Author Topic: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?  (Read 16373 times)

FireLane

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Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« on: July 08, 2015, 05:54:58 PM »
I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I thought I might be coming at it from a different angle: Who have you told about your FIRE plans, and how did you broach the subject?

When I discovered Mr. Money Mustache a couple of months back, I became an instant convert. I've cut back on spending and sharply increased my savings rate, and I'm on course for early retirement in a few years. Now I'm struggling with what to tell friends and family members who are leading sucka-consumer lives.

I don't want to seem like I'm bragging or shaming them for their free-spending ways. On the other hand, FIRE is such a great idea that I feel a responsibility to spread the gospel (so to speak). When I retire, I don't want any of my friends to think they missed out because I kept it a secret from them. I'd feel super guilty if anyone said to me, "You mean I could have done this, too? Why didn't you tell me about it sooner?!"

Besides, just on a selfish level, I feel like early retirement would be a lot more fun if I could convince some friends to go along with me.

Is it normal to want everyone else in your life to jump on the FIRE train with you? If you've tried to spread the news, how did you bring up the subject tactfully? Or if you didn't, what do you wish you'd done differently?

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 06:12:05 PM »
I focused on getting my spendy-pants priorities straight, putting out all hair-on-fire-debt, and working on decreasing the monthly bills.  As things would come up - such as switching cell phone providers to a pre-paid plan at Airvoice - I would post it on FaceBook, and air my thinking on the subject: 

"I got by for years with NO cellular data - I should be able to get by with using mostly wifi, and turning cellular data 'OFF' most of the time". 

As people would comment, I would reply, etc.   Replacing all the light bulbs in the house with LCD's, and the estimated yearly savings (and the up-front-cost - they're cheaper now than CFL's!).  The post that generated ZERO interest was the 'made my own liquid laundry detergent' post - even though I've been using that stuff since last August, at pennies per wash, and I still have 2+ gallons of concentrate left. 

Talk about it like the GAME it is - how you're gaming the system by spending less, and still living a great first-world life.

mandy_2002

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 06:21:45 PM »
I start out pretty nonchalantly with "I'm not going to buy/do ... because I plan to retire before I turn 40.  I gauge their reception of the entire premise of MMM to their response to that statement.  They don't need to know how much before 40 I plan to retire.  For people who ask more questions, I give a little more detail.  I haven't had many people jump on the bandwagon, but I have encouraged many to start auto-investments besides maxed out 401k's, but this has only been a select few who were already maxing out, or close to it, and didn't know what to do next.  I've gone into detail with my roommate, but the decision to move in with her was a financial one that significantly sped up my plans, which I told her; she has since asked a lot of questions. 

It's a pretty personal path to be on, but telling people about it can be done in a very non-threatening manner, and can lead to great conversations.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 06:34:12 PM »
The only people who know are.....my SO, and two of my best friends. One is a childhood friend who has always been transparent about finances and I have helped him overcome some debt, the other is a good friend and coworker. Knowing he is 27 years old, living with his parents (not for much longer) and has $120k/yr+ income potential means he is an ideal candidate for ER.

Other than that I have no desire to share with others. I expressed my plans to another close friend and it was met with resentment and disbelief.

johnny847

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 06:38:57 PM »
Most people are too entrenched in their consumerist sucker ways. In my experience  raising the notion that you can retire before 60 is in their mind ridiculous. I start trying to use logic and they respond emotionally.
Logic never works on someone responding emotionally.

A few friends I can tell have the right mindset for becoming Mustachian. Those, I tell. Otherwise, hands off.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 07:01:55 PM by johnny847 »

Spiffsome

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2015, 07:00:01 PM »
My husband's told our friends about our FIRE plans, and our timeline. He did it because he thought it was a fantastic idea that everyone should know about. Most of the time they've been politely noncommittal. I think they'll believe it when they see it, but nobody's mocking us out loud.

I've told my parents. (This was easier for me emotionally, since The Millionaire Next Door could have been written about my grandparents). They asked if our financial planner had approved it. I said yes. That wasn't the reason we consulted the financial planner, but it was useful.

