My early retirement is causing consternation

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Sidney
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Post by Sidney » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:57 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sidney wrote:Rarely do people ask me what I do with my time. When they do, I don't say a thing. It makes them a bit uncomfortable but they never ask again. Nobody who is important to me has ever asked this question. As for the others, I don't mind if they are uncomfortable with the silence.
A lot depends on the intonation and intent. If one sincerely wants to know what people do in retirement -- as is common in this Forum -- I don't see much harm in educating uninitiated.

If, on the other hand, the questioning is judgmental then evasive answers are appropriate.

Victoria
Yes, I agree. I was mostly referring to people who throw out the standard question "what do you do with your time?"
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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LH
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Post by LH » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:16 am

zinnia wrote:Began retirement at 54. I could always tell the people still working it bothered the most, they seemed to be so concerned about how I would fill my free time...it was comical
So how do you fill your free time?

Argh, You got me!

Ron
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Post by Ron » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:12 am

Sidney wrote:Yes, I agree. I was mostly referring to people who throw out the standard question "what do you do with your time?"
One thought, as posted on the E.R. board:

"It's not the beginning of the end.....it's the end of the beginning....only the end of one single chapter in life......there are many more chapters yet to be written....by you! You are you now, and you will continue to be you after retiring. The only major difference will be that you no longer will have a job to clutter or clog your mind and/or life! You'll no longer have to meet someone else's standards.....you get to set your own standards, and achieve whatever you want to achieve.

Your job is not who you are, it's merely been a means to reach the beginning of a new chapter in your life.....the beginning of a new journey.

It's like you drive to the airport....but the airport isn't your destination. At the airport you board a plane....but the plane isn't your destination. The plane drops you off in some port city.....but that port city isn't your destination. In the port city you hop aboard a cruise ship.....but the cruise ship isn't your destination. The cruise ship take you to some tropical paradise......and it can go on and on and on, limited only by your desires and your imagination. Each step is just a tiny piece of puzzle of your life's journey. As you keep pressing forward, the past will gradually fade into the distance.....not necessarily forgotten, but rather just not as important as the present. I remember the past, but I don't live there....and I look forward to the future, but I haven't reached it yet....so I just live each moment for all it's worth, and life is great!

I've had friends who've asked me, "So what's retirement like?" My answer to them is, "Remember when you were a little kid.....before the big people sent you to kindergarten? Remember those seemingly endless days of play? Those days when you got up and ate breakfast, then went out to play? Then you'd come in for lunch and a nap, and then go back out to play until supper time? Then after supper you'd go out to play until dark or until bedtime....whichever you could get away with? Then you'd start all over the next day? Well, that's what retirement is like!!!"

No need to fear....come on in! The water's great!!!"


- Ron

dr_g
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by dr_g » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:56 am

johnny wrote:Hi Bogleheads,

I just decided many years ago that I wanted early retirement more than a nice big house or a vacation home or a Cadillac SUV. I think normal people, i.e., non-Bogleheads, :wink: if they're in good shape financially in their mid-50's, just continue to acquire more goodies, and keep working till they're 62 or 65 or whenever.
"Everything you own owns a piece of you"

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VictoriaF
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Re: Some answers about early retirement

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:15 pm

bob90245 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Possible answers to inquiries about early retirement:
1. "The doctor told me I have a limited time to live."
- This is true, everybody has a limited time to live.
- Usually, cuts off any further questions.

2. "I want to try my hand in writing."
- Also, cuts off followup questions.
- Quite true, because "writing" means different things to different people.

3. "It's Victoria Secret."
- Works only if your name is "Victoria."

Victoria
I don't like any of those answers. But maybe others can provide theirs. This would be mine:

"I'm a portfolio manager."
- Perfectly true. They don't have to know I have myself as the only client. And most people are intimidated by investing anyway. Which will discourage any follow up questions.
Street walker? As in "A Random Walk Down Wall Street." :lol: By the way, my previous suggestions were tongue in cheek. :-?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Sidney
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Re: Some answers about early retirement

Post by Sidney » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:34 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
bob90245 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Possible answers to inquiries about early retirement:
1. "The doctor told me I have a limited time to live."
- This is true, everybody has a limited time to live.
- Usually, cuts off any further questions.

