Early retirement

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skime
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Early retirement

Post by skime » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm

I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?

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Hayden
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Re: Early retirement

Post by Hayden » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:56 pm

skime wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm
I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?
Yes, a little bit, but nothing I would characterize as bizarre. How young are you?

skime
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Re: Early retirement

Post by skime » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:58 pm

I'm 48

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willthrill81
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Re: Early retirement

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:02 pm

Oh yes. I'm planning on becoming financially independent and will likely retire between the ages of 50-55, and when I've mentioned that to people, I've received a variety of responses. These range from "That's awesome!" to "What will you do every day?" It's not too shocking to most people to hear of someone retiring in their 50s, not as much as 40s or especially 30s, but it's still uncommon.

Another common question is "What will you do for medical insurance?," as if (1) you can only get medical insurance by working for an employer who provides it and (2) medical insurance is the only means by which you can get healthcare on this planet.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

AlwaysWannaLearn
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Re: Early retirement

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:11 pm

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

skime
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Re: Early retirement

Post by skime » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:26 pm

AlwaysWannaLearn wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:11 pm
Thanks for posting, Skime; I'll be following this thread with interest. I'm about a year or so from retiring early, but I've read many many things here and elsewhere about others' reactions to an early retiree's decision. I've also experienced unexpected reactions from close friends and family as I've discussed my current thinking on my future plans. From these experiences, I've realized that I need to develop a "communication strategy", and have already started doing so.

Question for you: In order to help you, it might help others here to understand what you've experienced so far at a more concrete level. Descriptors like "socially awkward", "rude", "confused" and "bizarre" are obviously subjective. That is, you might legitimately find them so. (Not judging.) Others, though, might find them nothing of the sort. Can you give some specific examples of what you've experienced, and which label you're assigning to them?

BTW, I recall reading one blog post from an early retiree expressing his bewilderment that the more he told friends/family/acquaintances/business contacts that he'd retired, the more they kept sending him job opportunities for things he'd be perfect for, etc. He said it reminded him of when he and his wife were thinking about having kids, and all of his friends with kids kept telling him of how awesome parenting was, etc. After he and his wife had their first child and were dealing with the usual issues of sleep deprivation, juggling all the demands, etc., it was those VERY SAME friends who'd been encouraging him to have kids who were now b*tching endlessly about the parenting demands.... :happy
For one, family members have told me they don't know how to describe to people what I do. Other people have told me there's no way I could have accomplished what I did and that I'd be back to the job market before long ( keep in mind they have no idea about my circumstances). I've had others tell me that I now have a responsibility to donate large sums of money to multiple charities. I've also had people get upset when I wouldn't invest in their business ideas. There are some other comments that came my way, but I think this is a good sampling.

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plantingourpennies
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Re: Early retirement

Post by plantingourpennies » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:01 pm

AlwaysWannaLearn wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:11 pm
I've realized that I need to develop a "communication strategy", and have already started doing so.
Just went through this at 35, had no strategy and yes, it felt awkward.

We told a few friends and family our financial situation so they wouldn't worry. Beyond that, I told my team at work I was leaving. A couple asked more questions and were confused that I didn't have another job lined up. Some of my former workmates are still sending me job opportunities-which is really kind of them.

Just tell them you're on sabbatical-it's true in a sense, and won't raise any eyebrows. If the sabbatical lasts the rest of your life, so what?

flyingaway
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Re: Early retirement

Post by flyingaway » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:05 pm

Why can't people ask questions? You don't have to answer any questions if you don't like to.

Hockey10
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Re: Early retirement

Post by Hockey10 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:11 pm

skime wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm
I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?
Yes, I have experienced all of the above.

I retired at 55. The first reaction I got at work was "how can you retire, you are only 45". (I am told that I look 10 years younger than I actually am ; this is the one time where I wished I looked 10 years older). Most people would congratulate me, while others would initiate an interrogation worthy of the KGB in the peak of the Cold War. I gave 2.5 months notice at work, and I got so tired of having to explain myself to others on a daily basis, that I eventually stopped telling anyone that did not know yet.

When they started to dig and I told them that I started saving for retirement at age 22 and my investments were 100% equity for 3 decades, I would get responses such as:

- I don't have any $ saved for retirement
- I have so much debt that I will work until I die
- My first wife took all of my money, so I have no hope of retiring until I am 80
- You can't retire until you are 65
- What does equity mean? :?

