Author Topic: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?  (Read 21110 times)

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Location: Outer Space
Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« on: January 27, 2014, 01:34:28 PM »
Assuming your friends are working full time (and you are middle age or younger), did you tell them your were FI? If not, what did you tell them when you stopped working?    Did you just make up an odd story?  Did they start treating you differently (ex: want you to pick up the tab for things)?  Just curious.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 03:01:15 PM by meteor »

luigi49

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 02:15:28 PM »
never ever do this.  There are a lot of jealous people out there. 

MrFancypants

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 02:18:33 PM »
I guess there are a couple of ways of looking at this.  On one hand, I value my privacy and don't wish to appear as though I'm bragging about anything.  On the other hand, I do like to help other people with their finances, and occasionally that means showing that you have the discipline and the knowledge to put your words into action.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2214
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 02:28:47 PM »
Not retired but imma tell you what I'd do anyway

Post-RE friends... only if they ask. you know the old joke, how do you know somebody's XYZ? they tell you. no desire to be that guy. Old friends, definitely. They already know it's coming (but only because it came up organically at some other time).

why be friends with somebody if you have to hide your life from them? I'd rather find new friends...

libertarian4321

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1322
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 02:44:07 PM »
I early retired from 2006-2010.  If people asked, I just said I lived frugally and had enough to survive without working, but I never told them I was a multimillionaire.

I went back to work in 2010 because I had an opportunity to work for a great company on my own terms (work from home, no requirement to work over 40 hours, etc).  Work isn't so bad if you don't have to put up with the BS that most companies expect.

RootofGood

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1361
  • Age: 38
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Retired at age 33. 5 years in, still loving it!
    • Root of Good
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 02:59:59 PM »
Most close friends know I'm retired early.  I'm not sure how I could hide it if I wanted to.  I don't really get into the details unless they are really interested (and they can handle the truth lol).

I've told some casual acquaintances that I'm retired and I don't think they really got it (who can possibly retire at 33 after all?  :) ).

Most mere acquaintances - I don't mention it to them unless it comes up in context.  And even then I might just say "I'm not working at the moment" and play it from there. 

I do however run a blog where I disclose all kinds of financial details, so if any inquiring casual acquaintances wanted to google me they could probably sleuth out who I was and find my blog.  Doesn't really bother me. 

So far, I haven't had anyone make snide remarks or be asses about my FIRE status.  Of course I tend to pick friends carefully (and avoid the asses). 
 

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 03:01:36 PM »
I let the info slip out with one friend. I got a look as if I said I had cancer.   It was uncomfortable. 

I don't know what to say when they ask "how are you supporting yourself?" They know I'm not working and find it odd.

My friends are good people --  but they tend to be low income and work their butt off (as I have), and money is an issue that comes up a lot. Since they can't afford much, we end up doing a lot of free/super cheap things (that's OK, but can be me more trouble than it's worth sometimes).

Most of my relatives are rural, low wage, hard workers struggling to make ends meet -- so I don't even want to talk to them about it. It would just be too weird. I did help my parents buy their first house.  My excuse was "I saved a little extra money."
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 03:54:45 PM by meteor »

RootofGood

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1361
  • Age: 38
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Retired at age 33. 5 years in, still loving it!
    • Root of Good
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 03:05:49 PM »
I did kind of put my foot in my mouth this weekend at a b-day party we attended.  A close friend asked where my wife was, and I said "at home working to document everything she does at work.  She's planning on taking a 3 month sabbatical and we might live overseas for the summer.  Dunno."   They are on a single income (stay at home mom) and might not have a ton of cashola like us, so my comment could have been insensitive.

Tyler

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1102
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 03:48:24 PM »
Depends on the friend.

With close friends you can be more open and discuss retirement planning, but even then talking specific net worth is a bit too self-serving for me.  It's unnecessary for the larger system points, and no good can possibly come of it. 

With looser acquaintances I'm not really sure.  If things go according to plan I'll be leaving work later this year, and I'm still not sure what my standard line will be.  "Taking a sabbatical -- we saved up for a long time" seems simple enough.

Interestingly, the trickiest group for me is family.  We're obviously close enough that I want to be completely open.  But some have money issues and I don't want them suddenly lining up for bailouts from the "wealthy" relative.  (For clarification, I would never leave my family out to dry in a desperate situation.  But the cutoff point is still a stressful gray area.)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 03:50:19 PM by Tyler »

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 03:56:56 PM »
never ever do this.  There are a lot of jealous people out there.