Overall the reactions have been fairly good, but I haven't told the branch of the family that goes in for multi-million-dollar houses and expensive cars. I doubt their reaction would be good. We also haven't told that part of the family that is always having money problems, as it seems spiteful and unnecessary.

kpd905

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2015, 07:09:35 PM »
My spouse knows, and our parents have some idea but I doubt they believe it will happen.  That is fine with me.  I don't feel the need to tell anyone else until it actually happens.

forummm

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2015, 07:33:06 PM »
I think it's such a radical idea to the average person that they are generally not at all receptive to transforming their own lives. I've had a few people that I've told who believed that I would do it because they know me and know that I wouldn't say it could be done unless I had totally figured it out. But generally they would never do anything like it in their own lives. I think you can offer some helpful perspectives over time. Lead them to the water slowly over time. You can't make them drink.

I won't really tell many family members though. I don't want to deal with that, at least not yet.

KMMK

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2015, 07:45:03 PM »
I tend to not socialize much with people who don't understand FIRE at all so I'm very open about it.

Cycling Stache

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2015, 07:45:35 PM »
I do share it fairly openly, both because I was excited about it, and because I think it's a great idea for a lot of people.  What I've found is that some people just aren't interested and a couple are very interested.  The remainder are the ones I'm excited about because they often just listened politely at first but then increasingly come back over time to tell me about "Mustachian" things they did or ask questions about some aspect of it.

I figure by giving people a head's up of my 5-7 year retirement plan, then as they see me continuing down that path and everything on track, more people might become interested as they realize it can actually be done.  I prefer that to just surprising everyone one day when I finally retire early, and everyone wonders what just happened.  (Although now that I say that, it sounds pretty cool too.)

If you do share, just be prepared for a handful of people to freak out and tell you how horrible the idea is.  I find it amusing now, but it was really surprising how violently a couple of people responded.

Emg03063

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2015, 08:02:51 PM »
You're not obligated.  It's really nobody's business but yours, but when it comes up, I talk about it.  The key thing is to respect people's choice to be consumer suckas (I do generally point out that that's a choice).  I post the occasional MMM article on fb where relevant and consider my gospel spreading mission fulfilled.  Nobody likes to be preached to.

Valetta

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2015, 08:34:05 PM »
We have friends that we feel comfortable talking about money with and friends that we don't. I think there is a process of feeling each other out that occurs naturally in a close friendship when it comes to talking about those very personal things.

I wouldn't even bother discussing it with many of my relatives just because they aren't going to change, and that's that. They wouldn't be interested anyway.

frompa

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2015, 08:39:37 PM »
Obligated? Hell, no.  In fact, your espousing your new tenets of (financial) faith could as well alienate your friends as attract them. And remember, others have the same opportunity as you to make the conversion.

Your actions will speak plenty loud enough to others.  If any of your friends ASK for information as they observe the changes in your behavior, tell them enough to satisfy, and no more.  In fact, to be sure that you are not trying to shove your new-found religion down your friends' throats, you're probably best off putting off answering any such questions unless your friends absolutely press you for details.  Good luck, FireLane.

bacchi

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2015, 09:05:17 PM »
They know that we'll be taking a long vacation starting next year. No one knows, or believes (in the case of parents), that it'll probably be a permanent vacation.

Hell, my parents are probably worried that I'll be mooching off of them.

psinguine

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2015, 06:15:15 AM »
You have no obligations to anyone to tell them anything. Personally I haven't told anyone. My wife started out excitedly telling family only to have them nod absentmindedly and change the subject, the same way you would to a child. Her brother tried to actively discourage her using the most outrageous Doom And Gloom math I have ever seen. She toned it way down after that.

There was one young guy on my crew I tried to steer in the right direction. Paycheck to paycheck, smoking and drinking, fast cars and fast women, 25 years old and couldn't figure out where the money was going. So I started dropping hints and making suggestions. Investing was a little too "pie in the sky" for him so I conversationally shared that taking the smoke and booze money and putting it on the mortgage instead would save him many tens of thousands of dollars while also improving his quality of life.