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Tycoon
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Re: Early retirement

Post by Tycoon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:14 pm

My response, "I'm starting a new job as a multi-million dollar retirement asset manager".
...I might be just beginning | I might be near the end. Enya | | C'est la vie

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willthrill81
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Re: Early retirement

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:22 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:11 pm
skime wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm
I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?
Yes, I have experienced all of the above.

I retired at 55. The first reaction I got at work was "how can you retire, you are only 45". (I am told that I look 10 years younger than I actually am ; this is the one time where I wished I looked 10 years older). Most people would congratulate me, while others would initiate an interrogation worthy of the KGB in the peak of the Cold War. I gave 2.5 months notice at work, and I got so tired of having to explain myself to others on a daily basis, that I eventually stopped telling anyone that did not know yet.

When they started to dig and I told them that I started saving for retirement at age 22 and my investments were 100% equity for 3 decades, I would get responses such as:

- I don't have any $ saved for retirement
- I have so much debt that I will work until I die
- My first wife took all of my money, so I have no hope of retiring until I am 80
- You can't retire until you are 65
- What does equity mean? :?
Yep. Many people think that if someone else is significantly better off financially than they are, it had to be due to luck, greed, or a combination of the two. It's part of defending their self-concept (i.e. "I can do no wrong, so anything bad that happens to me must be outside of my control").
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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willthrill81
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Re: Early retirement

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:22 pm

Tycoon wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:14 pm
My response, "I'm starting a new job as a multi-million dollar retirement asset manager".
:sharebeer I love it!
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

KlangFool
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Re: Early retirement

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:24 pm

OP,

Just say that you are an independent consultant or you are self-employed. That would end the conversation.

KlangFool

AlwaysWannaLearn
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Re: Early retirement

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:53 pm

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

scrabbler1
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Re: Early retirement

Post by scrabbler1 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:56 pm

skime wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm
I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?
I retired 10 years ago at age 45. I got some looks of bewilderment and surprise initially. But I have a small circle of friends and acquaintances who know I saved well and invested well and LBYM and had been working part-time for the 7 years prior to my retiring. So it didn't come as any huge surprise.

MikeG62
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Re: Early retirement

Post by MikeG62 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:02 pm

skime wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm
I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?
OP, I fully retired three years ago at 53 (DW was 51 and is also retired). We travel quite a bit and always get a look of surprise when people we run into ask what I/we do for a living. Never came across anyone who was rude or bizarre.

The typical comment is something along the lines of, “wow, you are so young to be retired” or “wow, what did you do for a living”. I have been a gym rat for the last 30 years so I’m pretty fit and look closer to 45 than 55 (I actually just turned 56 last month). Many people we meet in our travels are older retirees (60’s or 70’s), so we typically are at the younger end of the range where we travel and stay. So I think those things contribute to the surprised expressions.

Some people after finding out I worked in finance during my career, will then ask questions looking for financial advice (assuming I made a killing investing and that is how I retired - which is untrue). I tell them I did not run money for a living, but I do manage my own investments. I then keep the discussion at an appropriately high level, including telling them how I approach investing (if they are interested in hearing about it).

Others ask what I do all day, thinking I must somehow be bored (nothing could be further from the truth). After I walk through my typical day, that line of questioning quickly ends.

Some ask how I generate income in retirement. Most seem to assume I worked for a company with a great pension plan (not true as I have no pension) or retiree health care plan (also not true, we buy insurance in the marketplace and otherwise pay for our health care out of pocket). That conversation moves back to investments.

I think you mentioned awkward reactions from some family members. Here to, no such reactions from family members. Most stay away from the topic during get togethers, almost like it’s some private thing that should not be talked about. I initially found it odd that the subject is avoided (I don't know maybe it's out of jealousy), but otherwise I really don’t care.

My estate lawyer did tell me 3 years ago that he strongly believed I would be back working in a year or two. Said I had too much energy and enthusiasm to be retired and he had seen others like me many times before and they pretty much all returned to work. While I respected his perspective, I told him he was wrong. Three years later I can definitely say he was way wrong. I have ZERO interest in ever working again in any capacity. Having too much fun applying all that energy and enthusiasm to living my life.
Last edited by MikeG62 on Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

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Sandtrap
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Re: Early retirement

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:21 pm

skime wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm
I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?
I think those variety of reactions happen at any age of retirement and any financial status.
There will always be the 50-90 year old that condescends with, "oh. . .you're too young to retire. . just a kid".
There will always be the envious working ones, both older and younger with, "yea, I would too if I had your (fill in the blank)."
So, somehow, you're not deserving, don't measure up, can't join the senior retirees club, and so forth.

