Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
Summer
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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by Summer » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:35 am

I've come across another related issue as with telling people about ERE. That is telling people what I do for a living. Like many of your discussed. Last month or so, I went to the local telecoms office and the customer service person was quite helpful even though I had many issues to resolve with the mobile, internet and digital TV plans I have. He at last asked me "What do you do for a living?" and I said "I am a private investor". It was just out of the blue I got that term private investor into my head. Both individual investor and private investor would work but I like private investor better. When I really retire, I will say "I am a retired private investor". Of course, if you really want to play down your wealth for some reason, you can say you are an Individual Investor or a Minority Investor. This works for me because I look young to be retired in the usual sense of the word retired. If I tell the above to my relations for instance, they will ask what it entails. But I will tell them that its about PM.

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Sclass
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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by Sclass » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:26 am

It's really hard to get ahead financially if you're worried about what people think of you. Same goes for trying to spontaneously come up with excellent quips.

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Chad
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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by Chad » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:47 am

Sclass wrote:Same goes for trying to spontaneously come up with excellent quips.
Very true. No matter how good you are at it some will fall flat and maybe even accidently cause offense. But, it's more fun to try, than not.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by jennypenny » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:14 am

I hate the 'What do you do?' question. I used to tap dance around it, but now I'll say something like "I'm a professional clown." As the person stammers for a response, I'll say I'm just kidding and I'm not working right now (even though I am, but really, why is it any of their business what I do?). Usually that directs the conversation towards clowns and not my employment status.

When people press me on why I don't work much or why DH is going to retire soon (again, why is it their business??), I just give a short answer about how we're concerned about the environment, and we are more comfortable reducing our consumption and learning to do more ourselves. If the group I'm in is conservative/religious, I use that angle to explain why we're taking care of what God has given us. If it's a different crowd, I just say that we are doing what we can to reduce our footprint and we're challenging ourselves to see how far we can take it. That usually opens the door for people to say what they do to reduce their own footprint and turn the discussion back towards them.

The one problem we've run across is people (mostly family) criticizing DH for retiring instead of spending more on the kids. It's seen as selfish. THAT pisses me off and I usually jump in to defend him in a not-so-polite fashion. He's better at dealing with it by jokingly agreeing with them that our poor kids are neglected ne'er-do-wells who have to glean the local fields to find something to eat.

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GandK
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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by GandK » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:48 am

Sclass wrote:It's really hard to get ahead financially if you're worried about what people think of you.
This is very true, but there are many ways of dealing with this worry, and the path you'll take is largely down to personality.

@OP:

Most people who hang out in this forum are Rationals (NT, see Jacob's breakdown of this here), and their advice for dealing with others' opinions is always somewhere on the "ignore it" spectrum, because that's the shortest distance between two points in their world. But personally, I can't do that. It's impossible for me not be concerned about what people think of me, my choices and my life. I'm an Idealist (NF), and we experience ourselves as being part of a social whole. Sometimes that feels good, like being part of an amazing team, and sometimes it feels suckish, like being stuck at a terrible party and never being able to leave. But the feeling that you're one tiny piece of a whole, and that improving the whole for the good of the whole is the best possible use of your life, never leaves an Idealist. So I can't just ignore the feedback of the other cells in the organism. Dealing with perceived criticism to me, therefore, comes down to spin: Your listener also has needs. The same needs that you have, most likely. To anyone who's not simply being impertinent, explaining kindly - without evangelizing, jargon or minutae - how your choices are meeting your own needs is usually met with curiosity, and then with hesitant support. That's been my experience, anyway.

However! It's important to distinguish, no matter what your life paradigm is, between your self-conscious feeling that "I'm different" and the number of times other people perceive you as such. As someone said earlier, most people are too consumed with their own affairs to pay much attention to yours. They will probably only do so if you are seen to be doing noticeably better than they are, or noticeably worse. If you do not behave in an outwardly different manner it is probable that you will avoid these questions entirely.

Summer
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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by Summer » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:53 am

Chad wrote:But, it's more fun to try, than not.
Certainly.

