Author Topic: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?  (Read 7632 times)

HappierAtHome

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When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« on: February 03, 2014, 09:31:13 PM »
Inspired by the thread about whether your friends know that you're FI:

When you hit FI, assuming you don't retire immediately, will anyone in your office be privy to that information?

Alternatively, if you're already FI and kept working after that point, did/do any of your colleagues know?


And my answer to this question:

My workplace is very open about... well, everything, but especially money. I could tell you the net worth of most of my colleagues with all of five minutes to think about it. Three different people have outright told me that they can afford to retire anytime they like... one is a waste of wages and hasn't done any work in twenty years, so I immediately judged him for not just retiring already instead of wasting everyone's time. Another puts in a good effort and is great at her job, so I didn't even think twice about it. The third was clearly miserable in her role and I did judge her a bit, thinking why would you stay in a job you hate so much when you could retire tomorrow?

So I've been thinking about this issue and whether it would necessarily lead to judgement from others. I'd be worried that any day that I was a bit off my game, I'd cop the same attitude from others that I've demonstrated above - you've got enough money, you should just retire already. I have a few real friends at work and they will almost definitely know, but wouldn't spread it about (these are people I trust and who would never ask me for money, so I'm not concerned about them knowing). My workplace is effectively unable to fire people or make them redundant so I wouldn't be afraid of being pushed out of my job, but I'd worry about the social effects in the workplace of everyone knowing you don't have to work for the money while they're still slogging away to make their mortgage and car repayments.

Stache In Training

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 09:42:05 PM »
Well I'm hoping my "workplace" will be very different, such as working at home, by then.  But if I have a "regular" job, they may know, or at least guess, because I could definitely see myself changing my habits a bit... Though it could be for the better, such as the 'retire in your mind' article.  But I'm not sure if I'll go around telling people, just like I'm not going to go around and tell people when I just got a raise.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 09:44:10 PM »
This is something I've struggled with, and it's getting much more complicated recently. I would love to get out as soon as I can, but based on the timing I'm expecting I will be in a position where I'm firmly committed to staying longer than I'd like-long story you guys likely don't care about. My work is not open about finances as yours seems to be, but if it were I think I would openly share and it would be easier to leave in the right circumstances.

HappierAtHome

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 09:48:38 PM »
But I'm not sure if I'll go around telling people, just like I'm not going to go around and tell people when I just got a raise.

Haha, in my workplace everyone tells the whole office when they get a raise. In fact, I just got a (temporary) raise and the first question most people asked about it (after it was announced at a team meeting) was "so, how much is your take home pay now?"

bikebum

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 10:26:50 PM »
I hope to negotiate a part time deal at some future point once I've stashed enough away. I don't talk about it at work right now because I think people will think I haven't "put in my dues" enough yet to be thinking such things. Although my gf let it slip that I "have a plan" at my former supervisor's retirement party. He was the only one that heard though, and he had a positive reaction to it.

dragoncar

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 11:26:29 PM »
I tell everyone when I save 15% on my car insurance by switching to Geico.

happy

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 01:36:40 AM »
In one sense I'm FI now: if I really had to, I could retire, but it would require quite an upheaval to restructure several things and we are in "the teenagers going through HSC phase", so I'm waiting it out.

I haven't told anyone at work and I don't think I will. The only exception will be if there are substantial changes for the worse in the future, that I'm not prepared to wear.  In that case I will say "Okay, I don't agree, I'm FI, I don't have to do this, see you later." 

quilter

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 04:43:31 AM »
I was very vague about it. DH had several friends who he planned with at his workplace and the three of them went out on the same day ( all October birthdays and they left the next November 1).
Funny story. I worked with mainly women. They were always trying to get me to go shopping, out to eat lunch or go to Tupperware type parties to buy candles or stupid cooking gadgets. I did not participate in secret Santa etc as I really felt like I had little in common with most of them. One day someone told me in front of other people she was embarrassed for me because my old rusty standard honda looked so bad.  I smiled knowing the day it stopped working would be the day I quit. No way was I going to buy a new car to go to work once FI.

Fast forward to the day I gave my notice.  " what are you going to live on" , "your husband must make a lot of money" , "you must have another job lined up you are not telling us about". The corelation that being frugal leads to not having to work was lost on them.   They just had accepted they would work until their late 60's.

I really kept things quiet, and I know they thought I was an oddball, but it did not care.  Even now,  some people are astounded we are a one car family ( we don't even work!) .  You either get it or you don't. 

Rural

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 06:14:32 AM »
I definitely won't tell anyone because I don't want to deal with jealousy and bellyaching. My coworkers are a mixed bag, but a plurality of them are terrible with money and don't want to do anything about it (though they do want the magical money fairies to come save them).

MandyM

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 06:21:04 AM »
I do not discuss my plans for FIRE with any of my coworkers. I made the mistake of doing that with one guy that is a friend of mine and he managed to blab it to our boss one day. My boss is kind of a nervous guy and the last thing I need is for him to think that I'm a short-timer or something. Its not that he would ever get rid of me, but I don't need/want him to have anxiety about my dedication.

OP - I am really surprised that your workplace is SO open about money. I don't necessarily think its a bad thing, but very strange. Is it unique to where you work? Or your field? I can pretty much figure out most people's salary at my office due to how our project budgets are done - but its rarely discussed.

SwordGuy

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 06:26:03 AM »
When I'm FI I'll be quitting to start up a new career.