The best course of action is discrete and measured per the person you are interacting with. After awhile you will have a variety of standard "lines" and "dialogues" that work well.

Remember, whether age 48 or 78. There will still be a number of reactions across the board from positive to negative, supportive to condescending. In fact, seniors thrive on this because it's so much fun. :shock:

Live your life and fill it with memories and experiences such that you won't care what others think or how they respond. :D

Welcome to retirement.
Congratulations.
It's a new world.
:sharebeer

jabbahop
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Re: Early retirement

Post by jabbahop » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:25 pm

I retired 3 years ago @ 55 but really haven’t had any rude responses.

Most common response when I tell them I am retired is a pause and then “Ohh”

We didn’t really have any issues telling family though there is some envy from who wish they were in a similar situation.

Co-workers was interesting because I worked for a Silicon Valley company. The question HOW we could retire financially but WHY one would want to retire “because you have such a great job” and work for a great company. Many of my peers could retire financially but get a great deal of satisfaction and status from being successful in their career. They worry that their life would be unfulfilling without the work.

Explaining things to our teenage kids was the biggest challenge. One did ask if one was allowed to retire before 65. They are ok with it now but at first they didn’t know how to answer questions from their friends about what I did.

I think I might have it easier explaining my decision than some because my retirement came on the heels of recovering from cancer.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Early retirement

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:41 pm

I am stunned anyone besides a gold digger would care. I took a package from Megacorp not knowing if I would go back to work or not and in roughly a year of not working I can't remembering anyone asking or caring. They all seemed more interested in their lives than mine. Then again it not like I was shoving it in people's faces so maybe most didn't know, I am sure most didn't care.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

J295
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Re: Early retirement

Post by J295 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:50 pm

Retired early
Been at it about 5 years
Developed an elevator speech
Rarely see my work friends (co-owners) but remain strong and loyal friends

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tuningfork
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Re: Early retirement

Post by tuningfork » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:29 pm

I retired at 55 several years ago. I don't get those kinds of questions from many people. Although it's not a secret, I am careful about who I tell I am retired.

I spend much of my time now on artistic hobbies, so I usually tell people I'm an artist. For people who knew about my previous career I tell them I retired and am now pursuing a new career as an artist. I have some of my art for sale on various web sites and I have business cards. If any gold diggers start snooping around I can direct them to my web site and tell them since I don't have regular employment income I would appreciate that they consider purchasing some of my art. I haven't had to use that tactic yet but I'm prepared just in case.

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Re: Early retirement

Post by AlohaJoe » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:51 pm

skime wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm
I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?
Nope. I mean, I expect that when you engage in a lifestyle that some small percentage of the population engages in, there will be some momentary disconnects when people make initial small talk. Just like if you tell people you don't want to get married or don't want to have kids or don't eat animal products or are a non-Arab muslim or whatever. I'm early retired and people ask all the time "what do you do?" Because that's a thing you ask strangers you barely know in order to try to find some common ground or an interesting topic to dive deeper into. It works with 99% of people, just not with retirees.

I've always assumed in an Emily Post kind of way that social awkwardness is caused by two people and if someone else says something that could become awkward part of my responsibility in the conversation to the change directions and keep them from putting their foot in their mouth. Also, just because someone is curious or ignorant about a topic doesn't make a conversation awkward. But sometimes you have to say, "Hey, I'm happy to go into this in more detail over a coffee later this week but everyone else at the dinner party seems bored by the topic. I'll give you my email and we can meet up whenever you're free. So....do you think Croatia has a chance on Sunday?" Or whatever.

WanderingDoc
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Re: Early retirement

Post by WanderingDoc » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:56 pm

50-55 is considered early now?

Military enlisted can retire with pension at 37, officers with pension at 40. I would consider early retirement 35-40 tops, since there are a lot of entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and online business owners that do it at 25-26. I mean, they do it but of course they go travel or develop other products.
Rent where you live, buy where others pay your mortgage for you. | I'm not looking to get rich quick, I'm not looking to get rich slow (indexing}, I'm looking to get rich.. for sure {real estate}.

WanderingDoc
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Re: Early retirement

Post by WanderingDoc » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:58 pm

tuningfork wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:29 pm
I retired at 55 several years ago. I don't get those kinds of questions from many people. Although it's not a secret, I am careful about who I tell I am retired.

