Author Topic: Has anyone praised your ER?  (Read 29028 times)

BTDretire

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2015, 06:15:01 PM »
@Spartana

House and Cars represent status and success in Asian community. People may work their a** off to drive fancy cars and live in a McMansion. One cannot own a house but needs to drive a Mercedes . It's so sad that we are perceived as failures if drive a Toyota. That's probably why one of my friends lives in a basement but drives a BMW.

I know someone who works 3 jobs to barely cover a $400k apartment she mortgaged and a Lexus SUV she leased. I don't understand but I guess that's the reason why it separates me from the rest of them.

Older generations save their entire lives and offer to pay off their kids' college and even their down payment for house. That's one of the many reasons why they can't retire. However, it's also the culture that adult children are expected to take care of their parents when they are old. I see that more and more adult kids are eating on their parents' savings and doing nothing. I think I may need to create a new thread to discuss this phenomenon. It amazes me every time I see adult children ask money from their old parents.

EDIT: cosmetics

  I'm married to an immigrant Asian, I learned early on that you don't waste money! We have lived frugaly for 34 years and can REFI, BUT!
She has no interest. I will retire in 19 months.
Yes she still wants to take care of the kids, But I told my daughter when she was young to elope instead of wasting money on a wedding,
and we'd give her the money for a down payment or... She did, so far we funded her Roth for two years and gave her $2000 when she bought a house.
Because that's all she ask for.
Personally I'd be done giving any more, she has a great job and the ability and knowledge that she should live under her income.
I can only hope she is, she says she is.
Although, I suspect if she needed money for something my wife would give more.
 My son quit college after two years, quitting college with an Asian mother, ohhhh. That has not been good. :-)
However, today I got an email from him with a form to prove residency for a college, so maybe he's going back.
She hasn't been told yet! If he does go back, I'm sure we will send more support money his way.
 We paid my daughters way through college and my son's till he quit. Did get help, they both had high grades
 (of course, their Asian, they better:-) and got Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship.
 As far as cars, not much show, but she did buy an Avalon we didn't really need 5 years ago, we have not put 2000 miles on it.
She is very patient, and waits for the car she wants at the right price.
  We have a small business she says she will keep it running in case the kids need something to fall back on.
I think they see us working 11 hours a day, 7 days a week 363 days a year and have NO interest. (13 years now)
The good thing is, our job is easy 65% of the time, and I can computer surf, watch TV, or walk a 1/2 mile lap near the business.
I can only hope a college education lets them work 40 hours and earn a good wage.
 Only 19 more months till I retire.
Anyway, the Asian culture strong work ethic, sacrifice for family is very important, saving face is important.
That one drives my buggy, lots of secrets hidden from family members, and I get put in the position where I'm
expected to support the lie.
 Overall, It's been good for me!

 



BTDretire

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2015, 07:38:27 PM »
Qmavan - I think a lot of the desire to appear very upscale by having fancy cars and mcmansion, nice clothes and bling, yet still living in very large family groups or in heavily shared spaces even within the mcmansions as a way to save money, is due to being in a large Asia (Vietnamese in my case) community of close of 100,000 in a small area (Little Saigon) rather than just being Asian. Lots more peer pressure to keep up with the Jones and show status. There's this weird mix of old ways family and community orientated -  mix with western culture of appearing wealthy and having a high social standing and doing whatever you have to have the things that represent high social standing. Most of the older folks really retain the old-world values but many of the younger in 2nd or third generation seem to be very interested in the upscale lifestyle.

 Vietnamese here also, but smaller community. My wife is very sensitive that others think the kids are achieving,
no one was supposed to know my son quit college. 
 When we have my wife's out of town visitors, they always want to impress us with how much they spent for this or that.
My wife bites her tongue, no one knows about our wealth, except my mother and she took it to her grave.
 One 67 year old grandmother in the family runs a business and keeps her son, daughter in law, grandson and a few other
family members employed, I don't think the business would last with the second or third generation running it.
 The grandmother does live old ways, family and community,and old-world values.
 The younger want the bling, 10 years ago lots of gold and diamonds flashed around,
but that part has passed.
 I'm sure there is 'keeping up with the Jones' in the western culture also, otherwise it would be quoted as 'keeping up with the Nguyen's' :-)
 I just see it more with my wife's family all around us.

Potterquilter

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #52 on: August 14, 2015, 03:19:55 AM »
My kids are super proud and have followed in our footsteps. One is almost FI in his late thirties and has kids!  The other is way ahead of where we were at his age and if all goes well will be there mid fourties. When we talked about it they are making a conscious decision to spend more now on travel and delay ER. For them it is the right thing. We were 52 and 55 at ER. 

One of our toughest critics who has spent her life thinking "poor me" while spending spending spending told her kids they should talk to us to find out how we did it. I took it as a compliment.