He seemed to get it. Up until he " cut back" to only smoking cigars and used the saved money to inflate his lifestyle for the first time.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2015, 06:42:13 AM »
I've told a select few people. We have some friends a few states away (from before I moved for a job) who were completely on board. They were about my age, and they saved up throughout their 20s to own their house outright. I suspect they'll be FI by 40 with rental properties.

I've told my older brother, and he seemed interested, but didn't ask too many questions. He recently told me his plan is to have $1 MM saved up by the time he's 50-55, and I told him it's completely doable. We don't talk too much about money, so that's more than he's usually willing to offer.  I have not told my younger brother or older sister. I just can't imagine either of the giving a flip about it. They are both "decent" savers. I'm sure they save about 20%, maybe more, but they're too into new cars, boats, and big houses to get interested in early retirement.

I've also told my Dad. He retired in his early 50s. He was super-frugal when we were young, mostly because he had to be (four kids, after all). But he rose up the ranks and has a hefty pension with spending to match (To be fair to him, his largest expense is caring for my mother, who has Alzheimer's, to the tune of $7,000/month. But he can still afford all the toys, the big house, and plenty of eating out). He was taken aback when I told him I would be retired by 40, and asked me how. I explained my plan, and he's never had a negative thing to say about it. He's knows what I earn, and I suspect he's relieved to know that I don't live the way I do because of debt problems.

Other than that, I've told a couple of trusted co-workers at my previous employer. Both were naturally frugal, and very interested. I passed on MMM's link and figured I'd let nature take it's course. Haven't heard from them in about a year. I suspect both of them will end up at odds with their spendy spouses, in all honesty, but maybe they'll at least max out their 401ks as a result.

Finally, I was hanging out with some friends from college earlier this year, and I amazingly discovered that one of the couples were MMM disciples and all aboard the early retirement train. It was pretty exciting, and we discuss FIRE plans pretty much any time we get together, which isn't nearly frequently enough.

Other than that, I don't think a soul on the planet knows about my FIRE plans. I stay pretty tight-lipped about it, mostly because no one cares.

DoNorth

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2015, 06:43:41 AM »
not at all.  I casually mention aspects people ask why I moved though.

CmFtns

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2015, 06:46:22 AM »
I told quite a few people at first and pretty much noone is receptive to it. I think the average person is... well average and the average in this country is to retire in late 60s and save no more than 5%

mskyle

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2015, 06:55:08 AM »
I think it's fine to bring it up casually, but there's certainly no obligation to talk to people about it with the intent to convert. Think of all your encounters with people trying evangelize to you about religion (or atheism), politics, their latest diet/cleanse/MLM project... nobody cares!

Hall11235

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2015, 07:12:11 AM »
For me, being 21, the hardest part is telling my friends that I really don't want to go bar-hopping on the weekends. I am the one who usually suggests we do something free, like go to the beach. I really don't share my dreams of FIRE or being a home-steader farmer with anyone outside my immediate family. Even they look at it with a laughing condescension. Fortunately, my SO is on board with both, so that's good. I say just tell people that you feel can "handle the message," so to speak.

benjenn

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2015, 07:12:51 AM »
DH and I are FIREing the end of this month but we're 51 and 52 -- so as shocked as some people are (most of them say they'll NEVER be able to retire, much less in their 50s) - it's nothing like those of you who are doing it in your 40s or earlier.  Still, we haven't gone into much detail with anyone on how we're doing it.  DH has his military pension, which we'll be pretty much living off for the next few years.  But they don't know that we don't have a car payment on our really nice car, that we've paid off our beach condo less than 5 years after buying it and paid $50,000 toward our son's college int he last couple of years.  And they definitely don't know that we'll start off with almost $700k in our 401Ks, which we won't touch for 7+ years and by that time it should be worth WAY more than it is now.