I spend much of my time now on artistic hobbies, so I usually tell people I'm an artist. For people who knew about my previous career I tell them I retired and am now pursuing a new career as an artist. I have some of my art for sale on various web sites and I have business cards. If any gold diggers start snooping around I can direct them to my web site and tell them since I don't have regular employment income I would appreciate that they consider purchasing some of my art. I haven't had to use that tactic yet but I'm prepared just in case.
I usually tell folks I am a photographer or hand model. They don't find out the truth until we are already friends (or lovers). I love your idea!
Rent where you live, buy where others pay your mortgage for you. | I'm not looking to get rich quick, I'm not looking to get rich slow (indexing}, I'm looking to get rich.. for sure {real estate}.

EddyB
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Re: Early retirement

Post by EddyB » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:27 pm

WanderingDoc wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:56 pm
50-55 is considered early now?

Military enlisted can retire with pension at 37, officers with pension at 40. I would consider early retirement 35-40 tops, since there are a lot of entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and online business owners that do it at 25-26. I mean, they do it but of course they go travel or develop other products.
I know you’re committed to your schtick, but the average retirement age in the US is 63, so even 55 is probably cutting the working years short by abiut a fifth, and retiring at 50 is closing in on cutting working years short by a third. Seems pretty significant. And of course, that people “retire” from the military and may qualify for pensions after 20 years doesn’t say anything at all about how many “retire” from working generally.

https://www.thebalance.com/average-reti ... es-2388864

Do you say that 6’6” isn’t tall, since there are at least a few NBA players who are 7’3”?

WanderingDoc
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Re: Early retirement

Post by WanderingDoc » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:41 pm

I am entitled to my opinion, just as you yours. 55 is up there ... means you've been working for almost 40 years. I started my first job at 16. Its not only military. State and government workers can do the same. So can those who focus on investments which produce cash flow. On this forum, 55 may be considered early. On Mr. Money Mushtache forum (whose philosophy I don't agree with at all) people are retiring at 30-35, no big deal.

EddyB wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:27 pm
WanderingDoc wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:56 pm
50-55 is considered early now?

Military enlisted can retire with pension at 37, officers with pension at 40. I would consider early retirement 35-40 tops, since there are a lot of entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and online business owners that do it at 25-26. I mean, they do it but of course they go travel or develop other products.
I know you’re committed to your schtick, but the average retirement age in the US is 63, so even 55 is probably cutting the working years short by abiut a fifth, and retiring at 50 is closing in on cutting working years short by a third. Seems pretty significant. And of course, that people “retire” from the military and may qualify for pensions after 20 years doesn’t say anything at all about how many “retire” from working generally.

https://www.thebalance.com/average-reti ... es-2388864

Do you say that 6’6” isn’t tall, since there are at least a few NBA players who are 7’3”?
Rent where you live, buy where others pay your mortgage for you. | I'm not looking to get rich quick, I'm not looking to get rich slow (indexing}, I'm looking to get rich.. for sure {real estate}.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Early retirement

Post by TheOscarGuy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:58 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:02 pm

Another common question is "What will you do for medical insurance?," as if (1) you can only get medical insurance by working for an employer who provides it and (2) medical insurance is the only means by which you can get healthcare on this planet.
It is a legitimate question to ask: we don't know long term what ACA is going to look like, and someone who obviously isn't Medicare eligible needs to address it somehow, if they also have a young family.

Dottie57
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Re: Early retirement

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:18 am

Even at 61 I have been told I am young to retire. However, friends have been happy for me -so am lucky.

No one asks me for money ( beyond normal nuisance calls).

student
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Re: Early retirement

Post by student » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:19 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:02 pm
Oh yes. I'm planning on becoming financially independent and will likely retire between the ages of 50-55, and when I've mentioned that to people, I've received a variety of responses.
Wow. That's great. I don't think I know any college professor who plan to retire before 55. Personally, I may do 1/3 retirement at 60 by not teaching in the summer. (It may be difficult to do since the money is good and I enjoy teaching.) I think many academics (myself included) have few interests outside of their work and hence delaying retirement. I know a few probably needed the money due to student loans and a late start.

