being so far away and I'm not sure how much I can contribute to my work status.

However, I made a huge network of new friends when I moved, and I think the fact that I was not working full time made it a lot easier to forge new relationships. Even though people typically say that as an adult you make most of your new friends at work, I met people other ways and because of my flexible schedule was able to go for long coffees that turned into lunch that turned into a few afternoon beers.

I find my full time working friends have so much less flexibility and less time that it makes it difficult to meet up with them. They want to meet 30 minutes for lunch, or only on Saturday night.  So I tend to spend a lot more time with friends who work freelance or are entrepreneurs because we can meet spontaneously for a coffee or spend as much time as we like chatting. I meet quite a few digital nomads and location independent entrepreneurs who also are quite flexible with their schedules and regularly take off work for a month or so at a time to travel or have adventures.

As far as my old colleagues I tried to stay in touch with them but we didn't remain close. The friends I tend to keep in touch with are mostly from many years ago before any of us had full time jobs. (ie childhood and college friends) Again though I wonder how much my relationships are impacted by factors other than FIRE - like the fact that I live on the other side of the world or the fact that I dont have kids and most of my peers have young families.

As Spartana mentioned I think that finding romantic relationships can be a bit more difficult when FIRE. It seems the typical "working stiff" isn't too happy to be with a chick who isn't running the rat race. And when you add in the nomadic part it gets really weird. I never really thought about it before finding this forum but it would be cool to meet a likeminded FIRE dude. Putting it on the to do list. :)

I think being FIRE you have the potential to make your relationships so much better because you have more time and energy to do so. But some relationships might suffer if there is just too much of a divide in lifestyle and attitude.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 04:06:00 PM »
My immediate family relationship improved alot. I was always an involved parent but now I'm not exhausted and really enjoy the extra family time.

Distant family has improved slightly just because again I have more free time and energy to have the willingness to go to more things.

Friends , pretty much the same as they are working and they havent passed any noticeable judgement one way or another.

Colleagues. I was self employed with 10-35 employees some for 20 years. I have contact with none of them other than by accident and thats fine with me. Alot of good memories and shared some good times and alot of headaches. My life doesnt feel like I am missing anything with that disconnect. More just not running a business but thats a different subject.
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Cookie78

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Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 11:36:55 PM »
As Spartana mentioned I think that finding romantic relationships can be a bit more difficult when FIRE. It seems the typical "working stiff" isn't too happy to be with a chick who isn't running the rat race. And when you add in the nomadic part it gets really weird. I never really thought about it before finding this forum but it would be cool to meet a likeminded FIRE dude. Putting it on the to do list. :)

lol, yes this!


My relationships with family improved dramatically because my first step after FIRE was to move back north to spend more time with them for a year. Currently staying at my mom's house and visiting multiple family members every day. Spending lots of time getting to know my nieces and nephews, improving relationships with my brothers, parents, step-parent, and hanging out with brother's SO's and their kids too. Having the time to go to all the events, support with whatever things are going on is great.