I tend to tell people it's good to have a sugar daddy... so they think I can retire because of DH's financial situation.  He tells everyone it's good to have a sugar momma... so they think he can retire because of my financial situation.  The thing is, we both made the same high salary and have just been really smart with our money the 7 years we've been together.  Neither of us would be able to do this (retire so early) without the other's contributions.

My family knows we're retiring (parents are deceased) but no one knows how we're doing it... they just think we're lucky.  I do, too... lucky to be so smart anyway!  :)

Philociraptor

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2015, 07:43:02 AM »
You are certainly not obligated to tell anyone. My wife obviously knows, since we're making this journey together. My parents and sister know, though they always ask what we'll do after we retire, and they're still hoping we'll change our minds about kids. Wife's whole family knows, but they are in complete disbelief, and assume I'll knock her up sometime soon. We openly tell friends we plan to be retired by 40, a few of which have asked for advice on setting up their 401(k)'s and IRA's, but nothing too serious. I Like MMM articles on FB and share some of my favorites, but not too often. Now that I'm a bit happier in my job situation I'm a lot more laid back about FIRE.

icebox92

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2015, 07:52:03 AM »
Great thread, I've thought about this quite a bit.  I'm still relatively new to the FIRE concept and have been actively putting our plan in action since finding MMM.  That being said, I haven't discussed it with anyone other than my mom (who doesn't believe it) and my DH who is totally on board.  We have quite a bit of work friends and to be honest I don't want my company knowing about our plans just yet.  I have a notion that it would hold us back in career advancement and earning potential if the company actually knew / believed we were going to retire in less than 10 years.  I also don't yet feel confident in explaining the simple math behind it ;) 

Gone Fishing

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2015, 08:24:29 AM »
Obligated? Not at all.  I did tell most of my friends/family pretty early on though (10-12 years out), that it was a goal of mine.  I think most just shrugged it off as crazy talk.  I sure wish a few had hopped along for the ride, but sadly, none did.  After the initial "declaration", I tried not to talk about it too much, but it did come up from time to time.  When I was around 18 months out, I decided to refresh everyone's memories so they didn't think I just went of the deep end when I quit.  I got a large range of responses: "I'd have to do something!", "You'll fall behind in your career" (duh, that is the whole point!), as well as some supporters (including some that were interested in making it happen for themselves), and some that were indifferent. 

Do what you feel is right.  Your REAL friends will stick with you even if they don't agree (as long as you don't talk about it endlessly).  A few "associate friends" may drift away when you decline all the expensive outings they arrange on a regular basis, which is fine. 

My wife and I both like to form deep, long lasting, reasonably high contact friendships.  We work hard to maintain contact and cultivate friendships, and are dissatisfied when friends drift away, for whatever reason. But as we get older, we recognize that it is very natural for many people to drift in and out of friendships based on geographical location and what interests them at the moment.  We're slowly getting better at "letting go" of friends as they move on in other directions.  As you build your stache it may be necesary to let go of a few friends.  Don't let it bother you too much, just don't become a hermit and you will be fine!

Kitsunegari

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2015, 08:31:49 AM »
Nope, I'm not spreading my plans.
My friends and family know how thrifty I am, but I don't want people to know how much money I'm saving because I've been generous in the past and I don't want them to think about *my* money as *their* emergency fund.
With my SO things are more complicated, I don't want to talk about early retirement because he adores his job and doesn't plan to retire (just to be more selective about his customers). We haven't talk about far-future plans, only the next 20/25 years - our mortgage deadline, and the fact that we want to pay it early. But he's mustachian inside, since before I met him, so we never fight about money. I don't think we'd be together if we weren't on the same page financially.

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2015, 08:34:43 AM »
Nope, id on't tell anyone...people tend to view that negative or cheap. There are multiple reasons why they they think that way, but at this point, I don't care anymore. I rather keep it to myself and the day I announce my retirement in my 40's, that's when I will maybe mention it....hopefully that would wake some people up.

Mrs.LC

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2015, 12:12:15 PM »
Nope. You are not obligated at all. Chances are they won't understand anyway. We've been retired for 19 months now and still have friends that are unaware. Makes us feel a bit devious!