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Re: Early retirement

Post by HongKonger » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:25 am

Retired 5 years ago at 40. No one has ever passed any comment other than well done. I am guilty of feeding into people's mental narrative that I must either be a tree hugging trustafarian or an eccentric secret millionaire - just for my own fun though because it appears that being an unmarried, childfree, and self-made woman is incomprehensible.

remomnyc
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Re: Early retirement

Post by remomnyc » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:44 am

I have been providing financial support for my parents for over 30 years. I direct deposit their monthly maintenance, but I send checks for birthdays and other occasions. I just saw my parents for the first time since I retired in May. I discovered my mom assumed I had been fired and retired because I couldn't find a new job because who would voluntarily give up a good gig? When I told her I quit because I had enough money and enough of the job, she told my dad to go to the bank and cash the checks I had sent for mother's and father's day.

student
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Re: Early retirement

Post by student » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:59 am

remomnyc wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:44 am
When I told her I quit because I had enough money and enough of the job, she told my dad to go to the bank and cash the checks I had sent for mother's and father's day.
:D

Slacker
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Re: Early retirement

Post by Slacker » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:12 am

WanderingDoc wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:41 pm
I am entitled to my opinion, just as you yours. 55 is up there ... means you've been working for almost 40 years. I started my first job at 16. Its not only military. State and government workers can do the same. So can those who focus on investments which produce cash flow. On this forum, 55 may be considered early. On Mr. Money Mushtache forum (whose philosophy I don't agree with at all) people are retiring at 30-35, no big deal.

EddyB wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:27 pm
WanderingDoc wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:56 pm
50-55 is considered early now?

Military enlisted can retire with pension at 37, officers with pension at 40. I would consider early retirement 35-40 tops, since there are a lot of entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and online business owners that do it at 25-26. I mean, they do it but of course they go travel or develop other products.
I know you’re committed to your schtick, but the average retirement age in the US is 63, so even 55 is probably cutting the working years short by abiut a fifth, and retiring at 50 is closing in on cutting working years short by a third. Seems pretty significant. And of course, that people “retire” from the military and may qualify for pensions after 20 years doesn’t say anything at all about how many “retire” from working generally.

https://www.thebalance.com/average-reti ... es-2388864

Do you say that 6’6” isn’t tall, since there are at least a few NBA players who are 7’3”?
When you state, "Its not only military. State and government workers can do the same" - are you claiming that State and Federal employees can retire with a pension at or around 40? Just wanted clarification on that point, TIA.

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jharkin
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Re: Early retirement

Post by jharkin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:24 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:22 pm

Yep. Many people think that if someone else is significantly better off financially than they are, it had to be due to luck, greed, or a combination of the two. It's part of defending their self-concept (i.e. "I can do no wrong, so anything bad that happens to me must be outside of my control").
Agreed. Ive seen it as well, and it comes out in things like that comment thread on the NYT article discussed recently. A very high % of people only live for today and think about retirement around age 62, so they just cant comprehend how this is possible.

I suspect my colleagues in the McMansions think I live in a tiny 1400sq ft house because I didn't negotiate a good salary or something :mrgreen:


I *do* worry however that extreme early retirement can cause some social isolation because of how few peers would have similar free time. I have one friend who is just about 50 and retired at 45 that faces this - he is always asking the rest of our peer group to go to events, etc and the rest of us all have to work. But that peer group is interesting - I participate in a pretty niche, and expensive, hobby and my close group of friends tends to be highly educated people - I know a few PhDs, a couple guys with electrical backgrounds who work at semiconductor startups, one guy who does biomedical research at Harvard, another guy who is a quant analyst at a private equity management firm. I do software. There is an age spread among us of 40 to 60 years old. The retired guy was an IT manager at insurance companies and just got lucky investing.

Of the entire group, only myself and the quant guy really know anything about money (and he knows MUCH more than i do). The PhDs mostly jump form startup to startup - they live fancy lifestyles but mostly plan to/ need to work till they keel over at their desk. The IT guy got lucky... but he also chases risky investments like junk bonds and may end up back to work someday.

When I bring up the topic of retirement these guys look at me like I am from another planet... Best educations that money can buy but they cant figure out how stopping work before 65 is even possible.

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Re: Early retirement

Post by gotester2000 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:03 am

Socially, when I tell I am a consultant, most people assume I am unemployed - people think making money online is a scam. Friends and relatives pity me(while I pity them for being in perpetual rat race). Spouse is trying to spend more so I may work more and compete with others and own more than others in her circle(and she can post more pictures on social media) - apparently that is success to her. I find it meaningless to own things that are not needed by me but family does not concur - so I do buy for them.

skime
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Re: Early retirement

Post by skime » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:19 am

Wow - thanks for all of the great and helpful responses.

