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Thread: Do you lie about your means or plans?

  1. Do you lie about your means or plans?

    I read the thread about people lying about ER. About how they instead say they are consulting or working on a side business.

    I've recently brought up to a few friends that I think we're going to make the jump for moving and FIRE. They think I'm crazy/nuts. How is it possible? Who can has extra money to save?

    Truth be told my DH and I have always saved money. We wouldn't be living where we were if we couldn't. My friends don't seem super indulgent or spendy, but granted I don't see all their spending. So I wonder how do people always seem to save they can't save?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    I have always been upfront about plans to retire at age 55. Although when I actually do retire in a couple of months I will have overshot that goal by 1 yr + 5 months, the plan hasn't changed. Just took me a little longer to do it. In my case, OMY + a few months was worth it, I think. Anyhow, nope, I absolutely do not lie about retiring, even though I get a lot of feedback, mostly from family, telling me I really shouldn't. With regard to questions about the financial parts, I just say that I'll actually get a pay raise by retiring (true). That's usually the end of the conversation, after they get a confused look and say "really"?


  4. #3
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    Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    You can't be responsible for what other people think, so why worry about it? Especially where money is concerned, I wasn't willing to discuss our personal finances with others when we had a net worth of less than $5000, why start now?

    If you choose to tell your friends about your plans to retire, you shouldn't be surprised that you'll get all sorts of reactions - support, admiration, inspiration, jealousy, bewilderment, etc. That's why we told no one, not even family, until I actually announced my retirement.

    For anyone who (seriously) asks me for money advice, I recommend books, websites, etc. - I don't make recommendations of my own, not even family.

    Anyone can save money, it's just a matter of choices. For the many people who've told me they couldn't possibly reduce their spending, I've never had a problem giving them real life examples of countless others who are making it on (much) less. No matter what your means, they are always thousands if not millions living on much less (you could save the difference). Too many people tend to believe they "deserve" more than they can afford...


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    Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    I worked in a profession where it is the norm to retire late, so I never discussed my plans at work. I didn't lie, just let people assume whatever they wanted. As a result, when I left a very challenging job to move to a less stressful one a few years before ER, some of my closest colleagues didn't see it coming and were shocked. I did share my plans with some LBYM close friends who "got it" and were very supportive and confidential.


  6. Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    No lying but plenty of obfuscation and misdirection.


  7. #6
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    Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    I didn't lie; I never said a word about either. A big part of the reason for not sharing FIRE plans was that I didn't want anybody at w*rk to know that I was a lame duck. The reason for not discussing means is that it's nobody's business.


  8. Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    Too many people tend to believe they "deserve" more than they can afford...
    Amen.


  9. #8
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    Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    I bluntly told some people, but fewer and fewer as time went on. To this day I have friends from whom I get the "does not compute" reaction from, so I dissemble a bit (on sabbatical, taking a break, etc.).


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    Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    I have friends and acquaintances who:

    a) Never save; in fact, they live beyond their means.
    b) Have a stash, but never think it's enough, because they want a lifestyle they can't afford, or because they haven't really crunched the numbers, or because they have no good health insurance options, or all of the above.

    Many have financial advisors, and really have no idea what their returns or costs are for that "service"...

    I don't talk about my numbers much, but I do talk about wanting to get out ASAP, and that I'll be comfortable, but not rich, much like I am as a w*rking stiff.


  11. #10
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    Re: Do you lie about your means or plans?

    I have a few built in advantages: no kids yet at 36; a wife that works and makes above the median income by herself; a generous pension if I make it five more years. Most simply write it off to those advantages, or find it unpracticable for themselves for various reasons. The part they miss is that even with those advantages, we still live well below our means and manage to save 40-50% of our gross income. Not everyone will be able to do that, but saving 10% is better than saving 5% or 0%.

    Ridiculously early retirement may not be realistic for some, but it is achievable for more than they think. Delayed gratification isn't attractive to some.

    So, no, I don't lie about my plans, but I temper my enthusiasm around those who have kids or just don't offer up details unless someone asks. I don't care if they think I'm nuts; it's my life.


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