The won the lottery post cracked me up. One of the reasons we could ER was because we did not waste money buying lottery tickets. Joke is on them.

I'm sure you did well but does 52 and 55 qualify as ER?   Just curious.  Most everyone I know who has had a teaching or government gig (except myself)  has exited with sweet benefits and pensions around that time.     I always assume that anything after 55 is a late retirement for my generation.    I guess I'm wrong on that?  Probably a thread on what qualifies as ER that I have read and forgotten about already.

We have no friends who retired earlier than us, but a few who did retire at 55. This was before the affordable care act and with DH history of cancer, not something we felt we could risk. We could have gone out in our late 40's but chose not to. Those last years neither of us went the extra mile. We had lots of vacation time and had a ball. When you don't have to work your perspective changes. At 55 DH could carry us on an excellent health care plan.
I have seen several people posting lately about how they feel deprived in ER.  We have travelled the world, live in a beautiful home (average by normal standards, luxurious by mustacian standards) and give a lot to charity each year. If my kids need help with the grandkids, we hop on a plane and off we go. We give generous donations to the grandkids 529's every year. While not for everyone, working those extra years gave us huge piece of mind and allows us to be very generous. .  YMMV but it worked for us.

Potterquilter

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #53 on: August 14, 2015, 08:29:38 AM »
I was thinking about this more and even at the ripe old age of 55 people were bewildered. They could not understand how we could retire without social security already paying us.

Unfortunately I hope this mindset changes as the politicians fiddle with social security.

The people who strive for FI and leave the workforce in their thirties and fourties are very unusual, except for those cases where one person is the stay at home parent while the other still brings home the bacon.  Even many posters here have working spouses, at least part time  Probably a very small percentage of the population leaves the workforce permanently without a working partner before age 62.  Look around your neighborhoods and see how many non child caring people under the age of sixty are around all day.

Trudie

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #54 on: August 14, 2015, 08:35:07 AM »
Not there yet, but will be in 4.5 years, and many of my friends are a combination of supportive, envious (because I have a defined benefit plan in addition to my defined contribution plan, making this FIRE thing a lot easier), and amazed.  Several have joined the quest as a result of my example.

This is my experience.  I will be FIRE in about 5 years.  We'll probably move away because I do think it will be tough socially for us if we stay and we want to downsize and travel.

I figure that the advantage of moving somewhere new is that people may wonder, but have fewer foregone conclusions.  Perhaps they will think I'm a Kennedy.  Or a rich eccentric.  Maybe I'll fuel the rumors just to keep them guessing.  That's half the fun.

flyingaway

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #55 on: August 15, 2015, 10:28:30 PM »
My kids are super proud and have followed in our footsteps. One is almost FI in his late thirties and has kids!  The other is way ahead of where we were at his age and if all goes well will be there mid fourties. When we talked about it they are making a conscious decision to spend more now on travel and delay ER. For them it is the right thing. We were 52 and 55 at ER. 

One of our toughest critics who has spent her life thinking "poor me" while spending spending spending told her kids they should talk to us to find out how we did it. I took it as a compliment.

The won the lottery post cracked me up. One of the reasons we could ER was because we did not waste money buying lottery tickets. Joke is on them.

I'm sure you did well but does 52 and 55 qualify as ER?   Just curious.  Most everyone I know who has had a teaching or government gig (except myself)  has exited with sweet benefits and pensions around that time.     I always assume that anything after 55 is a late retirement for my generation.    I guess I'm wrong on that?  Probably a thread on what qualifies as ER that I have read and forgotten about already.
I think early retirement is considered before you start getting goverment benefits at 65 (depending where you live). I always saw it that way, so if somebody retires at 55, I still consider early retirement. Someone who retires before 50, i consider that extreme early retirement, basically because a very small percentage are able to pull that off. I guess the definition of ER is not a precise one.
I also consider anything before 65 as early retirement. I would consider someone who retires at 62 and ERer in the non-mustachian world too but here I think it would be considered late. Same with with the "extremely" early retirement. In the real world my ER age (42 - with no paid work at all after that) would be considered extreme but here it's sort of "normal" retirement age :-)!

IMHO, chasing an earlier retirement age is no different from chasing a fancier car, just by different groups of people, with different tradeoffs.

Slee_stack

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2015, 11:00:37 AM »
'Early' is a relative term, not absolute, so point of reference is necessary.

The SS benefit age is as good as any as the common reference.  Some gov't employees do have pensions and earlier (and even 'mandatory') retirement ages.  They are still a minority of the workforce though.

IMO anything sub 62 is 'Early'.

We can add additional adjectives to sub 50, sub 40, and sub 30.  At that point, it becomes what sounds best.  ''Extra Early', 'Extreme Early', 'Eye Poppingly Early', and so forth.

I admit a twinge of envy who have FIRE'd, but more so by the skill and/or commitment versus my own.  In other words, my bad. 