2. "I want to try my hand in writing."
- Also, cuts off followup questions.
- Quite true, because "writing" means different things to different people.

3. "It's Victoria Secret."
- Works only if your name is "Victoria."

Victoria
I don't like any of those answers. But maybe others can provide theirs. This would be mine:

"I'm a portfolio manager."
- Perfectly true. They don't have to know I have myself as the only client. And most people are intimidated by investing anyway. Which will discourage any follow up questions.
Street walker? As in "A Random Walk Down Wall Street." :lol: By the way, my previous suggestions were tongue in cheek. :-?

Victoria
Q: "What do you do?" A:"I am a psychopath." :shock:
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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catdude
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Post by catdude » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:39 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions, folks. I especially like the one about telling folks that I work for the CIA now and can't discuss work-related issues. This is good because I live in the D.C. area, so this will sound plausible... I'm also not too far away from the headquarters of the National Security Agency; maybe I'll tell people that I work there now...

johnny

The two biggest lies in the world:
1. When the auditor says, "I'm here to help."
2. When the auditee says, "We're glad you're here."

madpunster
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Post by madpunster » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:56 pm

answering "sex therapist" throws people for a loop
you can run with the ball from there

tmhalley
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Post by tmhalley » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:32 pm

I retired a little later (age 60+) but still get a lot of the same questions and snide comments. The comments are usually about what am I going to do with my time and whether I have enough money to retire.

I usually say two things:

1. "I am still working. I just get to choose when and what I work on." For me, that means a lot of work related to my church and other volunteer efforts.

2. "I know how much money I have, but I don't know how much time I have." This comment gets people to think a little bit.

When it is all said and done, life is very short.

I wish you well on your retirement. Planning pays off.

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VictoriaF
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Post by VictoriaF » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:04 pm

johnny wrote:I'm also not too far away from the headquarters of the National Security Agency; maybe I'll tell people that I work there now...

johnny
Tell them "No Such Agency". ;)

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Stevewc
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Post by Stevewc » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:08 pm

johnny wrote:Thanks for all of the suggestions, folks. I especially like the one about telling folks that I work for the CIA now and can't discuss work-related issues. This is good because I live in the D.C. area, so this will sound plausible...
I previously worked at an airport, which of later years has been more secretive. We were reminded offend about confidentiality. Due to homeland security.
So I have given thought to just saying I'm not allowed to disclose my schedule or any information about my work. Of Coarse I'll use the confidentiality word when I decide to.
That should rid me of the one nosey neighbor I deal with from time to time.
Steve
Ladies and Gentiles | Monkeys and Reptiles | I come before ya, to stand behind ya, tell you something I know nothing about !!!

The Wizard
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Post by The Wizard » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:10 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
johnny wrote:I'm also not too far away from the headquarters of the National Security Agency; maybe I'll tell people that I work there now...

johnny
Tell them "No Such Agency". ;)

Victoria
OK.
No need to say anything.
But I think we've nailed you now...
:wink:

minesweep
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Post by minesweep » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:35 pm

Johnny wrote:Hi Bogleheads,

I realize that this is a topic for the Early Retirement forums, and at some point I'll pose these questions to those folks, but I'm just wondering if there are any Bogleheads whose experience is similar to mine.

I retired a couple of weeks ago (hooray!) and when I tell people this, I get interesting reactions. A significant percentage of people are just perplexed by the notion of someone retiring at age 55. People wonder if I was forced out (nope) or got a cushy buy-out (no, unfortunately) or if I'm having health problems (not that either). It's none of these things -- it's just that I just decided many years ago that I wanted early retirement more than a nice big house or a vacation home or a Cadillac SUV. I think normal people, i.e., non-Bogleheads, if they're in good shape financially in their mid-50's, just continue to acquire more goodies, and keep working till they're 62 or 65 or whenever.

