Author Topic: How much to tell people when you are RE?  (Read 6052 times)

flyfig

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How much to tell people when you are RE?
« on: September 02, 2014, 11:45:46 AM »
Hi Mustachians! I'm looking for some advice, perspective and personal stories on if I should and how to communicate RE when I leave my job. My husband and I recently discovered MMM but were financially responsible even before learning the vocabulary. We are lucky that with my very high paying job, our extreme frugality, and selling the house, I can be RE next year. My husband will continue working as he is in the military but I will be mobile enough to follow him and give up the long distance relationship (which sucks). I'm hoping to take 6mo off to recharge and will look into a career change (non-profit) or part time work to pay living expenses and continue building our 'stash.

The challenge I'm thinking of is what to communicate. My husband is super FIRE and has been advocating for me to walk away from my (very) lucrative career because it makes me miserable and he's happy to tell the world that I am retired in my late 30s. I am more torn on the issue. I'm planning on telling my boss I'm leaving for husband's military job and reassure him that I am not leaving for a rival company. I'm not sure what to tell colleagues and friends and none will understand RE. I'm terrified the conversation will move to "how much money do you have" which I do not want to have with non-mustachians. I'm terrified of saying anything to family as my immigrant asian parents will promptly freak out that I am not working and that I am not taking time off for kids (as husband and I are agreed on this part).

Plus I'm freaking out that I am freaking out and even through the math is right and D-day (or RE-day) is approaching, I am wondering if cold feet is just a sign that I am not ready for this life change.

Any advice, guidance or personal stories on how you navigated this change would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying for boundless optimism but that being elusive right now. Husband is very supportive but perplexed by my reticence on this.

pdxbator

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2014, 12:02:20 PM »
Good luck on this! I see myself being RE in the next few years as well (early 40s right now). I imagine when I do quit I'll just tell people that I'm looking for change and will be seeking out new opportunities. I won't go into the whole money thing nor will I tell them that really I'm just retiring in my mid or late 40s.

What my partner and I do sometimes is just use the other as the scapegoat. We tell each other before hand that we are going to do this of course. I blame it all on him for something or other. You can use your husband 100% and tell your friends/family that you are supporting him. Makes for an easy out.

RFAAOATB

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 12:18:07 PM »
Just say you're retired early.  It's easier with the husband still working.  You can make living off one income the status symbol of retro common sense it is and tell people to support Senator Warren and avoid the Two Income Trap she warns us about.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 12:23:03 PM »
Taking a sabbatical?   

Eric

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2014, 12:31:47 PM »
I'm planning on telling my boss I'm leaving for husband's military job and reassure him that I am not leaving for a rival company. I'm not sure what to tell colleagues and friends and none will understand RE.
Why not tell them the same thing as your boss?  It's true, isn't it?  Either that or just say that you're burnt out and taking some time off.

I'm terrified the conversation will move to "how much money do you have" which I do not want to have with non-mustachians.
As you already noted, none of them will understand RE, so I doubt they'll process the fact that you have enough money to never work again.  If it actually comes up, you don't tell them the number, just vaguely say "enough for now" or "husband still working", or turn it into a joke, "You'll let me borrow some if I need it, right?".  But I'd be surprised if anyone actually asked this.

Plus I'm freaking out that I am freaking out and even through the math is right and D-day (or RE-day) is approaching, I am wondering if cold feet is just a sign that I am not ready for this life change.
It is a big change, so it makes sense to be nervous.  However, it doesn't have to be permanent.  If you decide later on that you want to go back to work, then do that.  Remember why you're quitting in the first place. 

Unless you're up for talking about specifics, vague answers are best.  And you can answer honestly, as you really aren't sure what you're going to be doing next year or the year after that.  Granted, they'll be asking about work and you'll be answering about non-work, but that's the beauty of it all.  :)

catccc

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2014, 12:51:22 PM »
Tell them whatever you are personally comfortable with.  My close friends will know I am RE.  Everyone else will just hear that I got tired of work and decided I'd be happier at home.  I do have kids and they make a great excuse for nearly anything.  Outskirt friends and acquaintances don't need to know my financial situation.  Plus I don't want to invite criticism or put myself in a position where I feel compelled to defend my decisions.  It's just another thing to deal with and I'd just rather not; I don't actually care what anyone else thinks of me.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 02:19:28 PM »
You're leaving to go be with your husband.  I really don't think you'll need anything beyond that, there aren't many better reasons.  If anyone does ask for more, you can say you're stressed from work and unhappy being away from him, so you're going to take some time off to recharge and when you're ready you'll find something near him.

For parents or anyone else you know that will have ongoing concerns of you not working but wouldn't understand RE, or you don't want to give them that kind of info, what I plan to use is 'I'll go back when I run out of savings, right now I'm enjoying life too much'.  They don't need to know the savings shouldn't ever run out.  If they still seem concerned, you can throw in something like 'I still talk to my colleague's, I'll have opportunities when I'm ready for them' to assuage fears of you not being able to return to the workforce.

DecD

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 02:23:20 PM »
Do you have kids?