Cookie78

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2015, 01:38:31 PM »
Certainly you are not obligated. But I do understand where you are coming from. I'd like to be able to share the idea of FIRE to those who might want to experience it.

I tell people if it comes up, but generally not. I also only tell friends who I am reasonably certain will understand and/or care. My family knows the lite version of my plans. I am often a little nervous bringing it up because I hear of others negative experiences on this forum, but I haven't experienced any negative reactions myself. I think my family and friends know me well enough to know how determined I am, and that I will have done the math, and that I know what I want out of life. Even though I've only discovered this forum 7 months ago the reaction I often get from people is that I've been talking about this kind of thing for a very long time. I guess not in a FIRE way, but an escape from the grind way. Interesting that they saw it in me long before I did.

Nope. You are not obligated at all. Chances are they won't understand anyway. We've been retired for 19 months now and still have friends that are unaware. Makes us feel a bit devious!

lol, I like this.


Zamboni

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2015, 02:02:09 PM »
Nope. You are not obligated at all. Chances are they won't understand anyway. We've been retired for 19 months now and still have friends that are unaware. Makes us feel a bit devious!

Oh wow, that's totally what I am going to do! Great idea. I suspect it will be easy to keep some extremely loose association with my employer that keeps my name on their website in some capacity without having the work/pay relationship. Maybe I'll even pop in part time for a month a year when they need me to keep up appearances.

Not only is there no obligation, but politics, religion, and money are the most likely subjects for you to conversationally upset people. My SO and exactly one co-worker know. The co-worker is a mathematician and understands the shockingly simple concept of it.

Everyone else: not their business. Family would just think it means I should spill my money over into their black hole of bad spending choices, boss won't like that it means I don't care to work extra hard for promotions that I neither want nor need, and most co-workers have made so many bad choices over the years that they aren't in good shape and it would trigger relative deprivation ill will. I could probably have the conversation with a few like-minded friends, but most friends don't make as much $$$ as I do, so they would regard as bragging I suspect rather than something they could enjoy themselves.

Cassie

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2015, 02:33:07 PM »
People get jealous. We were not young-53 & 58 but friends that were older and still working were very upset that we were getting small pensions, etc. A few of those friendships ended.  after 6 months we decided to work p.t. for ourselves in our fields which has been really fun. Totally different then working for someone else.  Some of our friends were happy for us. I said for 15 years that I was going to put up with whatever crap happened at the state because of the pension. I guess they didn't believe me. The friends that were jealous were self-employed & kept encouraging me when things would get bad at work to quit & work for myself.   I knew those 2 pensions were our ticket to freedom plus savings $ ourselves.  I just stayed focused on the goal.

Lady Fordragon

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2015, 02:34:22 PM »
My husband and I have told some close friends and immediate family members.  Most have responded positively while still trying to understand how we plan on doing so.  One of my sisters asked for some financial advice, which was very reassuring. 

FireLane

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2015, 07:24:56 PM »
Thanks for everyone's suggestions! I especially like these two, which seem like great ways to casually drop the subject into a conversation and feel out how people respond:

As things would come up - such as switching cell phone providers to a pre-paid plan at Airvoice - I would post it on FaceBook, and air my thinking on the subject: 

"I got by for years with NO cellular data - I should be able to get by with using mostly wifi, and turning cellular data 'OFF' most of the time".

I start out pretty nonchalantly with "I'm not going to buy/do ... because I plan to retire before I turn 40.  I gauge their reception of the entire premise of MMM to their response to that statement.  They don't need to know how much before 40 I plan to retire.  For people who ask more questions, I give a little more detail.

I admit, I have the zeal of a convert. :) I don't expect to persuade all my friends that FIRE is a great idea. But if I tell them about it now, then I feel like my conscience will be clear later on, when I'm happily retired and they're still plugging away at their jobs.

FireLane

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2015, 07:28:33 PM »
Obligated? Hell, no.  In fact, your espousing your new tenets of (financial) faith could as well alienate your friends as attract them. And remember, others have the same opportunity as you to make the conversion.