@GandK and @jennypenny, I don't. I have decided not to after more pondering than I have done for many other things. The last post I made said that and said what I say when I encounter the what do you do for a living question. As for my personality it is characterised as ENTP-A or debater argumentative verity. I am extroverted and argumentative and definitely not introverted like most of you guys and girls. Like you said, that is probably why I don't identify with some of these things completely. But I have learnt to take nothing at face value and appreciate everything for what it is, unique.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by jacob » Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:44 pm

bryan wrote:@jacob have you met many readers in person? Regularly? These days? I've been really curious what you're like in person..
Off-topic ...

I haven't been keeping track, but I've been to maybe 10-15 meetups sporting typically 10-15 people in either a park or someone's home, so 100-200 peeps total. I've regularly met and become good IRL friends with a handful of ERE peeps. I'd love to meet more.

I did regular mettups in CA but I've never arranged a Chicago ERE meetup. I probably should. However, I've been to two MMM meetups i Chitown. Those MMMs are slightly different people but still cool. One Wheaton level difference, typically.

People say I'm more "mellow" IRL, which is either disappointing or reassuring, depending on individual perspective---keep in mind that most ERE posts were written 5+ years ago and I've had a lot of ERE experience since then, especially when it comes to understanding how civilians react to new ideas.

Based on pure counting, it seems most find it reassuring but I do recall one guy who found it rather disappointing that I wasn't quite the firebrand he was expecting. If you listen to the podcasts I've been in, you'll probably get a better idea.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by Jenie » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:13 pm

"I do consulting." It is broad enough that you really don't have to elaborate. You have your own clients that you work with online and it pays well, allowing you flexibility to work your own hours and travel.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by jim234 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:24 pm

I was let go (at my request) from Megacorp. A woman I know was laid off 6 months before me, she is 64 yo. I called her and told her I am left the company and am retiring now. Her reaction was, "Why are you retiring so early?" and I am like because I can, she then says "What will you do all day?" I tell her watch my investments. She then rushes off the phone saying I have to leave to volunteer at the church, I will call you back. She never did. Strange. No congratulations. No how did you do it? Just very short and kinda hostile.

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GandK
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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by GandK » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:43 pm

jim234 wrote:I was let go (at my request) from Megacorp. A woman I know was laid off 6 months before me, she is 64 yo. I called her and told her I am left the company and am retiring now. Her reaction was, "Why are you retiring so early?" and I am like because I can, she then says "What will you do all day?" I tell her watch my investments. She then rushes off the phone saying I have to leave to volunteer at the church, I will call you back. She never did. Strange. No congratulations. No how did you do it? Just very short and kinda hostile.
Ouch. Sounds like about 25% judgment (church comment) and 75% envy (the rest of it).

My parents are about that age and retired a decade ago. They now travel extensively. Periodically they lose someone they thought was lifelong a friend because of their Facebook chronicles. Some people take it as bragging, it seems. And I guess some people are so hopeless about their own situation, and hopeless that they feel too old to course correct, that it hurts to see peers who are happily retired. Kind of like when you're unhappily single and it makes you sad/frustrated/nauseated to see lovey-dovey things.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by bryan » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:03 pm

jim234 wrote: "Why are you retiring so early?" and I am like because I can, she then says "What will you do all day?" I tell her watch my investments. She then rushes off the phone saying I have to leave to volunteer at the church, I will call you back. She never did. Strange. No congratulations. No how did you do it? Just very short and kinda hostile.
GandK wrote: Ouch. Sounds like about 25% judgment (church comment) and 75% envy (the rest of it).

The two of you aren't being sarcastic or making parody, are you?

To put myself in the lady's shoes in @jim234's comment there, my reaction would be 1) why is @jim234 calling me all of a sudden and bragging about leaving the company on his terms, whilst I got laid off (very traumatic for me; to think I had almost recovered from it), and now he is just 2) watching his investments like a Scrooge? 3) Sorry, can't really talk, dear, I've got to.... go help my fellow man. <maybe that'll give him something to consider doing other than counting pixels/coins/SWRs>.