I'm just curious -- did something bad happen when you did this?

rocklebock

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2014, 03:58:42 PM »
I might be lucky in that my social circle includes some successful entrepreneurs, lots of self-employed creative types, and a few people who eke out a marginal but contented existence without actually working for money (at least as far as I can tell). So if I hit FI and just say, "I saved up a bunch of money so I could quit my job," I don't think anyone would bat an eye.

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2014, 04:01:47 PM »


Interestingly, the trickiest group for me is family.  We're obviously close enough that I want to be completely open.  But some have money issues and I don't want them suddenly lining up for bailouts from the "wealthy" relative.  (For clarification, I would never leave my family out to dry in a desperate situation.  But the cutoff point is still a stressful gray area.)

No need to apologize.  Families are the hardest, especially if they made (or continue to make) bad financial decisions and are angry you won't help them. I've also seen money tear families apart over tiny, nothing inheritances.

the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2014, 04:07:37 PM »
I'm not really FI but I feel like I have the same problem with an alternative lifestyle. I tell people I'm self-employed part time (which is true). Most people don't need to know how much money I have and that it provides a big safety cushion to do what I want.

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4496
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 05:33:27 PM »
I'm not FI yet. When I am, I expect it will be nearly impossible to keep the fact that I'm retired a secret from my friends, nor would I want to. I don't plan to start broadcasting my net worth though.

TreeTired

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 448
  • Age: 134
  • Location: North Carolina
  • I think we can make it
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 05:46:59 PM »
I didn't plan this.  My job ended, and after 5 years of not working I figured out I probably didn't need to work any more.  Only recently do I refer to myself as "retired."   I tell people I display all aspects of retirement (not working, not looking for work, doing volunteer work, playing golf etc), but the only thing lacking is retirement income.    I tell people I am living on savings which may or may not last me the rest of my life.

Dr. Doom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
  • Age: 41
  • Location: East Coaster
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 11:55:35 AM »
I'm 36, FI, and right on the cusp of quitting my day job.  I went through this question with my SO a few weeks ago and we decided to tell really close friends the truth, and lie to everyone else.

My close friends know I'm doing this anyways, so it's not news and won't threaten the relationship.

As for everyone else?  This information will change the dynamic.   I'm pretty sure it'll get weird.  This isn't for me, so I'm keeping the cards close to the chest. 

As for family -- no way.  I'm not going to announce any changes to the status quo whatsoever.  If anyone notices somehow that I'm no longer employed -- and how could they, really?  No one outside of your industry really gives a ship about your day job and will barely ask -- I'll just say I'm contracting which can explain irregular hours and scheduling.  My family is, as a rule, poor and makes bad financial decisions.  My entire financial position has been withheld from them ever since I got my first job out of college.  If they sniff money, the next step is asking, followed by bewilderment and anger when I say "no."  It hurts me to be in this position because I'd like to be open and honest about my life, but based on who they are, I don't feel like I really have a choice here.

Some of how you frame this decision has to do with how you feel about lying and privacy.  I value privacy and don't mind lying to protect myself and people I care about.  If you're more like George Washington and can never tell a lie -- this is going to be a tough thing to do.


luigi49

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 12:13:15 PM »
never ever do this.  There are a lot of jealous people out there.

I'm just curious -- did something bad happen when you did this?

Yes!!  You open a can of worms.  No one needs to know what you are worth.    If you can't discuss this with family do you think non family would be easier?  Think again. 

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 12:38:46 PM »
No one outside of your industry really gives a ship about your day job and will barely ask -- I'll just say I'm contracting which can explain irregular hours and scheduling. 

I like that idea--say you are contracting.  Also, you are right. Most people don't give a hoot about work.

Freckles

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5132
  • Age: 2014
  • Location: West Coast, USA
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 01:10:24 PM »
This is a problem I need to have.

Allen

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 01:23:27 PM »
Hmm.  I've never considered this.  I'm someone considered flighty, so I'm always going on about the latest thing I'm into, so for the past year or so it's been MMM / early retirement and about how I'm trying to retire within 12 years etc.  other than being a generally good idea to shut up, should I just shut up in general?  What are some of the cans of worms I will open if I don't?

MrFancypants

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 01:27:03 PM »
My family is, as a rule, poor and makes bad financial decisions.  My entire financial position has been withheld from them ever since I got my first job out of college.  If they sniff money, the next step is asking, followed by bewilderment and anger when I say "no."  It hurts me to be in this position because I'd like to be open and honest about my life, but based on who they are, I don't feel like I really have a choice here.


