Author Topic: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?  (Read 3860 times)

Milkshake

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Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« on: August 05, 2016, 07:16:15 AM »
I've told some people about my plans to FIRE, and usually they say the expected "that's impossible because x,y,z...", or they get upset because they are already 20 years older than I'll be when I plan to FIRE. So recently I've decided to not mention it to really anyone.

My question though, should I tell people who are around my age (I'm 23)? I know there are so many of you who wish you had known this was possible 10 or even 20 years ago, and I got extremely lucky finding MMM just a few months into my working career.

What about people I'm close to, like some of my siblings or cousins? They are generally in worse financial shape than me, but if they know they don't have to work until the nursing home calls them, it could make a huge difference.

Or should I just keep it a secret until I've FIREd and not be the jerk who talks about the money he hopes to have in just a few years?

I'm just curious as to your suggestions/comments/personal experiences.

plog

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 07:25:23 AM »
Quote
not be the jerk who talks about the money he hopes to have in just a few years?

I vote this.  If it comes up it comes up, but don't try and inject it into the conversation.  If you do, you'll just come off as that guy who just found Amway or the latest diet craze or a new religion and turn more people off than you turn towards it.   

Cwadda

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 07:35:45 AM »
Quote
not be the jerk who talks about the money he hopes to have in just a few years?

I vote this.  If it comes up it comes up, but don't try and inject it into the conversation.  If you do, you'll just come off as that guy who just found Amway or the latest diet craze or a new religion and turn more people off than you turn towards it.   

+1
No need to rub it in anyone's face, but if they're curious I'll tell them about it.

screwit

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 07:41:16 AM »
When I found MMM and the idea of FIRE last year I told pretty much everyone that it sounded awesome and is my ten year goal. It usually resulted in a few minutes of conversation where I just explained that FI was to build a safety net for my family and that seemed sound and logical to most. With the exception of a few close friends/family, I haven't really mentioned it to most people since although occasionally someone will remember and ask something about it.

DeskJockey2028

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 07:49:10 AM »
I've told a select few. First I shared the secret with my wife, and she's on board. My father-in-law knows as he retired at 55 (about 20 years ago) and I wanted to run a few things by him.

I've been itching to tell other folks but have been holding back. Lots of folks I think would be very surprised but most I think wouldn't even be thinking about this subject.



ketchup

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 08:03:30 AM »
You can usually read someone pretty well and figure out if they'd be receptive or not.

They usually fall into one of these groups:

1. The condescending "yeah right, good luck" crowd that thinks you'll fail hard and is not open to the idea one single bit.  Sometimes they'll take some sort of offense that you'd even consider pursuing FI.
2. The more polite version of number 1.  They don't think you can do it, but they won't be jerks about it.  Usually they'll give one reason/excuse/example why it isn't compatible with their own situation and then write it off.
3. "That's awesome but I could never do that."
4. "That's awesome, where do I sign up?"

Two of my coworkers fall into group 4, but the other ~40 definitely do not.  One is our bookkeeper that is in her early 50s and probably less than a year away from walking away.  She gets it, clearly.  The other is a bearded non-consumer kinda-hipster that plays in a metal band in his spare time.  I gently introduced him to MMM and he was pretty immediately hooked.

I haven't really told any non-work-friends.  I haven't told my mom (she's not a financial idiot but more the "I need $5MM+ in the bank to fund a $40k/yr retirement for some reason" crowd), but I have implied pretty hard what I'm doing with my dad (I know he has more than enough to FIRE right now if he wanted to, but he is working part-time and loves his job).

MrDelane

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 08:09:01 AM »
I gladly talk to any of my friends and family about it that are interested, but generally don't bring up the topic myself.

The one place I will not talk about my plans is at work.  The last thing I want is to give anyone the impression that I'm planning an 'early' exit.  If you had someone in your office that you knew was planning on early retirement would you be incentivized to give them a raise or promotion?  I know I wouldn't.

MrsDinero

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 08:26:31 AM »
When I first discovered MMM and became convinced of the math, yes I told everyone because I was excited.

That was a while ago.  Now when I talk to a select few, I try reframe it, so it doesn't come off sounding obnoxious.  I've actually had a few people ask me how I'm doing on my "early exit" and how I'm planning for things like health care and college tuition.


Milkshake

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 08:49:49 AM »
Thanks for the responses! Not telling co-workers seems like great advice. When it comes to close family and friends, I'll wait until they bring up the topic.

Zikoris

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 09:04:00 AM »
I'm pretty open about it. I even put on a well-attended lunch seminar about it at work a couple of years ago (that wasn't even my idea). I'm good at explaining it in a simplified way that's easy for people to understand - the "If you save half your income, every year you work buys one year of not working" approach is really intuitive, and people seem to like it.

sis

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 09:16:08 AM »
I have a few friends that I talk to about these things in theory.  I have one friend who is all aboard the FIRE train.  I don't really have co-workers to talk to about this as I'm self employed.  I already work very part time (almost RE) because my husband has a very high stress/long hours job and he prefers that I don't work full time.  This may change if/when he switches gears to a lower paying job.  My husband isn't really on board with the RE part of FI, but he certainly is willing to work towards FI.  He is a bit more spendy than I am, but I try to facilitate things to help make him less spendy.