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GandK
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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by GandK » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:16 pm

@bryan

I can't imagine him calling someone up and saying such a thing unless he had reason to assume that person would be happy for him. Or would be pleased that he was at liberty too. If she was a casual acquaintance rather than a friend, or if it was @jim234's intention to brag, then I agree with you. But I didn't get that from his post.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by jim234 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:33 am

A little background on this. The woman was happy to get packaged out and get one year of severance and UI when they laid her off, she wanted to retire anyway.
I helped her with her computer a few times over the phone and have known her as a co-worker for > 10 years. This is why I am puzzled by her reaction.

I told many people at work I wish they would lay me off before they did. Surprising reactions include, you are too young (49 at the time), you have a responsibility to society to keep working, what will you do all day... It is like the have been programmed to accept their slavery, and they willingly go along with it!

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by cb1504 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:49 am

I loved this posting. Welcome to the world of the stay at home parent. Respect? Isn't that the name of a song?

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by lost_the_path » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:09 am

Not quite the same thing, but whenever anyone would ask me "what do you DO?" (as in, where does your job put you on my social scale), I'd give them a grin and say oh, I'm independently poor. (Like independently wealthy, but not quite as obnoxious.) The responses tended to be either changing the subject because they couldn't pigeon hole that answer, or 'what do you mean', at which point I'd explain a bit about ERE.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by JL13 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:24 pm

I like "consulting", integrated with your previous career.

I also like "traveling". if you are an investor, you could zero in on your largest stockholding. I.e. if it's Coke, you work in beverage distribution.

For one liners, I like the non-confrontational, deferential: "I hadn't thought of that" or "very interesting". it can be seen as smart ass, depending on your delivery and the recipient's personality.

Also, "I'm waiting for an opportunity that will pay me what I'm worth" is an interesting counter. Then, instead of thinking you're poor and lazy, maybe they'll think you're arrogant and hardworking? Money = success, right?

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by Did » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:22 pm

I can't recall if I've already commented but I find not working is well received but not being rich or 'well off' is less so. I think to be honest you can be seen as a bit of a loser. It may be my direct or honest nature but I usally play down my financial independence (or near financial independence) and say, honestly at this point, that I'm looking for some remote part time work after 2.5 years.

Generally I don't give a f@ck how I am perceived, but I do find the dick measuring banter of older, more traditional retirees here in France quite excruciating. They are onto me in minutes trying to work out how we live and what we are worth. Bizzare! They boast of the number and worth of their cars as well as size of their house, number of trips and so on.

Little do they know the more they boast the more inefficient and wasteful I regard them. And I hold the thing they all to a man or woman desire the most: youth. I'm 20 years plus younger than all of them. So who is richer? They would trade their stupid cars that for that time in an instant, so I guess I am.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:52 pm

I am not FI yet so have no experience. However I can imagine the level of respect may come from their instant assumptions of why you are not working. If people were aware that you made many thousands of strategic micro decisions to achieve retirement young I think many people might respect you and be in awe.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by General Snoopy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:02 pm

I think it is unwise to call attention to one's relative wealth. It makes you a target for con artists and other undesirables - not to mention gold diggers. When asked what I do for a living I give them my occupation - Engineer.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:41 pm

General snoopy totally agree! I almost never talk about my ERE plans to anyone in the real world. Thats why its great we can talk about it here.
Once I have retired I wont use that term I think. There will always be some project I am involved in that I can refer to.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by Jean » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:12 am

I usualy say that I play "heroes of might and magic 3".

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by startbyserving » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:30 pm

I like some of the other responses, that it's best to not be concerned by others or change the subject. I see Op has an open mind and has a lot to consider.

The following may not be applicable to Op, but does relate to this thread: After seeing "Stoic" mentality mentioned several times on this forum, I just finished reading "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" by William Irvine. I would do a book review, but my note-taking is still not up to par. For many things, I like the idea of Responding in a way that shows that you aren't obsessed with what the other person thinks (IMO this should be done without coming off as insulting / offending.)

One response, which I absolutely loved is for when someone that you perceive has poor judgement, judges or criticizes you. The idea is that if they have poor judgement and are criticizing you, then therefore you must be on the right path. So I would reply with, "I'm relieved that you feel that way about me" (Quote from the book, but I would just respond by saying it. Not mention that it is a quote.)

- At the end of the day it's best not to talk about ERE with most people. If you have a job, no reason to bring it up. Fortunately I've always been known by my Family and Friends as "Good with money". They won't be too surprised. I will still down play retirement. People tend to be envious and become someone else when they see $ signs in their eyes.

