Author Topic: Early retirement and relationships?  (Read 6665 times)

minimalism

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Early retirement and relationships?
« on: August 21, 2012, 08:00:19 PM »
Hi, I wanted a bit of advice on early retirement and how this affects potential relationships?

First a bit of background on me: a single 35 year old guy, 16 months left to pay off a mortgage for an apartment (valued at approx $750k) with good retirement savings and managing to save (including the mortgage re-payments) about 70% of my salary.

By the time I've paid of the mortgage I'll be able to make around $40k p/a on renting the apartment - enough for me to pretty much retire from work, move to a cheaper area and cover all of my expenses.

All sounds good? Well the fear I have is that without a high-paying job and living fairly frugally that it won't be attractive to potential partners! Unfortunately a lot of people still put a lot of status on consumerism, especially when dating, and I think this sort of lifestyle is a lot easier for people who already have partners.

So my questions are; is this fear unfounded? Is anyone else in a similar situation (single) and found their frugal lifestyle a hinderance to dating? Am currently living in an area which I find is fairly superficial in regards to these things so am worried that my frugal lifestyle will make it even harder to find a potential partner.

Any sage advice or wisdom appreciated!

DocCyane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • Location: USA
  • Keep going. You're doing just fine.
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 05:19:28 AM »
In my experience, I have found prospective partners who are delighted that I make a decent income and thrilled that I am frugal and have savings. Then eventually they realize that means:

1) I'm not handing over my nest egg so they can squander it
2) I expect them to be equally diligent about saving

Needless to say, I have a lot of breakups in my past.

I have a significant other now, however, and she understands the bigger picture. At times it is difficult for her, like when I dumpster dive, but she's coming around.

Not to be the voice of doom, but I recommend that, when you find a sweetheart, you be wary of connecting yourself legally and financially to that person. I realize that's unwelcome advice, but half of marriages end in divorce and that can spell the end of your hard-fought financial situation.

But I do believe the right person is out there who will respect and embrace your path.

KMMK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1472
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    • Meena Kestirke Insurance
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2012, 06:31:39 AM »
Being frugal and finding another frugal person shouldn't be too hard. Just be careful where you are meeting people and assess them for qualities non-related to consumerism. Take it slow and if they are displaying qualities that would interfere with your lifestyle, don't continue the relationship, even if you like them in other ways.

What I think will be harder is finding someone who isn't after a free ride. I would be very hesitant to disclose any real numbers about your income/networth until you are quite sure you've found the right person. I'm usually all for honesty, but I'd bend the truth a little and say that you saved up enough money to take some time off work, but don't say that you might never work again. Make it sound more like a sabbatical than early retirement.

If she is frugal and into early retirement as well, and everything is going well, I'd fully disclose prior to an engagement if that's what you're interested in. And get a pre-nup, obviously.

My story - my husband and I met when we were 30. Both frugal. He wasn't currently working, by choice, like you, but our networths weren't anywhere need retirement level, though probably better than the average 30 year old, at least for him. I knew he had money but not until several months in did I learn it was almost 6 figures. I made it clear from the beginning I had no need for his money and we got a pre-nup and management our money separately, though discuss it jointly all the time. We both got lucky in each other.

galaxie

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2012, 06:57:04 AM »
minimalism, I think you might be looking for love in all the wrong places.  If you want to find a significant other who isn't consumerist, go do some non-consumerist activities and I bet you'll meet one.  It really jumped out at me when you said you are "currently living in an area which I find is fairly superficial in regards to these things."  If you are looking for a partner at clubs and bars, the people you find there are far less likely to be on board with your non-spendy ways. 

What I'm saying is, volunteer.  Meet people through your friends (assuming your friends understand your frugal goals).  Join your town's gardening club, softball team, DIY enthusiasts group, or Crazy Bikes Club.  Take a class, even (though you might have to pay for it).  Just do something you're genuinely interested in doing, and meet the people who are also doing that. 

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2012, 07:30:01 AM »
Galaxies advice is good...you need to focus on meeting people that by nature do not include spending. 

