When I talk to friends, family and neighbors about my (mostly) secret plan to escape MegaCorp next April and live a life of early retirement, I’m starting to notice that the reactions people have result in one of about a dozen predictable comments.
Most people (90%) are nice and say “good for you, that’s amazing”. But other times – a small percent of the time – the reaction is a bit odd. That is, a bit skeptical. A bit envious. A bit defeatist. With these folks, I generally look to change the topic. I might have a snappy remark in my head, but most of the time I keep those to my “inside voice”. It’s better that way, because this is what I’m really thinking:
For the most part, these aren’t people who have faced real hardship in their lives. All seem to have had their opportunity to enjoy a terrific slice of the American Dream (but didn’t necessarily live below their means & save for the future).
Someone made this observation to me recently … When someone hears your plan, they immediately think of their own situation. Your news is a bit of an immediate benchmark that puts a mirror on their plans and what is working or not working in their lives. What comes out of their mouth next simply reflects their own circumstances: how long they need to work, any worry about debts, possible struggles at work, lack of money know-how, or unwise past spending or investments. The younger you are, or closer in socioeconomic level determines how harsh the light is. It becomes harsher the older we get if we haven’t prepared for our future.
Again – most people are very nice & quite interested to learn more about early retirement and what you are planning to do next. It’s the odd comments that throw you for a loop though.
What reactions have you gotten to your plans to reach FIRE (financial independence & retiring early)?
Image Credit: Pixabay; Quotes from MrFireStation.com