This is an interesting thought.  My in-laws are kind of like this.  My wife tells me that they think we're bragging when we say we can deal small financial bumps and emergencies without having to worry about putting food on the table.

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3107
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2014, 10:18:05 PM »
Assuming your friends are working full time (and you are middle age or younger), what did you tell them when you stopped working?  Did you tell them your net worth?  Did you just make up an odd story?  Did they start treating you differently (ex: want you to pick up the tab for things)?  Just curious.
What I say:  "I'm taking a few months off with family & friends, and then we'll see what comes next."

What they hear:  "I need to finish drug/alcohol rehab once and for all before I can even think about applying for a job at Taco Bell.  Say, can you lend me some cash?"

It's been nearly 12 years.  My father-in-law still thinks that his daughter and his only grandchild will be out on the streets any day now.

My father was the one who inspired us to ER in the first place, so no problem there. 

When I wrote the book, in some circles I heard "Oh, you're a blogger now?  That ain't workin'.  Can't you get a real job?"

I think we've shared our net worth with maybe two people, and we're not related to either of them.  It's easier to mention that my pension pays most of the bills and that we live a beach-bum lifestyle.  Even better, that's actually the truth.

ER definitely separates your true friends from your co-workers, neighbors, and relatives.  Even some of our working friends have drifted away until they've retired, and then they've returned with a comment like "Whoa, I get it now!"

http://the-military-guide.com/2010/10/14/myths-of-military-retirement-and-early-retirement/

AdrianC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Location: Cincinnati
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2014, 06:50:30 AM »
No one outside of your industry really gives a ship about your day job and will barely ask -- I'll just say I'm contracting which can explain irregular hours and scheduling. 

I like that idea--say you are contracting.  Also, you are right. Most people don't give a hoot about work.

I've been a contractor/consultant for over 10 years. When I make to switch to RE I figure I'll still take on small projects here and there. So I can truthfully tell people I'm still working (maybe "work is slow right now"). My wife's family have always thought what I did to be a bit weird. "He doesn't have a regular job!" 

Keeping the business has advantages. Writes offs and such.

I do need to get put of this more than full time consultant lifestyles, though. And soon. As I write this I'm at yet another airport waiting for a 6:25am flight. Not an MMM way of life.

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2014, 09:14:13 AM »
Someone in a similar thread once mentioned they just say they are an "independent financial planner" or some such vagary.  For me, I'm gonna shout it to the mountaintops, "I'm retired motherf@$%ers!"

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3934
  • Location: On my bike
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2014, 10:27:55 AM »
For me, I'm gonna shout it to the mountaintops, "I'm retired motherf@$%ers!"

YES!!

Dr. Doom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
  • Age: 41
  • Location: East Coaster
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2014, 01:23:13 PM »
Hmm.  I've never considered this.  I'm someone considered flighty, so I'm always going on about the latest thing I'm into, so for the past year or so it's been MMM / early retirement and about how I'm trying to retire within 12 years etc.  other than being a generally good idea to shut up, should I just shut up in general?  What are some of the cans of worms I will open if I don't?

Unfortunately I told my mom how much I made when I first started working.  It became apparent very soon that she expected a cut of the action because, well, she's my mom.  When I told her I was saving the extra money and it wasn't up for grabs, she got pretty upset.  We fought about it for months.

Amazingly, the solution which I stumbled upon down the road was to tell her I'd made bad investments and was up to my eyeballs in debt.  Debt!  Well, that was something the old bird could understand.   The lie repaired our relationship and I haven't discussed saving since.

I'd just exercise caution when talking about this.  Every situation is different.  Everyone's family is not like my family. 

Thank God.

Jon_Snow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4434
  • Location: An Island in the Salish Sea (or Baja)
  • Cactus Wren and Gila Woodpecker whisperer...
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2014, 01:24:06 PM »
I'm 80% sure I'm pulling the ER ripcord this year. I have given some thought as to what to say to people who may be overly inquisitive. I think I will get the most flak over the fact that my wife is going to continue working into her mid-40's (she doesn't crave ER yet, like hubby). I am sure a lot of folks will quickly deem me a "lazy ass" or "kept man". Do I mention that our investable assets are a 7 figure sum, and dividends come close to matching my previous salary? I honestly think this info would shock people more than the fact I'm quitting work (we are definitely Exhibit A in the "Do you look poor?" thread. The thought of poor relatives (and we have more than a few) coming to us for money frightens us.