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Tycoon
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Re: Early retirement

Post by Tycoon » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:54 am

gotester2000 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:03 am
Spouse is trying to spend more so I may work more and compete with others and own more than others in her circle(and she can post more pictures on social media) - apparently that is success to her.
I feel for you. This is a systemic problem that grew with social media. Good luck overcoming that one.
...I might be just beginning | I might be near the end. Enya | | C'est la vie

stoptothink
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Re: Early retirement

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:56 am

Is wondering what you will tell others really a concern? Why do you care so much what they think? FWIW, we are planning to retire in ~15yrs, I'll be 51 and the wife 47. We plan to wait that long only because we'd really like the kids to be done with high school and we both have a few things (professionally) that we'd like to accomplish, otherwise we'd probably do it in 7-8.

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Re: Early retirement

Post by flyingaway » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:59 am

remomnyc wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:44 am
I have been providing financial support for my parents for over 30 years. I direct deposit their monthly maintenance, but I send checks for birthdays and other occasions. I just saw my parents for the first time since I retired in May. I discovered my mom assumed I had been fired and retired because I couldn't find a new job because who would voluntarily give up a good gig? When I told her I quit because I had enough money and enough of the job, she told my dad to go to the bank and cash the checks I had sent for mother's and father's day.
I have been giving a fixed amount of money to my parents yearly for many years. I also gave them small amounts of money when I visited them. This year so far I visited them three times since I did not work, my parents were worrying about me and asked if I lost my job. I told them I am very unlikely to lose my job, unless I choose not to want it anymore.

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Re: Early retirement

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:02 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:02 pm
Oh yes. I'm planning on becoming financially independent and will likely retire between the ages of 50-55, and when I've mentioned that to people, I've received a variety of responses. These range from "That's awesome!" to "What will you do every day?" It's not too shocking to most people to hear of someone retiring in their 50s, not as much as 40s or especially 30s, but it's still uncommon.

Another common question is "What will you do for medical insurance?," as if (1) you can only get medical insurance by working for an employer who provides it and (2) medical insurance is the only means by which you can get healthcare on this planet.
I think they're asking about insurance because they want to know for their own purposes in case you've figured out something they haven't. Maybe it's the only reason they haven't retired. In another era I could probably have retired by now but I'm trying to hold out another year-plus (also known as "forever") to be eligible for employer insurance, which won't even work very well where I'll probably retire in, but it's far better insurance in most respects than I could buy on my own.

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Re: Early retirement

Post by gmc4h232 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:24 am

Tycoon wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:54 am
gotester2000 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:03 am
Spouse is trying to spend more so I may work more and compete with others and own more than others in her circle(and she can post more pictures on social media) - apparently that is success to her.
I feel for you. This is a systemic problem that grew with social media. Good luck overcoming that one.
Wow. That’s sickening.

gmc4h232
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Re: Early retirement

Post by gmc4h232 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:31 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:22 pm
Hockey10 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:11 pm
skime wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:51 pm
I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions.

Has anyone else experienced what I have?
Yes, I have experienced all of the above.

I retired at 55. The first reaction I got at work was "how can you retire, you are only 45". (I am told that I look 10 years younger than I actually am ; this is the one time where I wished I looked 10 years older). Most people would congratulate me, while others would initiate an interrogation worthy of the KGB in the peak of the Cold War. I gave 2.5 months notice at work, and I got so tired of having to explain myself to others on a daily basis, that I eventually stopped telling anyone that did not know yet.

When they started to dig and I told them that I started saving for retirement at age 22 and my investments were 100% equity for 3 decades, I would get responses such as:

- I don't have any $ saved for retirement
- I have so much debt that I will work until I die
- My first wife took all of my money, so I have no hope of retiring until I am 80
- You can't retire until you are 65
- What does equity mean? :?
Yep. Many people think that if someone else is significantly better off financially than they are, it had to be due to luck, greed, or a combination of the two. It's part of defending their self-concept (i.e. "I can do no wrong, so anything bad that happens to me must be outside of my control").
This is an interesting concept. I think people generally think they are doing the right thing with their money to the best of their ability and either aren’t interested enough or “too busy” to further their financial education and discover the error of their ways even though it is in their best interest.