That said, I still think it is a difficult, if not herculean, task to overcome this issue given the consumerist culture of the US...I still think most on this board are in an extreme minority.  Doesn't mean it can't happen but you need to work at it. 

Also, intially I would never tell a prospect that you are retired or near retirement and keep all financial info to yourself - you should come of as stable though.  Remember it is not like they will be living with you so they won't know if you go to work everyday or not - you can tell them you are a property manager for an real estate investor...not a lie.

Between participating in no cost activities and keeping your hole shut about your situation it should narrow the field quite a bit.

elindbe2

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 07:58:04 AM »
The thing about dating people who are heavily ingrained in consumerism, is that you'll likely never convert them.   That means you will have to adapt your lifestyle to them.  I think if you just want to get laid, then you should be able to just put up a consumerist facade for relatively cheap.  If you're looking for a partner, then shouldn't they share your values?

cambridgecyclist

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 10:14:26 AM »
Galaxie's suggestion to join your local crazy bikes club is a really good one. I'm in that very club! We run a members-only bike shop, teach bicycle maintenance, repair and construction, teach welding and light machining, teach basic electronics and fully embrace frugalism and re-use -- including how to successfully dumpster dive and trash pick.

That's where getting involved in volunteerism works. Getting involved as a volunteer in interesting community organizations pays incredible dividends, through networking, skill sharing, free access to tools and other resources, and something way more active and interesting to do than watching television!

galaxie

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2012, 12:07:21 PM »
Galaxie's suggestion to join your local crazy bikes club is a really good one. I'm in that very club! We run a members-only bike shop, teach bicycle maintenance, repair and construction, teach welding and light machining, teach basic electronics and fully embrace frugalism and re-use -- including how to successfully dumpster dive and trash pick.

Hey, cambridgecyclist, I might come join your club one of these days.  It seems like fun, and I like to work on bikes. 

totoro

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2099
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2012, 12:15:38 PM »
Before I met my partner who I get along great with I made a detailed list of what I wanted in a partner and a relationship.  I wrote it all out and looked at it for a bit and then put it away.  After I met him I pulled it out again and it was an exact match.  First time ever :)

Honestly I think you should worry way less about being attractive to someone and waaayyy more about finding someone who matches your true self.  This means being honest with yourself and really writing what you want your life to be post-FI

minimalism

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2012, 01:56:35 AM »
Thanks all for your great responses; it has really helped my thinking.

My concern wasn't necessarily meeting someone who will want to take my savings. This isn't something that I'm really worried about - I think I can judge people fairly quickly if that's all they are interested in - and I'm generally modest in talking about what I have saved.

The concern was really about having a very particular worldview and that view making it harder to meet a partner to find who understands it, appreciates it and can also happily share a life (even if they themselves don't necessarily have exactly the same priorities). For example, if one person is happy to spend a lot of money and get into debt to buy things, go on holidays etc then obviously it may cause tensions with how I may end up living.

Galaxie hit the nail on the head, I think, in that I need to probably change the places I seek out partners. Meeting people who already have interests in financial independence and similar non-consumerist ideals will probably make it a lot easier.

I also realised, based upon what tooqk4u22 wrote, that a lot of these fears are really fears about self-identity. When you first meet people one of the first things they always ask is what you do for a living - I think I feared simply saying I was retired or similar and that it would not be seen as valued. Perhaps a lot of people who hear that are really just thinking its another way of saying unemployed. By simply answering that I invest in real estate or property it easily changes the perception, both for myself and potential partners, into something which society as a whole (rightly or wrongly) values.

Writing this also made me realise that a big step in actually retiring is actually having the courage to let go of a high paying job (even when you don't need the money) and the self-identity, gravitas and 'status' that myself and other people place on that. As totoro wrote, if I can be honest with myself about this then it should also be easier to be open and honest about it with potential partners.