I know I care a bit too much what people think of me - I have always been this way.

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2014, 01:44:19 PM »
I REALLY am glad to hear these responses.  It makes me feel confident that I should not tell people.  My relatives found out I paid cash for my house, and then they were calling to ask if I'd pay for grandma's cable TV bill (*I* don't even have cable and never have, plus she has several children.  Why call a grandchild?). Then I felt guilty like I was being greedy.   I never know where to draw the line.  I've paid for several things for them, but only what I value (like travel and education) so I don't think anyone can accuse me of being greedy.

The only drawback of keeping mum is there is no one to CELEBRATE with. I feel like I've made a MAJOR life accomplishment. But maybe I can just celebrate here, quietly.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 01:49:21 PM by meteor »

Dr. Doom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
  • Age: 41
  • Location: East Coaster
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2014, 02:00:24 PM »

The only drawback of keeping mum is there is no one to CELEBRATE with. I feel like I've made a MAJOR life accomplishment. But maybe I can just celebrate here, quietly.

Not quietly!  loud!  in CAPS!  CONGRATULATIONS! 

Seriously, though, it's an amazing achievement and it's hard to fight the instinct to run around and tell everyone.  In that respect it's almost like a teenage girl with a new boyfriend gushing about her crush. 

Me and my boyfriend do this.
My boyfriend says so and so.
Me and him are going to Aruba soon to spend every waking minute with each other, 25/8.

How do we all feel about those teenage girls? 
Irritated.



MandyM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 544
  • Location: Lexington, KY
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2014, 02:35:10 PM »
I've thought a lot about this subject. I've shared my plan to RE to only a couple of close friends and my 2 sisters. Thankfully, those few people are enough for me to celebrate with. As for the others, I plan to imply that my volunteer work has turned into a paid position. So I've quit my soul-sucking desk job to follow my passion for saving animals. Case closed.

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7636
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2014, 02:43:58 PM »
I'm not FI yet. When I am, I expect it will be nearly impossible to keep the fact that I'm retired a secret from my friends, nor would I want to. I don't plan to start broadcasting my net worth though.

I think that's a good way to put it. I'm years away from FI, but I'm pretty open about saying "yeah, I want to retire by 45. Even earlier if we can."

But my DW and I will likely be working retirees. FI will give us the security to start our own businesses and not have to worry about making a profit right away.

Shor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 480
  • Location: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2014, 02:47:51 PM »
I tried explaining to my GF what FIRE might mean and how the lifestyle might play out.... she doesn't get it.
I'll try again next year..

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2014, 02:48:43 PM »

The only drawback of keeping mum is there is no one to CELEBRATE with. I feel like I've made a MAJOR life accomplishment. But maybe I can just celebrate here, quietly.

Not quietly!  loud!  in CAPS!  CONGRATULATIONS! 

Seriously, though, it's an amazing achievement and it's hard to fight the instinct to run around and tell everyone.  In that respect it's almost like a teenage girl with a new boyfriend gushing about her crush. 

Me and my boyfriend do this.
My boyfriend says so and so.
Me and him are going to Aruba soon to spend every waking minute with each other, 25/8.

How do we all feel about those teenage girls? 
Irritated.

Q_train. You made me laugh out loud (teenagers). Perfect example. Touche' 
AND thanks for ALL CAPS nice congrats! Yippee!

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2014, 06:20:52 AM »
I will say the one thing I'm reluctant to reveal when I RE is how significant my federal pension figures in allowing me to do so.  There is a very strong undercurrent of resentment out there toward people who still have pensions.  And personally, I see the abuses and over-generosity of state and municipal pensions, and it riles me up a little bit.  But unfortunately, many people can't distinguish those systems from the FERS system, which is fully funded and well-run, from the Detroits/Illinois/Californias out there.  Hell, even the military, which has been off limits for decades, is now being scrutinized for their retirees' pension packages. 

AllChoptUp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2014, 08:27:43 AM »
Not FI but getting there.  We don't have a problem discussing our finances with friends because most of them are also military.  Everyone knows how much everyone makes, including bonus amounts for certain specialties, etc, so the income side is known.  We talk a lot about how to keep costs down, savings vehicles, tax avoidance, etc.  I am the only one I know, however, that does not plan to work after retirement :)

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2014, 08:49:13 AM »
Supposing I do actually pull it off, my spouse has had no interest in it and wants to keep working, so I feel like it might be a bit weird to use the term financially independent.  I might say I bring in my share through investment income.