If you're 'retired' it seems the greatest success tends to be in not directly mentioning it as well:
"Lucky and receiving severance pay." , "Investing" , "Uber Driver" , "Consulting" all seem like good occupation answers to me. These should be pretty easy to answer follow up questions. (If you feel it is appropriate to answer) "What exactly is that?" , "What are your hours?" , "Does that pay well?"

- People like to talk about themselves, so if you inquire details from someone else they will typically focus on their life story and plans.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by SimpleLife » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:44 pm

I think they would if you had great assets as opposed to living ERE out of your RV or car. If you have $2 million in assets and are living a normal lifestyle without the excess consumerism, I think most people would respect that.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by theanimal » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:33 pm

@SimpleLife- Jacob is living a normal life style without the excess consumerism for a fraction of the price. MMM has assets pretty close to your example, while also living a much more luxurious life, and he also receives a ton of flak. I don't think it's the assets/normal lifestyle factor.

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Re: Do others Respect you if you don't have a Job and ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:25 am

The word "respect" is often used as a synonym for "admire" in modern parlance. The difference is that "respect" can be used as linear place marker up and down the simple scale of dominance or authority, but "admire" is inclusive of level of "trust." For instance, you trust Mrs. Santa Claus, you respect Genghis Khan, maybe you admire Teddy Roosevelt. If you are self-aware, you can choose to convey the message "I respect you." to somebody by the simple behavior "follow literal instructions." Therefore, if you are self-aware and you ask yourself the question "Am I respected?" , a simple way to get the answer is to observe whether others are following your literal instructions. Are there people who are attempting to follow the literal instructions of Jacob and MMM? Yes, there are. Therefore it follows that Jacob and MMM are respected by some people.

The reason why the word "literal" is included the description of respectful behavior is that it is a basic "brat" or "malicious compliant" move or argument to follow non-literal instructions and then submit failure as evidence towards rational basis for disrespect. As in, "Jacob told us to eat lentils every day. Eating lentils every day does not make us happy. Therefore, we should not follow Jacob's instructions. Let's go get dinner at the mall and then write a nasty post!" Of course, some dysfunctional opposites of the dysfunctional tendency towards being a "brat" might be "spineless doormat" or "sniveling sycophant" etc. etc.

Anyways, unless you are pure evil or idiotic, there are many situations in life in which you will prefer not to be respected because you do not want to take on the responsibility of the possible consequences if other people are following your instructions. For instance, you are a relative novice at scuba diving and a 10 year old is asking you for safety tips, then you might say something like "Go double-check with the instructor." IME, the worst thing that can ever happen to you in your life as an adult, is when you are in a position of leadership, your instructions are followed and other people suffer adverse consequences. For instance, the episode of M*A*S*H where Hawkeye yells for the woman on the bus to hush the infant because the enemy might hear them and the baby ends up dying from suffocation. If you only ever take authority and responsibility over yourself, never assume a position of leadership, then the worst thing that can happen to you will be something like you will suffer a slow painful death at the hands of Genghis Khan.

Of course, much of the time, or in many circumstances, what you want to convey or have conveyed, is something like "I am a respected adult in the company of other respected adults." When Did described the "dick-measuring banter" and sad-to-observe flirting with too young women of the older tourists he encountered, what immediately popped into my mind was the self-aware (he had a PhD in education/psychology) social behavior of a much older quite extroverted man I used to date. One thing he always did when he introduced me to other men was to give them their props, as in "Hey, Jim! 7W5, this is Jim. He is the best damn chicken plucker this side of the Mississippi. Don't ever let him get you alone in a corner (ha-ha-ha), but if you need some chickens plucked, then Jim is the man you need to call on." (Note that the skill-set of moi is not mentioned in this introduction because this is a situation in which I am being "baby-dolled" (valued for my relative youth and cuteness) rather than respected. American men born prior to approximately 1955 did not receive social training to respect women in this manner.) So, if you have no obvious profession or apparent skill set then you make it more difficult for another person to express their verbal respect for you, although they may respect it in other ways such as by giving you your space or sometimes challenging your space.

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