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After reading a thousand or so posts @ the REHP; it occurred to me that we may have some definitional problems with that big word "RETIRED". Some might be getting confused and others insulted mostly caused by different perceptions of being retired. I spent just a little time trying to develop some models and couldn't come up with anything consistent. However, I did come up with some general attributes where many of us will belong to multiple of these categories. So here goes:

1. Sitting in the rocking chair doing nothing.
2. Surfing the net with or without a high percentage of time spent on X sites
3. Putzing around the house
4. Traveling or increased participation in sports
5. Pursuit of avocational desires
6. Participation (as opposed to money) in eleemosynary pursuits
7. Taking on new intellectual activities for any reason
8. Still involved in business as a consultant / contractor & thus some revenue
9. Active management of one's retirement asset portfolio

As an example, I am probably 1/3rd each to #4, #8 & #9. This gives me a very different profile than some one else who is 50%/50% to #1 & #2. In fact this issue is so confusing and so complex, I think the REHP should be renamed as the "Financially Independent Early Home Page" only because we all look at "retired" differently.

Any comments? Anyone want to add to the list above?

TheBadger.
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TheBadger wrote,

After reading a thousand or so posts @ the REHP; it occurred to me that we may have some definitional problems with that big word "RETIRED". Some might be getting confused and others insulted mostly caused by different perceptions of being retired. I spent just a little time trying to develop some models and couldn't come up with anything consistent. However, I did come up with some general attributes where many of us will belong to multiple of these categories. So here goes:

1. Sitting in the rocking chair doing nothing.
2. Surfing the net with or without a high percentage of time spent on X sites
3. Putzing around the house
4. Traveling or increased participation in sports
5. Pursuit of avocational desires
6. Participation (as opposed to money) in eleemosynary pursuits
7. Taking on new intellectual activities for any reason
8. Still involved in business as a consultant / contractor & thus some revenue
9. Active management of one's retirement asset portfolio

As an example, I am probably 1/3rd each to #4, #8 & #9. This gives me a very different profile than some one else who is 50%/50% to #1 & #2. In fact this issue is so confusing and so complex, I think the REHP should be renamed as the "Financially Independent Early Home Page" only because we all look at "retired" differently.


I think you are on to something here.

Everyone has a different image or definition of what "being retired" means. Paul Terhorst even pointed out in his book Cashing in on the American Dream: Retire at 35 that retirement scares a lot of people and early retirement scares them even more.

As far as your list goes. I'm about 75%-#4, 24%-#9, and maybe 1%-#8. (I make it a point work at least one hour per year. <grin>)

I'd add a #10 to the list, "Not having to "report" to anybody. (And as a aside, running your own business doesn't necessarily mean you don't "report" to anybody. Clients and customers can be as demanding as bosses.) I've found that not working to someone else's schedule is the best part of being retired.

intercst

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To me retired means that you no longer go (or need to go) to the 9:00 to 5:00 job that you used to do. What you do with that time depends on the your individual wants/needs/desires.

After I retire from my 25 year 9-5 job, I plan to exercise more, garden more, volunteer more, and spend more time with my daughter. If I get bored (or if the market crashes), I may choose to find some part time work. But it sure as heck won't be in the field I've been working in all these years.

kogrady
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FEIHP is probably technically more accurate than REHP but I think Retired Early may be better at getting across the potential for you to engage in pursuits 3 to 7.

While I am currently fully employed, I fondly remember my last spell of unemployment, which would have been entirely blissful if I had not been somewhat worried about whether or not I was ever going to find a job. My own feeling is that the greatest barrier to the proper enjoyment of financial independence is the lack of a good imagination.

Regards, Baantista
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I like your concept, but also struggle with a definition. I've been trying to figure out what to say when, after meeting someone new, they ask "So, what do you do?"

I usually say "As little as possible." Good for a laugh, but I haven't got a good comeback line, like: "Actually, I'm independently wealthy, and enjoy investing and actively managing my vast holdings in the stock market. What do you do?"

Or maybe "Well, up until recently, I worked as a blah blah blah. But I'm thinking about at least semi-retiring. I just haven't figured out yet what I want to do next."

What do the other early retirees (non workers-for-money) say?
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What do the other early retirees (non workers-for-money) say?

Excellent question; one with which I have stumbled with as well. Being the shy & reserved person that I am; and particularly with some one I really don't know, I hide behind my company by saying "My wife & I own our own business which provides accounting & financial services". In all honesty, this provides a convienent lie that is only 60% or 70% false & allows me to avoid a more detailed and perfectly honest response.

TheBadger
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Baanista wrote,

While I am currently fully employed, I fondly remember my last spell of unemployment, which would have been entirely blissful if I had not been somewhat worried about whether or not I was ever going to find a job.

I had more or less the same experience when Exxon ran us all off in 1986. I basically did nothing for 6 months (enjoying my severance pay and unemployment compensation) before moving to California.

That 6 month period of not working really opened my eyes to the possibilities of being "Early Retired."

intercst
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tqmbill asks,

What do the other early retirees (non workers-for-money) say?

I always say I'm retired.

