Author Topic: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?  (Read 866 times)

chevy1956

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FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« on: January 18, 2021, 12:03:13 AM »
So far I haven't told anyone not even my parents. I'm sort of scared to tell people because I wonder what they will think and I'm even more scared to tell my parents who may react with asking me to do more stuff for them.

I'm really interested in how everyone has handled this issue.


Adventine

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2021, 12:44:57 AM »
Your money, your business.

You're not obliged to tell anyone, especially if you think they may just take advantage of you.

For those who you do choose to tell, it will actually be a good litmus test. Will they simply be happy for you, or will they start to demand more of your time, money and attention?

I'm fairly open on these forums because so many like-minded people hang out here, but I don't share much with people in real life, especially if I know they're not similarly oriented.


Linea_Norway

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2021, 02:00:11 AM »
We only told FIL, who also FIREd himself. We thought he did so at 52-ish, but it turned out he worked much longer after that. Unfortunately, he has been proudly telling everyone he knows about our achievement. That was not our intention at all and the reason we didn't tell my mother who is usually the person who talks too much about her children. DH wanted to keep his FIRE secret, as he was officially still employed and only talking a year sabbatical. FIL lives in another country, so our secret hasn't spread here yet. But you should realize that you can't expect people to treat your secret the way you anticipated.
I had in the previous years told a few frugal coworkers about my FIRE plans, to inspire them to do the same. They asked me when I left whether this was it. Because DH wanted me to keep it secret, I had to say no, we are only taking a year of. Although I ended up telling one guy and asking him to keep it a secret.

Maybe next time I visit my mother I will tell her. She responded very positive when we took a year of, as she also realized that life can be too short (my father died at 50). I would just feel a bit awkward when my brother would find out. He has struggled a lot with unemployment and probably isn't in the best position for retiring. And not of his own fault.

2sk22

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2021, 03:10:29 AM »
I did tell my friends and family when I retired. However, since I'm in my 50s, it was not quite such a big deal as it would be if I was younger. My announcement was well generally received - did not get much in the way of snark or annoying comments.

BikeFanatic

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2021, 05:04:39 AM »
I have only been retired 2 weeks and mid 50 I only told a few people that I was taking time off. I did not tell my family yet, concerned that they will want more of my time.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2021, 07:13:11 AM »
Nope. People know I am not working, a few know I may not really plan to go back to work and a few keep asking when I will be looking for a job. Not sure how people would react but based on what I've seen so far don't know I want to see it.

Malcat

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2021, 07:18:45 AM »
It's your business, but I would also explore where this fear is coming from.

That's a lot of power to be giving other people.
I don't share my personal finances with a lot of people specifically because I *don't* care what they think, so why bother sharing. But I have exactly *zero* fear of sharing with the people I do care about. I care about them because I trust them.

Do they always agree with my decisions? No, of course not, but I'm never afraid of their reactions because I trust them.

So why are you afraid of the people you should trust? It's not the end of the world if a loved one doesn't agree with one of your life choices. You won't suddenly explode if they think you are being foolish, so why be afraid?

My family and friends have frequently challenged my choices, but I know they do it out of love because they think I might be missing something. I listen, I respect their input, I tell them I appreciate that they care about me, and then I do whatever the fuck I feel like doing.

If you don't feel comfortable with this, I would consider that concerning, as this is the cornerstone of being an autonomous adult, and being confident in your ability to make serious life decisions.

Dicey

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2021, 08:04:51 AM »
I did tell my friends and family when I retired. However, since I'm in my 50s, it was not quite such a big deal as it would be if I was younger. My announcement was well generally received - did not get much in the way of snark or annoying comments.
This was me at 54. Now I'm 62 and it's not really early any more.  I still say it with gusto to anyone who inquires.

4tify

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2021, 09:34:47 AM »
I did tell my friends and family when I retired. However, since I'm in my 50s, it was not quite such a big deal as it would be if I was younger. My announcement was well generally received - did not get much in the way of snark or annoying comments.
This was me at 54. Now I'm 62 and it's not really early any more.  I still say it with gusto to anyone who inquires.

Love this @Dicey !

I used to tell people when I found out about MMM et al because I was so excited and thought everyone should know about FIRE. But then I realized most people aren't all that interested, or are so fixed in their beliefs that altering their lifestyle just seems totally impossible.