My parents are liable to panic if/when we retire early (in the 3-6 year range, depending) and I plan to tell them that I'm going to stay home for awhile to spend more time with the kids and focus on their education.  As my mom was a stay at home mom, she'll understand that perspective.  If my husband retires early as well?  We'll have to find a way to assure them that we aren't sabotaging our future.  We've got at least 3 years to figure it out :)

In your situation, I'd just tell folks (if they ask) that the long-distance thing has worn out its welcome, it stinks, and you're leaving so you can be with your husband.  Totally valid.  They don't need the gory financial details.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2014, 02:26:03 PM by DecD »

SummerLovin

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 02:29:59 PM »
I'm hoping to take 6mo off to recharge and will look into a career change (non-profit) or part time work to pay living expenses. My husband will continue working as he is in the military but I will be mobile enough to follow him and give up the long distance relationship (which sucks).

That's all you need to tell anyone, and it's true! You don't have to tell family, friends or anyone that you are retired unless you have a burning desire to share Mustachianism and convert others. Since you're moving to be with him, there likely won't be too many people that will see you day to day, where you'd have to explain the sudden free time. Besides you said you'd still be working at least part time.
You can also choose from the following:
"I'm in between jobs, trying to sort out what I want to do with the rest of my life."
" I'm following my passion and want to find something more fulfilling"
"We've decided to scale back and live off one income in preparation for children"
Once you get to the point where you're no longer working and you feel you have to explain what it is you do for a "living" then you can share your Mustachian habits and the choices you've made that allow you the freedom to do other things.

flyfig

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 02:48:07 PM »
Eric, pdxbaxter, RFAAOATB, RyanAtTanagra: Great suggestions all. This is really helpful how specific they are and they're helping power up my deflector shields (sci fi weekend =P)

SummerLovin: Love your perspective. Husband and I love discussing Mustachian habits but hate bringing it up around others. We have our own shorthand when coming across anti-mustachian people.

DecD: Thanks for sharing! Good to know that someone else is figuring how to "break it" to the family. No kids in our future although husband and I will adopt/foster dogs (our real passion). I think my fear has more to do with breaking "I don't wants kids" with the family that anything else. A RE conversation will just bring all that to a boil.

I must say that this is the nicest, positive, action oriented, supportive message board I've seen.  Thank you all for your support and help.


RapmasterD

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2014, 08:54:47 PM »
Anything with the words "recharge" or "reboot" (my favorite) is a complete winner, IMHO. More detail than that.....well, you don't need to provide it. Congratulations, BTW.

TreeTired

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2014, 09:06:06 PM »
Quote
Taking a sabbatical?   

I like that term,  or just "taking some time off"...   -oh, how long?   "6 months to a year"

For many in the real world it seems peculiar for a 30 - 40 yr old to refer to him/herself as "retired"..   How do you know?   I understand not needing to work and being financially independent, but "retired" to many implies never working again.  There might be better terminology for younger people.  I know I am retired, but it took me 5 years of not working to figure it out.

Dicey

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2014, 09:46:20 PM »
When DH and I married, we each brought about the same amount of assets to the table. I hated my job and he doesn't, so I retired and he still works. He has seven years to go for a defined benefit pension and a kickin' retirement healthcare plan. We truly feel rich. When I get questioned, I smile and say I have a rich husband. When his colleagues drive by our lovely house and wonder how he can afford it (yeah, that happens when you live three blocks from work), he laughs and says he has a rich wife. And we really and truly do feel "rich", primarily because we have enough money and each other. Yeah, this is sappy, but it's true.

Besides, who gives a shit what anyone else thinks? You need to develop a standard answer or two, just to be able to answer the question automatically. Never let fear of anyone's opinion/insecurity/jealousy deter you.

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2014, 09:48:44 PM »
Besides, who gives a shit what anyone else thinks? ... Never let fear of anyone's opinion/insecurity/jealousy deter you.

+1.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

happy

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2014, 03:47:01 AM »
Quote
In your situation, I'd just tell folks (if they ask) that the long-distance thing has worn out its welcome, it stinks, and you're leaving so you can be with your husband.  Totally valid.  They don't need the gory financial details.

I like this one. I really think this works for both work and family. Practice a few wise-cracks as well "decided to become a kept woman".. or Diane C's "I have a rich husband". if you keep joking around its harder for people to ask nosy penetrating questions and even if they do you can always crack another joke in reply.



TheNorwegianGuy

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2014, 04:25:29 AM »
When/if I one day FIRE I would tell them the thruth as it is. I am a full time stock /real estate investor, after all that is where my income will come from ;) And maybe half time volunteer worker.

BlueHouse

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2014, 05:21:23 AM »
I plan to look at my retirement as a full time job. The objective is to do the things that will fulfill me, whether paid or not. For my extended family, this will be important because They tend to ask a lot of people who "aren't doing anything". So I'll make up some money losing venture that I can put in as many or as few hours as convenient to dodge events I choose not to attend and where I make as much or as little income on a monthly basis as suits my needs (to answer questions how can I afford or to blow off requests for loans.). Yup, I plan to lie to make my life easier and so I only have to explain things to the people I most care about. Having to work has always been an excuse to get out of some family request (for everyone in the family), and I see no reason to change that.
But I may not give a crap after I'm FI, So that may change.

kite

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Re: How much to tell people when you are RE?
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2014, 05:47:09 AM »
Make it about the husband.   
The less your coworkers and casual acquaintances know of your wealth,  the better.   I think the same goes for friends and family too,  because by nature I'm a private person.   I'm not saying you should lie, but you don't owe an answer to inappropriate questions and it's best to be vague and steer the conversation back to them.