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willthrill81
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Re: Early retirement

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:15 am

student wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:19 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:02 pm
Oh yes. I'm planning on becoming financially independent and will likely retire between the ages of 50-55, and when I've mentioned that to people, I've received a variety of responses.
Wow. That's great. I don't think I know any college professor who plan to retire before 55. Personally, I may do 1/3 retirement at 60 by not teaching in the summer. (It may be difficult to do since the money is good and I enjoy teaching.) I think many academics (myself included) have few interests outside of their work and hence delaying retirement. I know a few probably needed the money due to student loans and a late start.
I enjoy my work, but it is a means to an end for me. You are correct in that many in my profession literally live for it. I am not one of them; my faith, my family, and traveling are all more important to me.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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willthrill81
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Re: Early retirement

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:19 am

jharkin wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:24 am
I *do* worry however that extreme early retirement can cause some social isolation because of how few peers would have similar free time. I have one friend who is just about 50 and retired at 45 that faces this - he is always asking the rest of our peer group to go to events, etc and the rest of us all have to work. But that peer group is interesting - I participate in a pretty niche, and expensive, hobby and my close group of friends tends to be highly educated people - I know a few PhDs, a couple guys with electrical backgrounds who work at semiconductor startups, one guy who does biomedical research at Harvard, another guy who is a quant analyst at a private equity management firm. I do software. There is an age spread among us of 40 to 60 years old. The retired guy was an IT manager at insurance companies and just got lucky investing.

Of the entire group, only myself and the quant guy really know anything about money (and he knows MUCH more than i do). The PhDs mostly jump form startup to startup - they live fancy lifestyles but mostly plan to/ need to work till they keel over at their desk. The IT guy got lucky... but he also chases risky investments like junk bonds and may end up back to work someday.

When I bring up the topic of retirement these guys look at me like I am from another planet... Best educations that money can buy but they cant figure out how stopping work before 65 is even possible.
I think that fear of separation from their peers is very real for many contemplating early retirement. Thankfully, I'm an introvert, and the company of my immediate family is all I really need. Before our daughter was born, I commented to my wife that I could go live in a cave with her in the woods for the rest of my life and be perfectly content, due to both my introverted personality and our relationship.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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willthrill81
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Re: Early retirement

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:36 am

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:58 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:02 pm

Another common question is "What will you do for medical insurance?," as if (1) you can only get medical insurance by working for an employer who provides it and (2) medical insurance is the only means by which you can get healthcare on this planet.
It is a legitimate question to ask: we don't know long term what ACA is going to look like, and someone who obviously isn't Medicare eligible needs to address it somehow, if they also have a young family.
tibbitts wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:02 am
I think they're asking about insurance because they want to know for their own purposes in case you've figured out something they haven't. Maybe it's the only reason they haven't retired. In another era I could probably have retired by now but I'm trying to hold out another year-plus (also known as "forever") to be eligible for employer insurance, which won't even work very well where I'll probably retire in, but it's far better insurance in most respects than I could buy on my own.
I believe that part of the issue is because many people, including a lot of Bogleheads, view healthcare as a qualitatively different expense than all others. No one ever asks "You're planning on retiring early? What will you do about groceries, your utility bill, and clothing?" While healthcare expenses can certainly represent a large portion of an early retiree's expenses, that's not always the case. Justin at RootofGood.com has had an ACA plan for years that costs him something like $40 a month because they keep their income low despite their $2M portfolio and paid-off home. Certainly that's not an option for everyone, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach for healthcare, not unlike many other consumption categories, like housing.

It is also my belief that Americans with at least some financial stability have largely accepted the notion that healthcare can only be had with healthcare insurance. That was not true before the ACA, and it's not true today. There are other options, like medical tourism, becoming an ex-pat (high quality healthcare is comparatively cheap in many fine places in the world), and healthshare ministries (which are a bit of a hornet's nest around here lately for some reason).

But if someone really needs/wants medical insurance, they can just buy it. It just takes money, seriously. It's pricey, but it's need not be outside the reach of an early retiree. At my planned retirement age, my wife and I could get a 'bronze' medical policy today with a high deductible for around $700 monthly; actually with subsidies it would be around $400-$500 monthly. Let's say that the cost of a policy like that triples in the course of the next 15 years, the approximate time before my planned retirement. That's $2,100 monthly, about $25k annually. That would be 1/3 to 1/4 of planned retirement income. That's perfectly doable for us, and we don't plan on having a $5M portfolio either.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

randomguy
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Re: Early retirement

Post by randomguy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:17 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:36 am


I believe that part of the issue is because many people, including a lot of Bogleheads, view healthcare as a qualitatively different expense than all others. No one ever asks "You're planning on retiring early? What will you do about groceries, your utility bill, and clothing?" While healthcare expenses can certainly represent a large portion of an early retiree's expenses, that's not always the case. Justin at RootofGood.com has had an ACA plan for years that costs him something like $40 a month because they keep their income low despite their $2M portfolio and paid-off home. Certainly that's not an option for everyone, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach for healthcare, not unlike many other consumption categories, like housing.