DocCyane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • Location: USA
  • Keep going. You're doing just fine.
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2012, 05:36:54 AM »
I wish I could up-vote this whole thread. Good, positive advice and self-realization.

I feel quite blessed to be part of a like-minded community.

Mrs MM

  • Administrator
  • Bristles
  • *****
  • Posts: 367
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2012, 09:33:33 AM »
Great advice from Galaxie!  I would think that volunteering would be an excellent place to meet people.  Specifically, volunteering for something that is interesting/important to you -- volunteering on trails, helping organize bike nights, volunteering at your local public school, etc... (those are things I'd be interested in)

Also, about saying what you do... you don't have to say you're retired.  I never do.  I just talk about project I'm currently working on and also mention that I'm mostly a mom these days.  Just because you don't have a job doesn't mean you aren't doing anything.  In fact, the things you are doing are probably WAY more interesting to talk about anyway.


shadowmoss

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2012, 02:43:08 PM »
A small addition to the advice about joining groups with similar interests:  Don't hook up with the first person who looks interesting, don't jump immediately.  My experience with several different hobby groups is that there is a group that enjoys meeting and welcoming new people.  They get really involved at first.  Then, they are off to greet the next new folks.  The really interesting ones may be the quieter ones you won't even notice for the first few months.  Enjoy the fun with the greeters, but don't poisen your standing with the group by jumping into short term relationships with the ones who jump from person to person as they show up to the group.  I have been on both sides of this. 

Not truly related to the subject, just something I wish I'd known a couple of decades ago.

StetsTerhune

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2012, 06:11:45 AM »
I think on some level your lifestyle hurts your chances with women immensely, but from your post, I doubt that it will effect it in a way that matters to you at all. If your goal was to have a series of casual relationships/encounters with women met at bars, then your lack of apparent "success" would absolutely hinder you. If you're looking for a real relationship with a real woman who shares your values, then I think living your values is the absolute best thing you can do.

Not to say it won't be difficult to find someone who shares your values,you're not mainstream in you values, perhaps. But I think that's true of everyone, perhaps not financially, but in some way, most everyone is crazy and has to deal with finding a partner who's crazy in a compatible way.  Finding someone right for you is really hard, but I don't think being yourself ever makes it harder.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a little ... fun... meanwhile. (no judgement here). Loosening up your spending habits and splurging a bit sometimes isn't going to hurt your chances any.

kisserofsinners

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
  • Age: 40
  • Location: San Francisco
    • Monkey wants a house
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2012, 10:21:24 AM »
A small addition to the advice about joining groups with similar interests:  Don't hook up with the first person who looks interesting, don't jump immediately.  My experience with several different hobby groups is that there is a group that enjoys meeting and welcoming new people.  They get really involved at first.  Then, they are off to greet the next new folks.  The really interesting ones may be the quieter ones you won't even notice for the first few months.  Enjoy the fun with the greeters, but don't poisen your standing with the group by jumping into short term relationships with the ones who jump from person to person as they show up to the group.  I have been on both sides of this. 

Not truly related to the subject, just something I wish I'd known a couple of decades ago.

2nded...

Take your time. Scarcity can create and unreal "need".

I've been frugal while dating heavily. You can do it. The internet is pretty cheep. I've only had to pay for one service and it was $2/mo. Generally speaking it's harder for cis-men. I'll take my dates to the park to "capture nature" and take sketching supplies and cut fruit as a snack.

Yes, volunteer also take classes and generally do what you wanna do and get out. If there is a particular interest that you don't see represented with classes and community, create it. It's easier than it usually sounds.

Just being happy and content doing the things that you like will bring you into the proximity of same.
Enjoy!

bdub

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Early retirement and relationships?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2012, 12:34:23 PM »
If you are planning on moving to a low COL area where you can support yourself on 40K/year, then chances are there will be a lot of people in that area that fit your criteria.  I think if you spend some time in the right area where 40K/year is considered good money, you will find there are a lot of the same big city activities, just on a more frugal note.  I don't think I would be trying to find a LTR in my current area if I were planning to leave in 16 months.