My older brother is already FI, but he likes his job so he still works.

I think my younger sister could be FI in a year or two if she cut down on her spending, but she likes to work and FIRE isn't her goal.

My youngest sister would like to be FI, but she has an extremely spendy husband who makes FI impossible.  She subsidizes his lifestyle and it really isn't a good/healthy thing.  They don't really have debt (other than a mortgage) because my sister tries to keep him on a budget and store away money before he realizes that they have it.  I don't foresee her relationship working in the long term unless her husband makes some huge lifestyle changes...

I have some friends who like to live large/spend money on stupid crap.  Needless to say I don't hang out with them too often because they'll go out to dinner with me and order lots of alcohol and then want to split 50/50.  I'm just like... eh.. I don't mind splitting 50/50 when we are close to even, but when your portion of the bill is $60 and mine is $15 why should I split?  The worst is when I refuse, or just put in cash for my portion and they say "oh you have so much money, why are you so cheap?" I don't even try to broach the idea of FIRE with my spendy friends because I know they won't get it.


Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2016, 10:50:35 AM »
I only tell people who I know won't ask me for money or bitch about me for not spending money I have.

This is a short list IRL

TheAnonOne

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 11:04:55 AM »
Years ago I told a few people. I still tell them that it's my general goal but say that "Im not sure if it's possible or not" and downplay it a bit. Even though I am sitting on 1/3 of a million bucks @ 26 with a likelihood of retiring around 35.

I try to be as 'nice' about it as I can, because I WAS pretty lucky in my life and I AM pretty gifted in my career. I do not have any friends who even make HALF of what I do. By the time they get even close to half of what I make, there won't be any catching up given the market...

elaine amj

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2016, 11:11:29 AM »
I've told most of my close friends. No one has really asked any concrete questions or anything like that. It's not like I am asking them for their opinions - just chatting about my plans. Thankfully with my friends, its never been a big deal. They all know how crazy frugal we are though and I mention stuff like "We've been working hard on cutting down our monthly expenses - got to get that grocery bill down! We're working towards retiring really soon". Or whatever. I don't keep it a secret from them. They know I'm crazy enough to pull it off :)

With my family, I'm a bit quieter since my mom tends to value work. So I say stuff like "we're trying to be more minimalist. Instead of trying to see how much we can spend, we're re-framing our view to seeing how little we can spend. We're careful to save a lot so we can have choices. So excited - I just saved $xx/mo canceling cable!". My father is going to work forever though. He makes a lot of money (DH and I combined don't come close to his income) but also spends a lot on all the fancy trimmings - pretty house, eating out, fancy vacations, etc. I asked him recently if he likes consulting (he's technically retired but works full-time consulting) or if he would choose to retire properly. He said that of course he would like to retire, but had to pay for the fancy vacations somehow. I worry sometimes if he has much in savings as he has always been a spendypants. Sometimes I whisper to DH that there's a chance we might have to support my father down the road and I have no clue how we would manage that.

I don't say anything at work though.

chesebert

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2016, 11:19:09 AM »
Just one friend. That's it. We share similar goals (among which, FIRE, so we can do whatever we wanted), have similar earning potential and share different levels of frugality habits (we are frugal in different ways, I guess).


bacchi

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2016, 11:23:45 AM »
My parents think we're going to take a sabbatical.

Some friends know but I suspect many think we're just dreaming.

Like elaine amj, a parent may need financial support. Irritating, as he received a large inheritance and pissed it away on fancy trips and trying to keep up with deca- and centi-millionaires.


patchyfacialhair

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2016, 11:29:59 AM »
Depends how people see you, OP, as well. If you're a baby faced 23yo, folks will think you're crazy talking about things "well beyond your age."

Keep doing what you're doing. Keep your fire plans all to yourself, but feel free to talk about frugality for the sake of frugality cause that doesn't seem to get a rise out of people.

ketchup

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2016, 12:49:03 PM »
Depends how people see you, OP, as well. If you're a baby faced 23yo, folks will think you're crazy talking about things "well beyond your age."
Upsides to being a balding 25-year-old dude at work. The young 'uns (22-23) seem to think I'm a lot older than them.

Milkshake

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2016, 01:05:07 PM »
Depends how people see you, OP, as well. If you're a baby faced 23yo, folks will think you're crazy talking about things "well beyond your age."

Good point. Even I see myself as a baby faced 23yo... haha

Wilson Hall

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Re: Do you tell people about your FIRE plans?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2016, 02:20:38 PM »
This isn't something I talk about at all, really, except with my spouse and occasionally my parents. Many people I know, including my in-laws, are still working in their mid-to-late 60s. With few exceptions, most of my fortysomething friends and peers are struggling with mortgage payments, child care, and, in some cases, massive student loans. Mentioning my plans for retirement by age 60 at the latest would be like rubbing salt in the wound. I don't want envy to strain our relationship or make anyone think they can ask for a loan or handout. If anything, I tend to downplay how soon I might be able to walk away with my 'stache.

I do have a couple of close friends who are super-responsible with their finances and therefore fun to discuss money management with. It's like we're members of a special secret club.

All you young people aiming for FIRE by your 30s are an inspiration! Even if your peers don't know your plans, realize that many of us on this board are proud of you.