Anyway, for those of you who retired at a relatively young age, have you gotten these kinds of reactions when you talk about your retirement? I'd be curious to know.
"One of the problems of retirement is that it gives you more time to read about the problems of retirement."
— Unknown wise person

More retirement quotes:
Enjoy every retirement day as if it was your last and one day you will be right about it.
— Unknown wise person

Retirement: Twice the husband, half the money!
— Unknown wise person

Retirement takes all the meaning out of weekends.
— Unknown wise person

I'm retired — goodbye tension, hello pension!
— Unknown wise person

Retirement . . . is when you stop living at work and begin working at living.
— Unknown wise person

In retirement, I look for days off from my days off.
— Mason Cooley

The only way to avoid being miserable [in retirement] is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.
— George Bernard Shaw

Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five, I still had pimples.
— George Burns

When I retire I'm going to spend my evenings by the fireplace going through those boxes. There are things in there that ought to be burned.
— Richard Milhouse Nixon

When a man retires and time is no longer a matter of urgent importance, his colleagues generally present him with a watch.
— R.C. Sherriff

Retired — No Alarm Clock. No Commute. No Problem.
— Unknown Author
Quotes source

Mike

cataman
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Post by cataman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:23 am

Sometimes people say "you don't look old enough to be retired."



To which you reply " That's because I don't have to work!"

Ron
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Post by Ron » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:36 am

cataman wrote:
Sometimes people say "you don't look old enough to be retired."
To which you reply " That's because I don't have to work!"
I had to laugh at this one, since I did get that comment many times after I retired (at age 59).

Today? Being of SS age, those type of comments are rare (if ever). Be happy while you receive them. They will go away, soon enough :wink: ...

- Ron

Patchy Groundfog
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Post by Patchy Groundfog » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:28 am

I thought it was funny that when I told people I was retiring so many asked, "What are you going to do?" I always said, "I have to do something?" I still say that when people ask - rudely, I think - "So what do you do with yourself all day?"

Fifty-five-year-old retirees aren't so rare here, in a state capital with a lot of government workers and a large army base which attracts military retirees. And it seems to be pretty unusual for teachers to work past 55, also.
The best things in life aren't things.

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M_to_the_G
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by M_to_the_G » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:19 pm

Don't mean to resurrect a thread from the dead, but this thread was referenced in a new thread, and I like this one. :) I think that not having to set an alarm in the morning and having the freedom to sleep in every morning (or afternoon?) for the rest of my life will be PURE BLISS. Don't tell my colleagues or bosses, but goodness... I am salivating at the very thought. I do not plan to dedicate my life in retirement to saving Africa. I do not plan to become a concert pianist at 50. I do not plan to scale the mountains of the Himalayas and talk to sages and snow leopards to discover my "true self." No, I will just sleep in every day, and jumpin' Jehoshaphat does that sound amazing...
"It’s basically the plot of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' If you stick around, doing nothing, while everyone around you ****s up, you’re going to win big." - John Oliver

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David Jay
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by David Jay » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:22 pm

M_to_the_G wrote:Don't mean to resurrect a thread...
Uhhh...

I think you did.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by TheTimeLord » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:38 pm

As one of the people eschewing retirement I am a little perplexed by all these threads popping up where retirees are concerned about the reactions of those still in the workforce. Why is everyone so in tune to this? As someone who took 10 months off from work I am also curious about the responses about being amused by people asking what you do all day yet never mentioning anything they do. I have said many times when I took my time off I never really could figure out how to fill the days. Sure things were at a slower pace but that was because I really had little to do. My suggestion is for those of you enjoying your new found freedom and having your adventures don't worry about what people in the workforce think just enjoy all the new people you are meeting along the way. To the OP, I don't want a Cadillac but I do like my Lexus and I hope to be able to afford a new one in retirement, different strokes for different folks.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

2015
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Re:

Post by 2015 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:50 am

chaz wrote:" They're so busy now in retirement they tell me they don't know where they ever found the time to work."

It's the same with us.
Same with me. As my father says, I'm so busy in retirement I have to go back to work just to find some free time. :wink:

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graveday
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by graveday » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:34 pm

You can always tell people you work nights.