It is also my belief that Americans with at least some financial stability have largely accepted the notion that healthcare can only be had with healthcare insurance. That was not true before the ACA, and it's not true today. There are other options, like medical tourism, becoming an ex-pat (high quality healthcare is comparatively cheap in many fine places in the world), and healthshare ministries (which are a bit of a hornet's nest around here lately for some reason).

But if someone really needs/wants medical insurance, they can just buy it. It just takes money, seriously. It's pricey, but it's need not be outside the reach of an early retiree. At my planned retirement age, my wife and I could get a 'bronze' medical policy today with a high deductible for around $700 monthly; actually with subsidies it would be around $400-$500 monthly. Let's say that the cost of a policy like that triples in the course of the next 15 years, the approximate time before my planned retirement. That's $2,100 monthly, about $25k annually. That would be 1/3 to 1/4 of planned retirement income. That's perfectly doable for us, and we don't plan on having a $5M portfolio either.
They can buy it today and pretty reasonable prices (i.e. <2k month). The question is going forward what the world is like. You think you worst case in 10-15 years is 2k/month. I think the worst case is more like 20k (i.e. you develop diabetes, preexisting conditions limits go away, you are forced to buy into the high risk pool, and medical costs keep going up 5-7%/year that they have done for the last 30 years). That is a huge range for planning purposes. We are talking another million or two in savings for a 50 year old.

grettman
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Re: Early retirement

Post by grettman » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:22 am

Talking about your early retirement situation is in territory similar to talking about paid for houses and net worth.

Personally, I wouldn't offer information about my retirement status. If asked, depending on who they are if I am asked about it I may or may not share.

What good comes from talking about these things?

stoptothink
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Re: Early retirement

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:38 am

gmc4h232 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:24 am
Tycoon wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:54 am
gotester2000 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:03 am
Spouse is trying to spend more so I may work more and compete with others and own more than others in her circle(and she can post more pictures on social media) - apparently that is success to her.
I feel for you. This is a systemic problem that grew with social media. Good luck overcoming that one.
Wow. That’s sickening.
Not sure why this is surprising, IMO this is by far the most prevalent reason for most consumer purchases today. I have this talk with my wife on nearly a weekly basis, but she is very good at talking it out and ultimately realizing that the real reason she "just has to have" that consumer item is only because someone else just got it. When she sends me links to things she wants, it is almost instinct for me to immediately ask her which one of her friends just got one. I have never once been wrong in this assumption (I usually don't ask, she later offers the information up). I am so fortunate to be married to someone who is willing to discuss these things with me before making snap decisions and breaking out the credit card. Sometimes she ends up getting the item - for instance, the purchase of an expensive new mattress last year when our current one was perfectly fine (two friends and her sister had just gotten a new mattress which had a lot of internet hype...she now admits it was a wasteful purchase) - but at least we talk about it first.

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Re: Early retirement

Post by bearcub » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:45 am

I tell folks that I"m a part-time adult film star. Many reactions. :shock:

gmc4h232
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Re: Early retirement

Post by gmc4h232 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:52 am

stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:38 am
gmc4h232 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:24 am
Tycoon wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:54 am
gotester2000 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:03 am
Spouse is trying to spend more so I may work more and compete with others and own more than others in her circle(and she can post more pictures on social media) - apparently that is success to her.
I feel for you. This is a systemic problem that grew with social media. Good luck overcoming that one.
Wow. That’s sickening.
Not sure why this is surprising, IMO this is by far the most prevalent reason for most consumer purchases today. I have this talk with my wife on nearly a weekly basis, but she is very good at talking it out and ultimately realizing that the real reason she "just has to have" that consumer item is only because someone else just got it. When she sends me links to things she wants, it is almost instinct for me to immediately ask her which one of her friends just got one. I have never once been wrong in this assumption (I usually don't ask, she later offers the information up). I am so fortunate to be married to someone who is willing to discuss these things with me before making snap decisions and breaking out the credit card. Sometimes she ends up getting the item - for instance, the purchase of an expensive new mattress last year when our current one was perfectly fine (two friends and her sister had just gotten a new mattress which had a lot of internet hype...she now admits it was a wasteful purchase) - but at least we talk about it first.
I don’t think it’s surprising, just sickening

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