The average consumer is indeed ignorant, so it is only logical they will react even more negatively.

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2015, 12:54:16 PM »
Spartana, I can't believe that in your neighborhood people have such expensive cars.  Our neighborhood has average cars that go with average homes. But most homes only have 1 family in them. I think it is sad that they are choosing to spend their $ that way. Give me a decent house & a junky car any day:))

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2015, 01:29:11 PM »
WE drive our cars until they are dead. Last 2 just died at 14 yo each. We then replaced with 5 yo cars which we will do the same with.  Rinse & repeat.  We are thinking that they next time a car dies we will be in early 70's & will probably just downsize to one car.

patrickza

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2015, 05:14:01 AM »
We have found the perfect response when people ask us this.  We just tell them we're going to start selling Amway.  It shuts them up really quickly!  LOL.

Remember to add "kidding" unless they're friends you don't really want to keep. I avoid that sort of salesman like the plague, friend or not.

smiller257

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2015, 12:41:03 PM »
I would say 90% of the time, people are really happy for me once they find out that I retired early. I've only had a few instances where friends could no longer related and pulled back.

azure975

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2015, 04:52:25 PM »
Like KisKis, I am also American born Chinese and agree with many of her observations. Frugality is definitely an Asian value but so is "success"--I feel like I would be looked down upon in the Asian community for retiring early even if I could well afford it. It would be considered lazy and shiftless, especially in comparison to old ladies who are still toiling hard at their jobs to put their children through Ivy League schools. Success is considered being a surgeon, a partner in a law firm, or an engineer at a successful startup, not having leisure time and autonomy. Add to that the fact that I'm childfree and I might as well get expelled from the Asian race. Fortunately I live in a major city where I can choose to associate with people who don't have such narrow views, otherwise I'd go crazy!

pbkmaine

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2015, 07:51:49 PM »
For those who have to deal with disapproving friends and family - all you need is a cover story. Don't say you are retired. Tell people you are working as a consultant or you are writing a novel.

Jellyfish

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #63 on: September 22, 2015, 07:22:26 AM »
I am so thankful that I got my frugal habits from my parents.  My mom mostly worked at home, and my dad retired at 50.  None of their friends ever understood.  They love that I intend to follow in their footsteps, though I will likely retire at 51/52 when my son graduates high school.  I found MMM and this forum and told my dad.  We have never exchanged user names and I don't know if he regularly reads/posts but if he reads this...hi Dad!

MsSnowBlack

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #64 on: September 24, 2015, 01:59:17 PM »
Like KisKis, I am also American born Chinese and agree with many of her observations. Frugality is definitely an Asian value but so is "success"--I feel like I would be looked down upon in the Asian community for retiring early even if I could well afford it. It would be considered lazy and shiftless, especially in comparison to old ladies who are still toiling hard at their jobs to put their children through Ivy League schools. Success is considered being a surgeon, a partner in a law firm, or an engineer at a successful startup, not having leisure time and autonomy. Add to that the fact that I'm childfree and I might as well get expelled from the Asian race. Fortunately I live in a major city where I can choose to associate with people who don't have such narrow views, otherwise I'd go crazy!

I agree you 100% about what Asian values. I'm very thankful that frugality is in my genes so that I know I need to save even before knowing this FIRE concept ever exists. However, I also feel that most of my friends are not on board and would give me weird look when I bring it up so I keep my mouth shut. When I eventually FIRE I may need to "lie" about what I do for a living.
 
Also, as Spartana mentioned earlier, it's not uncommon for Asians (especially guys) to buy expensive cars but live with roommates. I was told that driving expensive cars give them more chance of getting a hot girl. Well, that may be true but I would think it's more for their own ego.
 
I just had a conversation with an Asian friend who was considering leasing a new car as the old one is about to end. He is totally rational in terms of knowing how much he can afford each month to pay for a car which is about as the same as what he is paying now for a Civic. I know he wants to buy a house with is fiance in the near future and he also understands that his top priority is to save money. I suggested getting a Carola if he wants a change (I didn't even mention getting a used car as 99.9% Asian I know would feel insulted if suggested getting a used car!). The very next day, he told me he will get a Lexus NX SUV. I was shocked. He just said "I had to. Can't resist." Face Palm.

RosieTR

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Re: Has anyone praised your ER?
« Reply #65 on: September 24, 2015, 09:01:16 PM »
I have a few friends IRL who have semi-ER'd in their 50s. They were the ones sort of uncomfortable to admit it, while I was all like "that's great! Congrats! Can I ask how because I want to do something like that too!" But it has led to some good conversations after the initial weirdness. In these cases it does seem like their later FIRE age than what I am hoping for has also meant a little more spendy than we will likely be. But everyone is different and 50s is OK. My dad was 58 and my goal is to best that, hopefully by at least a decade ;-)