FIRE Milestones: Confidentially Telling Someone @ Work

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This is another post in my series about FIRE Milestones – the key moments that have shaped our journey to financial independence and retiring early.  With the four month mark coming up in our early retirement countdown, I have been pretty good about keeping my plans separate from the office.  Only a few people know of my secret plan to escape MegaCorp for a life of relative leisure.

There are less than a handful of people at MegaCorp that are fully “in” on my plan.  A colleague that I partner on with all of the political intrigue that happens in our division, one manager on my team that has been a solid confidante over the last few years, a family friend that I don’t see at work too often, and my next door neighbor who works in a completely different part of the company.  There are a couple others that know I am up to something, but don’t have the full details and probably couldn’t guess that I’m SO close to my FIRE escape date (4+ months).

A couple of these folks knew about my plan almost as soon as we fixed on a specific date.  I’ve tried to keep the discussion out of the office for a number of reasons.  I want to make sure I leave on my terms, if something lucrative comes along that might change my mind I want to be able to take advantage of it, and a number of other considerations that I wrote about in my “Giving Formal Notice” Milestone post.  I have not shared this blog with any of them, although a few know that I have one and are anxious to get the URL & start reading.

Despite the relative secrecy, it is fun to have a few folks at work to share the countdown with.  They have been enthusiastic partners that are fun to daydream about life on the “other side”.  All are a little older than I am, so I’m guessing they could all be there in five years if they choose, although some are more committed to their careers than others.  One of the fun discussion points is our division leader, who constantly talks about retiring with us, but seems to have no idea that I’m making an earlier exit than he is.  He is about 11-12 years older than me (almost 60 years old) and he and his wife are currently designing their retirement home in the South.

Another person on my team is also planning on retiring soon.  I’ve shared that I’m “not far behind you” but haven’t gotten into as much detail with them.  It’s hard some days not to, when we are out for lunch and he is talking about his plan.  He is a lot closer to traditional retirement age than I am, but still looking forward to finishing up a few years early.  He is excited to do some travel and is looking forward to a hobby job he has long been interested in.

Who have you / who will you share your early retirement plans with at work?

Image Credit: Pixabay

14 thoughts on “FIRE Milestones: Confidentially Telling Someone @ Work

  1. Bold move sharing at work! But I’m sure it’s helpful to talk to people and so hard not to share! I always want to tell EVERYONE our plan… but find it’s struck down so quickly if I bring up even a hint of it. So I mostly keep my mouth shut. And the husband isn’t a talker, so I doubt he plans to ever tell anyone! 🙂

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  2. There’s only one person on my team, a good friend, with whom I’ve shared any inkling of my plan. Even when I leave, I’ll probably avoid all mentions of FI and ER and just share that I’m taking some time off to travel. I’m not interested in the confusion and eye-rolling that the “retirement” word would induce, especially given my age — nor would I want people to think I “failed” if I chose to work again in the future for fun.

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    • That’s probably a good idea to avoid the word “retirement”. The word “freelancing” might be a good one to use. Sounds like you are working, but really just living a freelance lifestyle! I do have a LLC set up so that I can consult (board work, etc).

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  3. Oooh…I LOVE talking about this stuff with my close friends and a few colleagues. I do mention it to my colleagues from time to time, but, as most are a few years younger than I am (in their early 30s), it kinda falls on deaf ears. In fact, one of my co-workers (who is 33) said there would be no way she could retire early and that she has just resigned herself to working until she dies. It’s crazy the way people can’t see the possibility of options that don’t include working until the pre-defined retirement age. Go us!

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  4. Mr ONL is NOT happy about this, but I have told a select few people at my company, though only peers (not top bosses) who I trust completely. But I have NOT shared the blog with any of them. I feel like if bosses found out, but don’t know about the blog, I have plausible deniability — “Oh, I was just dreaming about that. There’s nothing concrete…” Only one IRL friend even knows about the blog!

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  5. Only a single person at my work knows of the blog, but that’s only because he happened to stumbled upon it and put the pieces together (I had previously used a different commenting persona that has now been changed to something…less specific!). But, they are also readers of Mr. Money Mustache and don’t have any problem with this goal, so I’m not worried in the least. I haven’t really felt the need to divulge this information to others at work, at least so far.

    Regarding family and friends, I’m not shy about this stuff. When talk of money and retirement comes up, and it is appropriate to do so, I do discuss our plans to retire early. I don’t necessarily mention a specific date (the end of next year), but most of them know of my general desire.

    But, like most people out there, they probably just think this is a pipe dream and I’ll never actually do it anyway, so it’s really not even close to being a big deal.

    Congrats on being so close!

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    • Wow – someone actually found your blog without you telling them! Once I got to about six months out, then I started sharing it quite a bit with family and friends. I simply say “hey, I am on my final lap.”

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  6. Hello!
    My colleagues know that I dream and plain a early retirement: I presented my plans: excel, estimations, how I estimated how much money I will need when I don’t work, etc. They know too I have no chance next 15 years 🙂 until I will pay the mortgage, but they give me advices about investments: “buy a farm, God didn’t cook more earth” ).
    My boss wants too to retire at 55 years old. He explained how he invested: 2 apartments (I suppose he finished to pay one mortgage but not the second yet); he already bought a country farm with an old house.

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    • It was easier to discuss at work when I was more than a few years away. Now I’m very selective, given that it is just ~4 months away and will impact others directly.

      I’ve never been a real estate investor, but many think it is the best way to save and see your money grow.

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  7. Pingback: FIRE Milestones – Sharing Plans with Friends & Family | Mr.FireStation

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