Most people I meet are shocked. Then they ask if I retired from the police force or if I'm ex-military. (I'm not.) When they realize I'm not one some kind of government pension, they can't understand it at all.

It really funny to see folk's reaction.

intercst
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intercst:

<<<tqmbill asks,

What do the other early retirees (non workers-for-money) say?>>>

"I always say I'm retired.

Most people I meet are shocked. Then they ask if I retired from the police force or if I'm ex-military. (I'm not.) When they realize I'm not one some kind of government pension, they can't understand it at all.

It really funny to see folk's reaction."


I was having this discussion with some colleagues recently and the top two choices (in no particular order) were:

I am retired, or
I am an investor

The next two choices, but much further down the list (and again in no particular order) were:

I am an entrepeneur
I am a retired yyyyy.

I vote with intercst, for a simple, I am reired."

Just my $0.02. Regards, JAFO


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Anyone want to add to the list above?

TheBadger.

----------------------------------------------------

This may not be "retiring" in the classic sense of not holding a job, but are viable options after becoming finacially independent.

- Work in a job because you want to, not because you have to.
- Work/Volunteer in a socially meaningful occupation regardless of compensation

For instance I plan to leave my Dilbert job next year and am thinking of becomming a teacher. Something I never would do if I actually had to live off a teacher's salary.

Carl
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Anyone want to add to the list above?

Interesting stuff.

I have a question. Are any of you couples retiring at different times? I plan on retiring with in a year (two max) but my wife has at least three to go. I can see some problems as I am hot to take off and travel but will end up doing something else for several years. While I am not worried about finding stuff to do, I can see that there could be some problems arrising from this. I wanting to go and she being possiably jelouse of my lack of job stress.

Any comments?

brian
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My girlfriend and I are also retiring at different times but opposite of your situation. She is going to be ready to retire in a year or so and I need probably 2 to 5 years for myself (depending how my investments perform). I am happy for her because she has a higher stress job than I do. Overall we are comfortable with the arrangement but she sometimes puts pressure on me to think about retiring with less money than I might feel comfortable with. We have decided to move to the coast when we are both retired (we live in Northern California). But one kicker in the mix is that when she retires, I can put her on my medical insurance as a domestic partner. This will save her several thousand in person insurance. So this has slowed her down somewhat.:)
Bob
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tqmbill wrote:
<<What do the other early retirees (non workers-for-money) say?>>

I tell people that I'm a retired high class gigalo.
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clarsonx wrote:
<<For instance I plan to leave my Dilbert job next year and am thinking of becomming a teacher. Something I never would do if I actually had to live off a teacher's salary.>>

I've been thinking along the same lines also. I'm thinking about approaching my medical school or one of the local business schools and seeing if I can teach ONE class.

The medical school class I'd like to teach is biostatistics. Medical students always consider this a Mickey Mouse class. If I teach a B-School class, it would have to be a low-key one. I'm like intercst. I just don't want to sweat too much.

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Excellent question; one with which I have stumbled with as well. Being the shy & reserved person that I am; and particularly with some one I really don't know, I hide behind my company by saying "My wife & I own our own business which provides accounting & financial services".

And what happens if they ask to avail themselves of your services ? :-)
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"What do the other early retirees (non workers-for-money) say?"

I'm in the military, and some of us jokingly refer to ourselves as migrant workers because we move so frequently. So, my answer will be that I'm a retired migrant worker :-).

zz
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PEACE ACTIVIST (i.e. for peace of mind, I am actively
pursuing early retirement).....
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I think the REHP should be renamed as the "Financially Independent Early Home Page" only because we all look at "retired" differently.

Personally, I am working on my plan for retirement in the next 4 years. My picture of retirement will have me doing some work as a "choose my own schedule" consulting trainer in IT and network security. Even though I will have enough funds to permanently retire, the post-career career will allow me extra money to travel, plus opportunities to work and live overseas. So I guess retirement to me is defined as freedom, not having to depend on working for a living, but still doing it because I want to.

Harley
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TheBadger wrote:
6. Participation (as opposed to money) in eleemosynary pursuits

I think I'm going to spend the first year of my retirement going to school to learn English. I haven't a clue what this means. I'm hard at WORK, here, without a dictionary!

rkm
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I'm hard at WORK, here, without a dictionary!

Please, rkm, if you would be so kind as to refrain from using that four letter word here. This board is dedicated to not w**king.

:-)

Bill
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Main Entry: el·ee·mo·sy·nary
Pronunciation: "e-li-'mä-s&n-"er-E, -'mO-; -'mä-z&n-
Function: adjective
Etymology: Medieval Latin eleemosynarius, from Late Latin eleemosyna alms -- more at ALMS
Date: circa 1616
: of, relating to, or supported by charity

--malakito.
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One of the main attractions for me for early retirement is the ability to do anything without having to consider getting paid. It is a great feeling to be able to work or volunteer and know you can make a difference. Suprisingly, money often results from this attitude.

I think the deciding moment for me for retiring early was a comment by one of my clients. I was always telling him our plans for the weekend, vacations, adventures, etc. After listening for many years, he finally said, "It sounds like your job is interfering with your activities". Yes, and I retired the next year.
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