Well, I don't consider myself strictly obligated to share my plans, of course. But I feel like FIRE is a great discovery and paying it forward is the right thing to do. After all, if our esteemed site owner had chosen to keep his financial strategy to himself, where would we all be now?

Mrs.LC

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2015, 08:23:34 PM »
Nope. You are not obligated at all. Chances are they won't understand anyway. We've been retired for 19 months now and still have friends that are unaware. Makes us feel a bit devious!

Oh wow, that's totally what I am going to do! Great idea. I suspect it will be easy to keep some extremely loose association with my employer that keeps my name on their website in some capacity without having the work/pay relationship. Maybe I'll even pop in part time for a month a year when they need me to keep up appearances.

Not only is there no obligation, but politics, religion, and money are the most likely subjects for you to conversationally upset people. My SO and exactly one co-worker know. The co-worker is a mathematician and understands the shockingly simple concept of it.

Everyone else: not their business. Family would just think it means I should spill my money over into their black hole of bad spending choices, boss won't like that it means I don't care to work extra hard for promotions that I neither want nor need, and most co-workers have made so many bad choices over the years that they aren't in good shape and it would trigger relative deprivation ill will. I could probably have the conversation with a few like-minded friends, but most friends don't make as much $$$ as I do, so they would regard as bragging I suspect rather than something they could enjoy themselves.
You are right that is not their business. We have one friend that really understands FIRE but most of the rest are convinced that you have to work until 65 or 70 to retire. They also think they will never have enough money. It's a pipe dream to them. The sad part is that they are professional people that make a decent income for the area we live in.

daymare

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2015, 08:26:40 PM »
I'm really open with the fact that by 40, I intend to be in the position to not need to work for money.  I'm 25 now, so this is a long-term (15 year) plan.  I think most people (even those who *LOVE* what they do and can't imagine they'd ever stop working), have been able to relate to my desire for freedom, to be able to work for myself or do work that's interesting or fulfilling but low-paying.  My husband and I have gotten to a great place where we invest more money than we spend -- that I'll happily share, I think it shares the crux of how we live, and if anyone's interested, we can get into details.  There is plenty we don't spend money on, but we also do plenty of non-essential spending, namely travel.  This year we've been to Belize and Italy, with an upcoming sailing trip to Croatia, and I've hatched up a plan for an all-inclusive stay in Jamaica for next winter - the trip should cost us about $350 total.  We travel hack to travel smartly, extensively but not expensively.  (Well, the travel bill will be 8K for these 3 trips for the two of us ... I only recently got into travel hacking, I'm more efficient now.) 

Some people tell me I'm crazy, but I've never gotten any negative feedback - I'm sure if there's any, it's not said to my face.  I actually used to share EVERYTHING (how much I invest, NW), but as we're picking up steam, I might need to stop sharing NW because I don't want to be bragging/obnoxious.  But my spending and how I travel cheaply and prioritize spending ... that all goes on my blog.  Those who aren't interested just don't read, but surprisingly many friends dig the blog and discuss it with me.

aschmidt2930

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2015, 08:42:25 PM »
I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I thought I might be coming at it from a different angle: Who have you told about your FIRE plans, and how did you broach the subject?

When I discovered Mr. Money Mustache a couple of months back, I became an instant convert. I've cut back on spending and sharply increased my savings rate, and I'm on course for early retirement in a few years. Now I'm struggling with what to tell friends and family members who are leading sucka-consumer lives.

I don't want to seem like I'm bragging or shaming them for their free-spending ways. On the other hand, FIRE is such a great idea that I feel a responsibility to spread the gospel (so to speak). When I retire, I don't want any of my friends to think they missed out because I kept it a secret from them. I'd feel super guilty if anyone said to me, "You mean I could have done this, too? Why didn't you tell me about it sooner?!"

Besides, just on a selfish level, I feel like early retirement would be a lot more fun if I could convince some friends to go along with me.