I won't be running around the office shouting "Na-na-na-na-boo-boo, I don't have to work and you sure do!"   That would be rude.

There will be a few like-minded folks who know.

If anyone tells me that they wish they could do what I'm doing, I'll look them in the eye and tell them, "You can if you REALLY want to.  If you're willing to make changes in your life, I'll be glad to point you to people who can teach you how."


matchewed

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 06:31:42 AM »
Probably.

All kidding aside given the assumption I'd probably let a few very close people know. I have friends at work that aren't part of my department and I'd feel fine letting them know.

Fireman

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 06:55:11 AM »
though they do want the magical money fairies to come save them

I used to have a mentality like this.  "I'll be making more in a few years, i'll be able to save then" or "my (now ex) wife will get a raise and we'll have plenty of money."  I always thought that financial stability was around the corner and one day i'd have 6 months of bills saved up.  I was a perfect example of spending to keep up with my increased income.  In that vein, i'm very glad to have found you guys!

Back on topic...now that I feel a little more solid about my own finances, i've talked to a few of my friends at work about financial independence.  I do offer up my personal experiences to help with the explanation but I limit the more personal stuff to my closest friend.  One of my friends is a negative nancy naysayer and i've stopped discussing most anything financial with him.  As an example, I showed him numbers of my possible part time job and how if I made this much per month I could pay off my rental property in 5 years.  "No way, the math is off, you're not going to make that much, you'd have to work every day you were off."  This, coupled with many other experiences, has taught me it's better to keep my mouth shut.

When I become FI, I wouldn't really make a big deal about it.  I'd smile to myself knowing that I could leave if I wanted but would stay because I have the best job in the world!

Nancy

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2014, 07:46:26 AM »
"Na-na-na-na-boo-boo, I don't have to work and you sure do!"   That would be rude.

This made me laugh. I would obviously never prance around the office chanting this, but it's a funny thought.

I have no plans to tell people. If someone asked how I could retire, I might say that I LBMM for years and leave it at that. I'm pretty sure most people will think I'm just taking a few years off to travel, which is fine by me.

MrsPete

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2014, 08:26:27 AM »
In truth, I'm already there . . . I'm staying a couple more years for two reasons:  1) to pay for my children's college educations without withdrawing from savings.  2) I'm so close to my pension that it just makes sense for me to stay and have that cushion. 

But does anyone know? 
Of course not. 

soccerluvof4

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2014, 08:32:17 AM »
I too am really already there. My business is a shell of what it use to be (self employed) however the monies coming in are better than if the 2 of us were to go chase the money dream. My wife works 20-30hrs a week and I am at home.  It would be foolish for us to tell people simply because there first thought is were making to much money when in reality they are making alot of money and I look at it more as were getting a small cut for keeping the business running. So no-way. I have mentioned to a few friends and family that if and when its time to close the biz...we are done but would like to snail along for as long as my wife wants to do it. 5 years would be the max though all things considered equal.

rtrnow

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2014, 08:41:27 AM »

OP - I am really surprised that your workplace is SO open about money. I don't necessarily think its a bad thing, but very strange. Is it unique to where you work? Or your field? I can pretty much figure out most people's salary at my office due to how our project budgets are done - but its rarely discussed.

I have discussed my plans with a couple of coworkers. I'm already a reduced time employee though most think it's just bc I'm pursuing my passion in another paying part time gig which is also true. Only a couple know my plans to leave in the next 6 months.

My work is not really open about net worth but salaries are very open for two reasons. First, we do all our work through grants or contracts. So we have to see everyones hourly rate to bid properly. Second, as a public employee you can get online and see exactly what I made for the past 3 fiscal years.

DocCyane

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2014, 08:50:47 AM »
I don't share any personal financial information with coworkers. I learned that lesson two decades ago when talking about investments to a group of coworkers who knew nothing but debt. They were jealous and angry, and those are bad feelings to have among people who you must deal with more hours per week than you get to see your family.

I drive an older car, I wear simple clothing and as far as anyone at work knows, I'm living paycheck to paycheck. And I intend to keep it that way.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2014, 08:54:01 AM »
Good to hear so many folks have hit their number or are on the right track.  I haven't had anyone in my office run down the hall yelling "nanny nanny boo boo, I don't have to work and you do" - I don't think many of my colleagues are FI or trying to get there early.  I think that I am FI, but I have no reason to tell anyone.  I enjoy discussing personal finance, investing, and the 'concepts' around retirement, so I get some interesting insight into how other people think, but net worth and income don't ever come up.  I think that could make people uncomfortable, other than a couple of 'retirement age' colleagues that have been pretty open about retiring soon, but keep putting in year after year.

As an aside, Norwegians can go on a public database and look up the income and net worth on anyone's tax return (boss, CEO, neighbor).  I thought that was pretty cool, since it just bypasses the whole discussion.  It also helps keeps people from making obscene amounts, as it you are somewhat publicly shamed for getting overpaid.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 10:28:08 AM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

Dr. Doom

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2014, 09:53:08 AM »
Fast forward to the day I gave my notice.  " what are you going to live on" , "your husband must make a lot of money" , "you must have another job lined up you are not telling us about". The corelation that being frugal leads to not having to work was lost on them.   They just had accepted they would work until their late 60's.

Sounds like a fun experience, to tell these ladies that you were done there.

Curious: How old were you when you left?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: When you hit FI, will anyone at your workplace know?
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2014, 12:57:28 PM »
When I quit.