I kind of like Victoria's 'not much time to live', but it would be too lugubrious for most.

Independent
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by Independent » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:25 pm

I retired at 59. I don't remember any uncomfortable questions, or derogatory comments.

I had no trouble being honest about my reasons for leaving. I didn't like the new CEO, I'd reached financial independence, I thought more free time was better than more money.

How much detail would have varied depending on who asked.

10YearPlan
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by 10YearPlan » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:31 pm

Independent wrote:I retired at 59. I don't remember any uncomfortable questions, or derogatory comments.

I had no trouble being honest about my reasons for leaving. I didn't like the new CEO, I'd reached financial independence, I thought more free time was better than more money.

How much detail would have varied depending on who asked.
Good for you. I am not retired yet, and won't be for quite some time. But when the day comes, I will be happy to share the news and happier still to share the details of my day, and like you, the degree of detail would vary based on my audience. In fact, as someone who is still very much on the hamster wheel, I am genuinely curious what youngish retirees do all day. It's not coming from a place of judgment, it's more....aspirational, I suppose, because I literally cannot imagine retirement very well just yet.

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VictoriaF
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:57 pm

10YearPlan wrote:I am genuinely curious what youngish retirees do all day. It's not coming from a place of judgment, it's more....aspirational, I suppose, because I literally cannot imagine retirement very well just yet.
I travel extensively and in the first year in retirement, I spent 110 away from home. This included three international trips (UK, Spain, Germany) and several domestic ones. In the U.S. I traveled by air, car, train, and bus. At my destinations I stayed anywhere from nice hotels (Louisville) to hostels. The duration varied from 2 nights to 59 nights. In addition to the time away from home, I spent significant amounts of time at home preparing for my trips, and recovering from the long trips.

In D.C., I attend thinktank events, cyber security seminars, Smithsonian Resident Associates programs, international film festivals, and live theater. In Arlington, I take classes: Pilates, Zumba, some lectures. Recently, I started taking improvisation comedy classes in D.C.

During the first year in retirement, I revamped my finances from the accumulation phase to the distribution phase. I have defined my strategy with respect to the TSP funds and made the first rollover from the TSP to Vanguard. I also have developed a strategy for converting my traditional retirement assets to Roth. Right now, I am learning how to use online banking for checking, savings and CDs.

I am also learning about travel bonuses associated with credit cards and associated activities, such as choosing cards, qualifying for the cards, finding spending to qualify for the bonus, and finding reward flights.

On my long-term to-do list: learning Spanish, learning French (possibly in France), and learning photography.

I don't have a TV and don't watch Netflix and stuff like that.

I am writing a book, albeit much slower than I had hoped. I am reading a lot, but not as much as I'd like.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

quantAndHold
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:50 pm

You can always tell people you're a "private investor".

I have a friend who retired at 54 to become a tennis pro. She's my role model. I intend to do the same thing next year. My only problem is that I'm not that good at tennis.

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munemaker
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Re: My early retirement is causing consternation

Post by munemaker » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:43 pm

johnny wrote:Hi Bogleheads,

I realize that this is a topic for the Early Retirement forums, and at some point I'll pose these questions to those folks, but I'm just wondering if there are any Bogleheads whose experience is similar to mine.

I retired a couple of weeks ago (hooray!) and when I tell people this, I get interesting reactions. A significant percentage of people are just perplexed by the notion of someone retiring at age 55. People wonder if I was forced out (nope) or got a cushy buy-out (no, unfortunately) or if I'm having health problems (not that either). It's none of these things -- it's just that I just decided many years ago that I wanted early retirement more than a nice big house or a vacation home or a Cadillac SUV. I think normal people, i.e., non-Bogleheads, :wink: if they're in good shape financially in their mid-50's, just continue to acquire more goodies, and keep working till they're 62 or 65 or whenever.

Anyway, for those of you who retired at a relatively young age, have you gotten these kinds of reactions when you talk about your retirement? I'd be curious to know.
Around here, people are used to seeing teachers retire early. If you retired very early, they would assume you are a teacher.

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