Is it normal to want everyone else in your life to jump on the FIRE train with you? If you've tried to spread the news, how did you bring up the subject tactfully? Or if you didn't, what do you wish you'd done differently?

This is normal for many life changes, including finding a new religion, cross fit, and going vegan.  All joking aside, you're not obligated to tell them anything.  If you do, just be sure you're not doing it from an eagerness to talk about your own accomplishments and bright future, otherwise known as bragging.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2015, 08:45:05 PM »
I don't discuss my finances with anyone outside my immediate family.  It seems to upset people that I will be able to retire 10 years before them.

sleepyguy

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2015, 06:44:12 AM »
Not at all.  Honestly no one wants to hear the way they are currently living, they pirsuits of meaningless things... Could be way better... Only if they change and consumer style of their life they have built up over 20+ yrs.

I keep it to myself, my. Family laughs when I mention it... I don't care, I laugh with them.  We'll be fire well well before 45.

I think the only person who "believes" is my GFs best friend.  Because she questioned how... We showed her how much we were putting away per month, per year... How we have no payments except mortage, how we invest all our surplus cash, on top of maxing out our rrsp and tsfam.  She was blown away.

FIRE me

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2015, 10:13:28 PM »
I think it's fine to bring it up casually, but there's certainly no obligation to talk to people about it with the intent to convert. Think of all your encounters with people trying evangelize to you about religion (or atheism), politics, their latest diet/cleanse/MLM project... nobody cares!

Or Linux. Ten years ago I used to enjoy telling anyone who would listen how great Linux is. I no longer bother. Like you say, “nobody cares!”
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 10:20:40 PM by FIRE me »

RWD

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2015, 10:16:36 AM »
I think it's fine to bring it up casually, but there's certainly no obligation to talk to people about it with the intent to convert. Think of all your encounters with people trying evangelize to you about religion (or atheism), politics, their latest diet/cleanse/MLM project... nobody cares!

Or Linux. Ten years ago I used to enjoy telling anyone who would listen how great Linux is. I no longer bother. Like you say, “nobody cares!”

That's a great analogy. "I can't switch to Linux/Mustachianism because it's too hard or I won't be able to do X anymore!"

I know people who have the technical knowledge to run Linux but they are unwilling to give up PC gaming, which is usually accompanied by regular $$$ hardware upgrades. I've been using Linux for about a decade now and I really only talk about it if someone asks.

Davids

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2015, 10:21:54 AM »
I keep it to myself and my wife. My parents know I am frugal and my in laws know we are doing fine. I don't disclose my personal finances or plans to others. I'd rather have people think I am poor and not bother me.

RunHappy

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2015, 10:57:55 AM »
You are not obligated to tell anyone any of your life plans (except your SO). 

Dicey

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2015, 11:03:02 AM »
No. <Stifles yawn.> Next question, please?

myrax

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2015, 11:12:35 AM »
When my husband and I were paying off student loan debt I was very public about it, especially as an excuse to skip expensive things. If it comes up, I will tell people that we are on a strict budget and have a high savings rate still. We are in our mid-30s and just finished paying off grad school debt, so it's pretty socially acceptable to say that we are now saving aggressively to catch up on retirement accounts.

Apples

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2015, 03:41:30 PM »
Would you tell them about how Jesus Christ can save everyone and otherwise they're doomed to the eternal fires of hell?  That's a little far, but if you've ever met some of the Evangelical Christians and Mennonites in my area, oh man they really truly think they have to spread the word so all people have the opportunity to join the bandwagon to happy times.  People don't appreciate money, religion, and sex being talked about in general conversation.  And no one ever likes preaching.  Also, they may think it's bragging, so then you could even lose friends over it.

Personally, I have one friend I've told about our high saving rate, and that we will shortly pay off our student loans.  My parents don't know details but know we keep a budget (and are amused by that fact).  My in-laws are intentionally kept in the dark other than reassurances that we're doing fine.  We might pretend to be paying off loans for the next few years so they don't think we have tons of money floating around.  Though we probably make about the same amount they do, and I don't think they have $1,000/month to spare on net worth building activities.