I'm planning to leave my FT job this year and I'm asking myself how I'll communicate it. I kind of want to follow Dicey's lead since I'm in my early 50's and tell the world "I did it!" But more likely I'll just say "I'm taking time off to figure out the next steps and enjoy my youth while I've still got it."

spartana

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2021, 09:38:57 AM »
Because I left my job fairly young I just said I was taking a long sabbattical - which is actually what I thought it would be -  but morphed into permanent RE instead. I found people did demand more from me than I was willing to give because I.had so much free time (single and no kids) so eventually just said I was working p/t or on call when I was in town (not travelling). It seemed to make things easier for me. Now that I'm older I have no problem just saying I'm retired even though, with a few exceptions like sister and BF, everyone I know is still working.

ETA: OP learning to politely say "no" asap goes along way towards stopping future demands on your time. Once I learned I can stall or just turn down requests from others without feeling guilty it both improved my life and people eventually stopped asking.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2021, 09:44:06 AM by spartana »

reeshau

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2021, 01:20:49 PM »
OP, I'm not sure from your description if you plan not to talk about it at all, or if you are trying to concoct some kind of cover story.  I would caution you to think about how you will talk about this not just now, but 10 years from now.  You might get tired of the story, but find a harder time with the whole truth after that long.

For me, I told my family that I expected to retire when I came back from Ireland.  Of course, I expected that in 2023.  Having come back to the US in 2020, I called it a sabbatical, and that was true:  I wasn't sure how my stache would fare in 2020, I had received a European-sized severance that discouraged me from working for the rest of the year, and I used that time to think about where I was.  Come 2021, I am fully retired.  I do not shout it to the heavens, but I am open about it, if it comes up.  And I have no trouble telling people "no" if they assume I have oodles of time to give them--I have a lot going on!

Malcat

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2021, 01:55:50 PM »
OP, I'm not sure from your description if you plan not to talk about it at all, or if you are trying to concoct some kind of cover story.  I would caution you to think about how you will talk about this not just now, but 10 years from now.  You might get tired of the story, but find a harder time with the whole truth after that long.

For me, I told my family that I expected to retire when I came back from Ireland.  Of course, I expected that in 2023.  Having come back to the US in 2020, I called it a sabbatical, and that was true:  I wasn't sure how my stache would fare in 2020, I had received a European-sized severance that discouraged me from working for the rest of the year, and I used that time to think about where I was.  Come 2021, I am fully retired.  I do not shout it to the heavens, but I am open about it, if it comes up.  And I have no trouble telling people "no" if they assume I have oodles of time to give them--I have a lot going on!

Also be careful concocting a story that is actually a lie. It's psychologically exhausting and damaging to consistently lie to those close to you. Sometimes it's necessary, but it comes at a cost, which might be worse than just dealing with reality head on

Mmm_Donuts

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2021, 03:28:33 PM »
I hear what Malcat is saying, and I wish it was that easy, but I just can't see sharing FIRE with the friends I'm close with who are in debt or have no assets and feel stuck in life. How would I do that without rubbing "I'm so rich you guys!" in their faces?

I tell people selectively - if they are in a similar situation. Otherwise I keep it to myself.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2021, 04:56:52 PM »
I hear what Malcat is saying, and I wish it was that easy, but I just can't see sharing FIRE with the friends I'm close with who are in debt or have no assets and feel stuck in life. How would I do that without rubbing "I'm so rich you guys!" in their faces?

I tell people selectively - if they are in a similar situation. Otherwise I keep it to myself.

Exactly why I don't really mention it. In my case some friends who scrape by cause they've made horrible life choices and then seem annoyed that I can do what I want

Malcat

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2021, 04:57:29 PM »
I hear what Malcat is saying, and I wish it was that easy, but I just can't see sharing FIRE with the friends I'm close with who are in debt or have no assets and feel stuck in life. How would I do that without rubbing "I'm so rich you guys!" in their faces?

I tell people selectively - if they are in a similar situation. Otherwise I keep it to myself.

I never said it was easy, and I acknowledged that sometimes maintaining a lie is necessary, but that doesn't mean it doesn't come at a cost.

Also, FWIW, I have no problem being open about my financial circumstances with my loved ones who are struggling. I don't believe that I need to suffer along with them in order to be able to be close to them, to offer them compassion, etc.