Fortunately I don't have any mooch family members and am of the temperament that I wouldn't give them the time of day if I did but I can definitely see how that would influence people's decision. 

I'll talk about specific dollar amounts with anyone who wants to, but I find most people aren't genuinely interested in real conversations about money.
(David Sedaris has some funny bit about the New Yorker sensibility and how we'll start candidly talking money with complete strangers.  Two people will be on a plane and start swapping info about how much their tickets cost.  And "How much rent do you pay?"  And "How much did that prosthetic leg set ya back?")

needmyfi

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2014, 09:05:47 AM »
Don't have this problem yet, but I think it is much better to tell people that you have learned to live on a passive income of $40k a year than to say you are a millionaire.  Sadly most folks can relate to living on 40k, but figure a millionaire. should be living like Trump.  I do tell folks that my husband and I can and do live well on $26k a year,  but downplay our savings rate.

vespito

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Location: CA
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2014, 09:17:57 AM »
I've started telling friends that I plan on retiring early - mostly so no one is insulted when I decline invitations out.  I'm about 10 years away from the goal; I think my friends look at it like a science experiment.  Every few months someone will ask how it's going.  When I say "pretty well" and they see I am not depriving myself, I can see the wheels turning in their head...

So far I haven't noticed many of my friends getting defensive (at least, not publicly).  Last night I had the opposite - I was out to dinner last night (yep!) and my friend apologized that we were at a 'fancy' place.  When I told her I am happy to spend money on being with people who are important to me, she perked up and took it as a compliment.

edit: grammar
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 09:19:36 AM by vespito »

MooseOutFront

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 510
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Texas
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2014, 10:07:02 AM »
This has been a good thread.  I intend to set up an independent little business that will have a web presence when I retire from my corporate salary position, so I suspect the only real questions I'll get will be about how we will be able to survive the transition.  That will be pretty easy to say we've been saving for it for a while.  Then after a couple years I'll just be able to say that business is going well which may end up being mildly puzzling for people that know me well enough to see that I'm not working all that damn much.

At this point the big move is 6 years away so I have only ever discussed it with my brother and my closest friend.  My friend said, "how much do you think you'll need to be able to quit?"  I said "between $600,000-$800,000."  He raised an eyebrow and said "that's a lot."  I said "well we're not starting at zero."  I mean even if we were at $0, 6 years worth of maxing tax advantaged space of $60k per year is $360k all by itself.  Of course that savings rate is mind blowing even to people that make a lot and think they're saving at a good clip themselves.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:07:51 PM by MooseOutFront »

luigi49

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2014, 10:23:04 AM »
You don't owe anyone explanation why you are not working.  As long as you are not living off their money.

MooseOutFront

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 510
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Texas
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2014, 11:21:35 AM »
I suspect my father will be the biggest critic of this.  He won't be able to compute how a 40 yr old with young kids can up and quit right in front of the peak earning years.  Even if it is under the auspice of starting my own business.

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7636
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2014, 10:29:35 AM »
I imagine telling people your net worth would be considered very rude, just like discussing salaries.  What would be the reason for that? 

I don't tell people DH's salary, the cost of our home, our NW, etc.

See, that's just it. I don't think it should be rude to talk about any of that stuff. If people were more open about money, maybe there wouldn't be such a huge problem with financial illiteracy.

My side of the family is pretty open about money, but I take the cake. I don't overshare but I'll answer basically any question about money to the cent. My wife's side is the opposite. They love to spend/spoil, but never EVER talk to them about how much it all costs. My wife and I spend most of our vacations with them with jaws perpetually on the floor but we can't every say "NO, really, this is too much" without starting a huge fight.

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7636
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2014, 10:33:55 AM »
Not trying to be promotional here, but to show that I have no problem being completely forthcoming about money:

http://thegoblinchief.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/goblin-hoard-report-card-january-2014/

I've tracked expenses for years, but publishing it on the Internet for everyone to see really helps keep spending down because I feel like I need to defend everything. And I hope it helps a few people seeing hard numbers, just in the same way MMM's "Exposed!" series is illuminating (at least to me).

