Author Topic: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships  (Read 4294 times)

SteveLP

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
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 »

MrMoneySaver

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #1 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?

Rollin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1176
  • Location: West-Central Florida - USA
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #2 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.
I love being outside.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1038
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #3 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

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
    • Sweet designs for your outside lifestyle
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #4 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

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 203
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #5 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

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #6 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

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3302
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #7 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.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Cookie78

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1786
  • Location: Canada
    • Cookie's Goals
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #8 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.


Cashonda

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2017, 01:05:39 PM »
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.
Yes I have been doing this too, it's wonderful to be able to spend the quality time, especially with young kids who need a few days/weeks to become comfortable with you if you normally dont live nearby.

PS: great name Cookie, I love it!

Cassie

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4257
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2018, 05:20:24 PM »
It is nice not to be in a rush anymore:))  We lost 2 sets of friends when we retired at 53 & 58.   One set was 10 years older and very into things and still working  from home. WE downsized our house and they tried to talk us out of it and out of retiring. They were jealous each of us had a small pension. We talked for years about why we worked for the state was for the pension when they would try to convince us to work for ourselves. They got resentful that they could not retire yet when they got an inheritance they bought a 3 k sq ft house and rented their other home that was underwater.  If they had stayed in their old home they could have went to doing less work.  Then they had to give up their cleaners because they couldn't afford them but don't feel like cleaning so this beautiful home is a shit hole.   Interesting enough our small home in town is now worth more $ then our big house in the burbs. It turns out that the millennials want to be walking distance to things.  WE have made other friends and kept the rest of our old friends but most of them work for the state too.

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7731
  • Age: 60
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2018, 01:24:36 AM »
Have relationships with family and friends changed post-FIRE?
Yes. For example, my job required lots of windshield time. People got used to me calling them as I inched my way toward home. Now, I'm rarely in the car for long periods of time. At home, I'm too busy to initiate calls or sit and blab on the phone. This means I've lost touch with a lot of people, or I only speak to them when I can eke out time for quick phone calls. Also, both of my parents have died since FIRE, so that's a huge change.

How do you handle professional relationships with people who still may be working?
My colleagues were/are spread all across the country. Of the people I was closest to in my last position, one died, one's wife just received a terminal cancer diagnosis, another who followed me into FIRE is so busy we only play phone tag. Another got married, so she's busier, too. We all used to cross paths at trade shows, conventions and corporate meetings. Now, that glue is gone. The friendships still exist, but the bonds are much weaker now.

I was also single until I was 54. I was free to travel wherever and whenever I wanted and travel I did. Those old Southwest Ding Fares allowed me to travel a lot on the cheap to visit friends, colleagues, and family. Now I'm married and my MIL and her pal Al Z. Heimer live with us, so I can't just get up and go any more. However, I love being with my husband and totally dig being at home with him every night. I don't want to travel without him and I can't believe it's me saying that! I'm ever so glad I did it when I could, so I don't feel trapped now.

Do you have opportunities to network/build new relationships post-FIRE [/color]
Hell, yes! I volunteer more with groups I was involved with pre-FIRE. I'm now the co-chair of an event where I was formerly a committee member. On another board, I'm now VP. I'm Hospitality Chair for another group that I joined post-FIRE. A new group is forming and the first meeting is tomorrow. I expect I'll know about half of the 50 women who will be there, mostly through these other connections. The difference is these new folks are local. We're connected by common interests, not by employers. I feel like I have deepened my connections and ties within my community, which is very satisfying.

Everything has its trade-offs. As we used to sing in Girl Scouts, "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." (Bonus points if you know the tune and can sing along.)
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

smoghat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 73
Re: Pre vs Post FIRE relationships
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 07:29:57 AM »
It's a little weird, sure.

Most of my colleagues at the university I taught at have disappeared from my life. But were they really ever in it? No, most are just obsessed with their jobs which they equate with meaning in life. Some have remained friends and they were always the ones I was closer to in the first place. In looking for meaning, I joined a Unitarian congregation here. That aligns with my interests pretty well (I always thought any religion should be based on science… you could certainly do that as a Unitarian) and certainly helps with the "meaning" part, plus there the emphasis is less on work and what you are doing for the community.

Some people react strangely. My father in law doesn't seem to know what to say. Odd since he had a big party for his retirement and we flew across the country for it. Some relatives and friends complain about how poor they will be when they get older. Not sure what to say to that: you married a guy who hasn't worked full time since his twenties and basically FIRE'd off your salary for 20 years? Or you are going on constant vacations to expensive places I have never gone to, buy high fashion clothes, and don't even put huge amounts of stuff you buy and then don't want on eBay, you just throw it out? Ok then.   

It's a little strange in my case since retirement depended on a single windfall payment from an apartment building I sold. It had been my families, but I'd managed it for 17 years and the income I got from the sale was much, much higher than what I would have gotten had I listened to my father and sold it in 2000 or even 2010 (had it estimated then). Some people know this and think I got lucky. I did, I guess, but then many of them have gotten lucky in ways that they never exploited.

I'm still in the process of re-tooling my friendships, trying to find people involved in the sort of interests (mainly art) that am interested in. We'll see how that goes.