I suffer from a severe, horrible, constant pain-causing illness and I don't resent my loved ones who are able-bodied and free of pain. I don't consider it "rubbing it in" when my siblings tell me about mountain biking and playing basketball.

Each person needs to determine their own solutions for managing interpersonal relationships. I'm just sharing that I consider it quite a harsh sacrifice to have to live a lie.

And there is a distinct difference between being private and straight up lying to loved ones. The latter is psychologically costly.

markbike528CBX

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2021, 05:50:24 PM »
OP @chevy1956,

I was willing to bet a lot of expensive beverages that this question had been asked loads of times prior.

Not so much.  But some. Here are the most related threads.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/what-do-you-tell-people-you-do-do-people-believe-you-are-retired/

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/friends'-reaction-post-fire/

I have not had negative reactions (but I was 53.5).  I'd wait till a question arises and tell the truth.  If other people can't handle it, you need to realize that the problem lies with those people, not you.  A couple quick "no" answers to time-sucks should clear things up.
Of course, I'm 2000+ miles away from the old hometown, family etc, so there was no temptation for anyone to consider requesting me for time-suck tasks.



Dreamer40

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2021, 06:46:51 PM »
Iím open about it with anyone who cares. I talk money with my family a fair amount because I want my parents to know Iím there for them. We talk through their own financial decisions. But my family is supportive and kind. They also have questions and want to make good choices, even if none of them are on the FIRE path.

Iíve always told my colleagues that my plan was save and exit our industry early. But most people donít actually want to hear about it. And a lot of them donít believe me so I donít bring it up. But occasionally someone will tell another another colleague that Iím doing this crazy early retirement thing and they should come ask me about it. FIRE is not that familiar to many people so Iím always happy to introduce them to the idea in case they like it.

step_away

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2021, 08:07:19 PM »
I told my immediate family of my plan to FIRE a few years ahead to manage their expectations.  A few friends also know since I've been planning to retire early since college.

My parents like to work and are the type to always look for opportunity to earn more.  They didn't understand at first but eventually came to accept it. 

My mom still worries I don't have enough and started giving me "pocket money" like when I was a kid though I repeatedly told her I'm ok.  She started saying it's an advance on my inheritance.  SMH and 😂

Almost felt like I'm boomerang and not FIRE'd
« Last Edit: January 18, 2021, 08:12:09 PM by step_away »

chevy1956

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2021, 10:00:44 PM »
Hi everyone. I've read through all the linked threads and the comments on here. It's great stuff. Thank You !

I tell you something the part of actually retiring to me is really tough. It's great to have a community on here to discuss this stuff. At the same time I feel like I'm complaining about something this is awesome. It's actually been a big adjustment phase for me. You can call it a detox phase but adjustment phase works better for me. I am completely down with the maths part of FIRE including investing and spending and SORR. I'm cool with all of this stuff.

Anyway atm I think I'm leaning towards telling anyone who asks that I'm on sabbatical which is true. I have no intention of returning to work. I'm loving this lifestyle. I will probably joke about how I can't see myself going back to work and see how that goes.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2021, 10:04:27 PM by chevy1956 »

markbike528CBX

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2021, 10:34:08 PM »
OP    @chevy1956, it is not clear to me if you are or are not currently employed.

If you have a boss, I wouldn't be explicit with your plans, until you reach whatever bonuses, promotions, layoff severance, etc you give a f#$% about.
Once you give actual separation notice (not sure of your location) you may or may not be frogmarched out the door, depending on company and boss.

chevy1956

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Re: FIRE - Do you tell people or not ?
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2021, 10:47:49 PM »
OP    @chevy1956, it is not clear to me if you are or are not currently employed.

If you have a boss, I wouldn't be explicit with your plans, until you reach whatever bonuses, promotions, layoff severance, etc you give a f#$% about.
Once you give actual separation notice (not sure of your location) you may or may not be frogmarched out the door, depending on company and boss.

I'm getting paid up until November this year but I am not working. I've been off since October. I'm not giving any notice until the last possible minute. If there is any inclination I can get a redundancy with a payout I will try and get that but I can't see that happening.

I don't give a ### about telling my work anything but I work for a big corporate and I honestly think most people including my boss wouldn't care apart from probably wanting me to go back to work because I get along with most people I work with.

Still unless something drastic happens I'm not going back.