MrFancypants

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2014, 10:44:27 AM »
This thread has been an interesting read.  Generally speaking I've always been fairly transparent about my finances and have been happy to talk about them if it means having an opportunity to help someone else get on the right path.  But given some of the drawbacks to being that way that have been raised, the option to keep the cards closer to the chest does seem like a valid one.

nawhite

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1052
  • Location: An RV somewhere in the West
    • The Reckless Choice
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #44 on: January 31, 2014, 11:22:57 AM »
We are very close friends with a few other couples all less than 30. One of the wives in another couple is FI because of an insurance payout and inheritance (her parents died very young). She had been working for a few years but just this year decided to "Retire" (the mustacian definition, not the internet retirement police definition). She announced it at a big group dinner and I'm pretty sure my wife and I were the only ones in our friend circle who understood how that was possible and were just like "cool thats awesome, whats next?"

Everyone else seemed to just give her a funny look and I get the impression they think she's just living off her husband's income. Seeing how he has changed his work schedule to be 4 days a week and negotiated for extra vacation, I kinda doubt it.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2014, 11:51:06 AM »
Not an issue I have as of yet, but I definitely enjoy seeing the different perspectives.

So I think I've narrowed this stuff down to a couple of different questions/concerns.
  • Disclosing your net worth
  • Explaining how/why you're such a bum :-)
  • Family asking for money once they know
  • Friends asking for money once they know
  • Drawing the line as far as helping out friends and family

I've recently had a conversation with my mom, who is pretty much living the way the rest of the world does. Since I don't have a 'stache as of yet, and just recently started building up net worth, I've done a pretty good job of drawing that line in the sand since I couldn't do that previously. However, I used Google Docs (entitled "Mom's Hair Is On Fire" :)) and started rocking the numbers. Monthly expenses, savings rate, income, and all that, and how she can restructure things. Just general Mustachian advice, and some math. I felt that this didn't create any awkward requests, and empowered her to see how it could work for her. I've done the same thing with my sister (who is definitely not mustachian) with great results.

When I hit FIRE, I will shout it from the Mountain Tops (don't know which one yet, but maybe it'll be one of the 7 summits?). I will still have a side business, and still do projects, but I'll happily tell people that I managed to save up enough to not need to work. I'll then take the same approach I did with the family. Granted, I'm kind of an asshole, so I don't feel the pressure to help that some people do. :-)

stevesteve

  • Guest
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #46 on: January 31, 2014, 01:20:41 PM »
Not FI and not all that close but with only one real income we save 65% between retirement and extra mortgage principal so it doesn't have to be too far off especially when we get a full second income.

There will be very few people I explicitly mention I'm financially independent to.  It seems as irrelevant as telling them my current savings rate.  My guess is I'll only explicitly tell my sibling and maybe parents.  In my immediate family I'm in a good situation because I make less than the rest and they all are doing fine.  It's a great advantage because none but the craziest would try to guilt you when I make less and live in a more expensive area.

I think there will be a lot of conversations where it just comes up with friends.  My guess is it will come up if one of us is out of work for a protracted period of time and someone is worried or questioning.  I won't be announcing anything.  I think that helps to annoy people.  It it comes up organically I won't lie.

Yes!!  You open a can of worms.  No one needs to know what you are worth.    If you can't discuss this with family do you think non family would be easier?  Think again.

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3113
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2014, 03:32:31 PM »
I've been a contractor/consultant for over 10 years. When I make to switch to RE I figure I'll still take on small projects here and there. So I can truthfully tell people I'm still working (maybe "work is slow right now"). My wife's family have always thought what I did to be a bit weird. "He doesn't have a regular job!" 

I've gotten that reaction from relatives for a long time. "Does this job have benefits?," they ask hopefully. When I explain that I'm self-employed and have my own benefits, they get confused and reply, "Well, maybe they'll hire you on full-time." Their pity used to irk me but now it's taken in stride.

We reached "barely" FI last year and our close friends know.


meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2014, 02:32:29 PM »
Our close friends and family know we intend to retire early. We don't talk numbers.

Has anyone asked you directly how much?  I've had people ask me directly.  It feels awkward.

lexie2000

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 222
Re: Do You Tell Friends You are Financially Independent?
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2014, 03:11:30 PM »
Our close friends and family know we intend to retire early. We don't talk numbers.

Has anyone asked you directly how much?  I've had people ask me directly. It feels awkward.

Me too and I agree.  If you don't want to tell the person, what do you do?  I don't want to offend anyone, but it's not something that I'm willing to discuss with acquaintances.... and even some family members.