Author Topic: What's the sorriest situation you've known of someone who couldn't retire?  (Read 6098 times)

gerardc

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I have a friend who is a 55 year old woman.  She makes around $130k, is married and has 3 adult children, 25, 28 and 30.   25 and 30 still live at home, with no intention of moving out.  One has a low paying job and spends all his money on alcohol and travel with his buddies, the other just lies around the house all day. Hubby was a stay at home dad, so he has never worked since first child was born.  They have a large home in a nice neighborhood that is literally crumbling around them from neglect (despite hubby's 100% free time for at least the past 10 years), yet they spend money lavishly on trips, restaurant meals, clothes, salon services, and enough groceries to feed five families.   The house is jam-packed full of every kind of unnecessary stuff imaginable.  Their kitchen has multiples of every gadget ever made.   She is so very tired of working, but it's all on her and none of them seem to care that she'll be grinding it out until she is a very old woman.   She seems to accept it, thinking there is no other way unless you strike it rich by inheritance or lottery win.   I almost dread the day she finds out we we have quit our jobs and retired early.  She doesn't know of our plans, as she works with my husband and we want to keep it quiet until he's ready to give his notice.

I wonder what her reaction will be when she learns you FIREd. Disbelief, rationalization, blaming it on luck, etc. Anybody has stories about reactions of "consumer" co-workers to your early retirement?


bluemarie

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I work in health care in a very lucrative specialty.  Typically my partners and I gross 475k a year.  Couple years were even higher.  Despite that, I have a partner who got divorced (strike one) while still supporting two of his three kids, got remarried to one of the hospital secretaries (strike two), got screwed in his divorce because he was schtupping "strike two" while still married and got her pregenant (strike three), then had another kid (strike four) and has had to support his step kids who he tried to buy their affection or approval (strike five), then he has adopted three more kids (VERY KIND NICE AND CHARITABLE but...strike six, seven and eight), has purchase not one (strike nine) but TWO (strike 10) vacation homes.  Oh yeah and he's in his sixties and can't afford life insurance.

Needless to say despite making a salary that makes him nearly a 1%er, he lives paycheck to paycheck.

If this is in Georgia, I think you work with my dad :\  If he has a daughter in New York and a son in Alaska, it's definitely him.  Crazy life choices for sure.

ETA: To be actually on topic in the thread - when I was in school and working retail, one of my coworkers was 80+.  I wish it had been a "work part-time for fulfillment/social engagement" thing, but she was so miserable that I don't think she would have been there if she didn't have to.  She was so tiny and frail she physically couldn't do most parts of the job, but was still there when I moved on.  The store eventually closed and I've wondered a few times what happened to her - no matter how hard it must be to work a job you hate at that stage of life, having to job hunt again seems like it must be even worse.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 06:41:16 PM by bluemarie »

dude

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A lawyer in my building is a hell of a trial lawyer. Very aggressive and very talented but not in a high paying specialty.  He and his wife always have to look the part. New identical BMWs every couple of years. Over decorated McMansion. Trips to Europe.

I'm talking to him the other day and he is bemoaning the fact that he pissed off an opposing party who filed a bar complaint. The bar is taking it very seriously and he is looking at a possible 1 or 2 year suspension. His comment to me "How can I pay my living expenses for 2 years if I'm suspended?"

 The man is 72 years old and has practically nothing at all set aside for retirement.  He needs to keep working  but won't be allowed to do the one marketable thing he is good at. I'm in my 60s. If some licensing board told me I could not practice my profession for 2 years my thought would be "Well I wanted to retire on my own terms but I guess I'm all right with doing it a little bit earlier than I planned."

Reminds me of an AUSA I work with (I'm agency counsel) who, back when the GOP shut down the government during the Obama administration, was freaking out about how he was going to pay his mortgage!  Not live for 1-2 years, but pay ONE mortgage payment! Guy drives a Lexus SUV, paid obscene amounts for his kid's sports travel team, makes around $175k/year and is in his mid-50's. I was floored. My guess is he doesn't have jack in his TSP (401k).

Pigeon

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The saddest situations I've seen are people who have children with serious and expensive long-term disabilities that have prohibited them from saving for retirement, despite being quite frugal.

Sibley

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The saddest situations I've seen are people who have children with serious and expensive long-term disabilities that have prohibited them from saving for retirement, despite being quite frugal.

There are times that I think much of the medical knowledge, technology, medicines, etc that we have today are a bad thing. People who live every day in pain because we can keep them alive but not fix the problem.

Nightwatchman9270

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I work in health care in a very lucrative specialty.  Typically my partners and I gross 475k a year.  Couple years were even higher.  Despite that, I have a partner who got divorced (strike one) while still supporting two of his three kids, got remarried to one of the hospital secretaries (strike two), got screwed in his divorce because he was schtupping "strike two" while still married and got her pregenant (strike three), then had another kid (strike four) and has had to support his step kids who he tried to buy their affection or approval (strike five), then he has adopted three more kids (VERY KIND NICE AND CHARITABLE but...strike six, seven and eight), has purchase not one (strike nine) but TWO (strike 10) vacation homes.  Oh yeah and he's in his sixties and can't afford life insurance.

Needless to say despite making a salary that makes him nearly a 1%er, he lives paycheck to paycheck.

If this is in Georgia, I think you work with my dad :\  If he has a daughter in New York and a son in Alaska, it's definitely him.  Crazy life choices for sure.

ETA: To be actually on topic in the thread - when I was in school and working retail, one of my coworkers was 80+.  I wish it had been a "work part-time for fulfillment/social engagement" thing, but she was so miserable that I don't think she would have been there if she didn't have to.  She was so tiny and frail she physically couldn't do most parts of the job, but was still there when I moved on.  The store eventually closed and I've wondered a few times what happened to her - no matter how hard it must be to work a job you hate at that stage of life, having to job hunt again seems like it must be even worse.

Nope not him.  I don't work in Georgia. I guess its an all-too-common story.  Sorry if your dad is in a similar situation though.  FWIW I've done a lot of stupid things in my own life too and I'm just now getting back on track so I guess I shouldn't be so holier-than-thou.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 05:42:04 AM by Nightwatchman9270 »