But I have other friends who really aren't interested in finances, or are struggling with both partners in student loan debt, two car loans, just had a wedding, and want a down payment for a house.  While it could be tempting to get all MMM in their business and show them the buckets of cash they're setting on fire each month, that would only make things tense as I criticize all their choices. Would you want the vegan lecturing you about the cholesterol in eggs and how there's hormones in poultry (Idk if that second statement is true, or if any vegans would lecture anyone...just an example).  So instead, they cut cable and I told them how much money that saved us-good job.  I talk about turning off air conditioning during the day and turning it back on after work (or just to sleep at night...); I talk about "paying off" a car that we actually bought in cash but taking the payment and saving towards the next one.  I talk about changing my 401k % up a little bit "so I'm not poor when I'm old" and tell them what a 401k is and explain a Roth.  One of these convos happened once every two months over the last few years.

Small little nudges in a positive direction, and a dollop of encouragement when someone makes good decisions, might just get them going in the right direction.  But even if you did show them the wide world of MMM, there's no reason they would think it's a good idea.  It helps that I'm a 20-something so it's easy to say we're on a tight budget and shouldn't go out to eat this weekend, would you want to come over for a backyard fire instead?  That probably won't be as socially acceptable in 10-15 years...

sobezen

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2015, 04:33:32 PM »
Why waste the energy?  It is your life.  Besides in the end it really is just between you and the IRS, isn't it?

jeromedawg

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2015, 04:49:59 PM »
Sure, share with them your plans if the subject comes up. But I wouldn't go out of my way to preach it. It obviously isn't a priority to a majority of people out there... most people are caught up in funding their lifestyles that they laugh at the idea of FIRE. And they'll laugh at you, partly because they'll think this: "ARE YOU KIDDING?! LOL yea right... wait are you serious? I hate you."

I think it'll become obvious to you those who are serious about having the freedom not to work anymore and who are serious about taking steps towards FIRE. At that point, share your plans. And tell them to start visiting MMM :D It's always good to have a like-minded community and I think most ppl who are serious about FIRE naturally will talk about it in a way which isn't actually boastful at all. These are the same people who typically live by humble-means, for the most part.

As far as the people who say: "You mean I could have done this, too? Why didn't you tell me about it sooner?!" - yea that will probably always be the case whether you like it or not. In fact, I'm sure some of the people whom you've told already will forget you mentioned it and exclaim that at you. I would let it roll off your back, and just tell them "Hey, as long as you're alive, it's still possible..." well, maybe just FIR... hahahahaha
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 12:20:35 PM by jplee3 »

RunHappy

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2015, 05:07:13 PM »
I was one of those who talked about it too much at first. I didn't realize I was talking a lot because I was just excited to share something that excited me.  Finally a friend told me to stop mentioning it to her because it makes her feel bad about her situation. She and her hubby are heavily in debt and are only now starting to chip away at it.

happy

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #48 on: July 15, 2015, 07:02:40 AM »
You're not obligated at all. If you have some really close friends who might actually say" why didn't you tell me this?", you could mention a bit of what you are doing in a low key way in an appropriate conversation just to sound out their reaction.
 
The only friend I told directly is an INTJ girlfriend who I thought would get it… she understands and its not affected our friendship, but even so she has not really taken it on board for herself. It would assist her with some concerns she has, but not sufficiently for to get on with it.

These days I limit myself to occasionally making remarks that indicate I'm not interested in standard consumerism. Stuff like " I like simple, I'm really a simple person", or " you know its just stuff, people are more important than stuff", " you know I really don't like staying in fancy hotels and resorts, its such an artificial environment, I don't find it relaxing…I just like to get out in nature".  Most people are a bit surprised, but I haven't had anyone heckle me about it. So far no-one has replied in kind either: I live in hope that this sort of comment might lead to a good conversation IRL.

avrex

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Re: Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2015, 10:33:52 PM »
Am I obligated to tell friends about my FIRE plans?

No.  In fact....