I've been reading all the posts on the subject of what others think of people who retire early. I have been thinking of what it would be like to retire early, and how people would respond to me. I think that it all basically comes down to jealousy, conditioning, and perceptions. Others see how you have made it, and it doesn't seem fair. It's not right that you got out, while they are stuck working those long hours just to pay for their toys. They don't like to see you work harder than them, making them look bad. Still others may feel like you are not making a contribution to society because you are not working in the traditional sense. We have always been given the idea that we have to work to be of value to society. And there will be other people who assume that you either inherited your money, or won the lottery, or some other get rich quick avenue. Many people dislike the stock market, because it is like gambling, and not the honorable way to earn money. These people assume that you are the lazy type, a drain on society. I can relate to how many may feel about you, because I've always had to work for everything in life, just like my parents. We never won sweepstakes, or lotteries, or hardly even door prizes in company picknicks. But, I have learned (mainly through this website, and the Fool books), that I will be able to retire early someday myself without being born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I think we owe it to the world to educate those we come in contact with, let them know that it's not a bad thing to retire early. Show them that it's not all about "He who dies with the most toys wins". Maybe, just maybe, we can change the world for the better, and everyone will learn to enjoy life, instead of working themselves to the bone for a bunch of toys that won't last. OK, I'll get off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening.Doug
Doug, I agree with much in your post. But, I want to take exception to the, "He who dies with the most toys, wins," scenario. I have learned that, "Your toys own you." As you age, you will find that toys are adictive. As you accumulate stuff, you will find it easier to want even more stuff. Eventually, you have more stuff than you can say grace over. At that point, your stuff owns you.So, be careful of your stuff. Buy only the finest and most cherished things. One day, you will appreciate having very little to worry about. Then, the dearest things will be really appreciated. I have Corvettes, Lotuses, Hot rods, and other exotic sports cars. They are huge and they are time consuming. I own coin collections, stamp collections, and antiques. They get stolen and they can burn. Toys are hard to maintain. I, personally, have come to love blue chip stocks. They don't require much maintenance, they are energy free, and they appreciate in value....some times.
>>>Doug, I agree with much in your post. But, I want to take exception to the, "He who dies with the most toys, wins," scenario. <<<I don't know if maybe you misunderstood what I said in my post. What I said was that we should try to teach people that it's NOT about dying with the most toys. Believe my I understand what you are saying. I LOVE to collect stuff myself. It's hard to keep my browser from going over to Ebay.Doug
I retired last year (4/31/99). At the time I was 51. When I made the announcement there was astonishment by some and disbelief by others. Many came to me to ascertain how I was able to do this. What I told them was that for many years I had been saving a portion of my income and investing it, and that it was pretty easy. Generally, the next comment was a disappointed, "Oh." No inheritance, no lottery win, just living below my means and prudent investing.
I live in a fairly wealthy white-collar heighborhood where we live in the older (~9 years) area in a smaller house. Most of my friends that I have divulged my ER to seem surprised that we are not just "under-priviledged" (relatively speaking). They all have nice new cars, large new homes, lavish landscaping, etc... We just have our freedom (and a learned appreciation for LBYM).It goes like this:The subject comes up (I don't intentionally lead it there...).Me: I'll be leaving my company soon.They: Where are you going?Me: Nowhere, we'll stay here.They: Where are you going to work?Me: Nowhere, if I can help it.They (head tilting like a puppy looking at TV): But, but, but...It's great fun,azholmes (out any day now...)
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