Ask the Readers: Are you FI-curious? Polyworkarous??

So, I’ve been thinking about what to tell people once I leave formal work. This isn’t easy. Retired and Financially Independent come to mind immediately, but I cannot use either:

  • Retired: I hate hate hate this word. It has too many connotations. This comes up on Google image search:
screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-1-26-07-pm

I will not be frolicking on the beach.  At least not most of the time.

  • Financially Independent: I can’t use this either. Some folks in my extended family are not well-off and this term implies that I have lots of money. A family member once told me that ‘I must be rich’ because I had an iPhone. If they know that I have money, they will ask for that money.

What to do then? Obfuscate! Deny! And Lie!

I invented new terms to describe early retirement. Feel free to use them when your nosy neighbor or curious cousin asks you why you’re at home at 11am on a Wednesday drinking beer in the garage wearing your pajamas. Brace yourself readers.

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-5-46-48-pm

 

Strategy #1: Sexual Innuendo!

Make others uncomfortable by spewing terms that sound like sex. Conservative Uncle John will quickly steer the conversation away from your employment status (or lack of it) when you unleash one of the following:

I’m practicing an Alternative Workstyle. Don’t judge.

I’m FI-curious.

I don’t have just one job. I have many and love them all. I consider myself to be Polyworkarous.

My relationship with work is Non-Traditional at the moment.

 

Strategy #2: Entrepreneur!

I quit my job to become an entrepreneur!

If the questioner dares to ask about what your entrepreneurial intentions are, make up a good story based on their age:

  • If they are older than 50: Tell them it’s computer stuff. Then start blabbering on about microchips, internets, flux capacitors, GPUs, CPUs, FUs and URLs. Don’t worry that the words are pure gibberish because they wouldn’t understand even if you were making sense. When their eyes glaze over, you’re home free.
  • If they are younger than 30: Tell them that you’re going to become a woodworker or paper weight designer. Then go into extreme detail. Within 2o seconds, they’ll be bored out of their mind. Again, watch the eyes.
  • Between 30 and 50: Tell them that you plan to raise guinea pigs for profit. If that doesn’t deter them, ask them if they care to invest in Guinea Pig Palace. If they say ‘yes’, they are insane. Run.

 

Strategy #3: Outright Lies!

I can tell you about my job, but I’ll have to kill you. Now, where did I put those missile launch codes?

For extra effect, carry around a briefcase handcuffed to your wrist. Nervously dart your eyes around the room. If anyone pries, look at your phone, utter a profanity and announce that you must leave immediately. Run to your car.

I quit work to find myself.

Start talking about new-age nonsense like cosmic consciousness and auras. Tell them that your spirit animal is the dung beetle. The questioner will quickly regret ever asking about your job status and will most likely never talk to you again.

I quit my job for an incredible opportunity! Let me tell you about Mr. Money Marshmallow, this new multi-level marketing company I signed on with!

mmmarsh

I hate MLMs. So do a lot of people.

I’m on hiatus!

Don’t tell them that the hiatus is forever.

 

I asked my hilarious buddy, Physician on Fire to help me out with this post and he came through with strategy #4.

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-8-18-23-pm

Physician on Fire directing someone or something. Or, striking a disco pose. Can you dig it?

 

Strategy #4: Redirection!

Take a straightforward question, and give a perfectly sideways answer.

“So what do you for a living?”

Living? I can hardly call it living when these artificial sweeteners in this Diet Mountain Dew are eating me from the inside out. Do you know what they put in these cans? This liquid could survive eleven nuclear wars!

“OK. Ummm… you do realize that you’re holding a beer, right?”

My great-grandmother strangled Nazis with her bare hands so you and I could drink beer and not bier, so I suggest you take your line of questioning and save it for the Reinheitsgebot.

————————————————–

“How are things at work, Mr. 1500?”

I don’t know about work, but let me tell you about this workout routine I’ve been doing. It’s called P-90-xxx. See these pecs? And these strong thighs? And maybe it’s just me, but things seem to be a bit more pronounced in the… ummm… nether regions.

“That’s neat, but I’d rather not look. So how does P-90-xxx work?”

It’s a DVD series. An equal mix of cardio, resistance training, and porno. Very motivating.

“That would explain the enhanced, eh… bulge. You really should wear something more than boxer shorts out here.”

————————————————–

With this type of redirection, do you think the original question was quickly forgot? Does the pope shit in the woods?

The Readers Speak

And finally, here is what the readers had to say about one of my questions from last week:

What is a better word than “retired?

Smart Money MD:

I like using the term ‘prolonged sabbatical’ to characterize an extended leave from your primary work…

Mrs. PoP coined a new term. I like it, but I’m not sure how to pronounce it:

Maybe your FIRE is closer to FI(S)RE, Financially Independent, (Semi-)Retired Early…

Thank you Reader gwenith42 for telling me what I should already know:

You know how MMM advocates a ‘low information diet’? Same basic thing… I know it is easier said than done, but you truly have to try to ignore the idiots, the desperate, and the deliberately malicious… They offer you no value and you are squandering your emotional energy on them versus all of us who cheer you on (blatant plug for more fun & useful posts, don’t waste energy on the trolls, lol, it’s not frugal)

Mr. SSC:

Maybe you could go with “Professional Hobbyist” to describe yourselves to others.

Randy from laundromats101 (awesome site for laundromat investing!):

I would call it “semifreedomized”.

Mrs. BITA writes killer comments:

What is a better word than retired?
I propose Patron.

“What do you do?”
“I am a patron of the arts” (Look appropriately snooty here and you don’t have to mention that the artist that you now patronize is yourself).

Finally, Reader Steve from Arkansas had this to say:

I can attest to two things: work is more fun when you don’t need the income and it is still fun to earn money even if you don’t need it.

Wow, I can totally relate to this. I LOVE to earn and invest money. Sending dollars off to Vanguard every month makes me smile. There is probably something wrong with me, but so be it.

 

Ask the ReadersGifts!

Tis’ the season for crowded malls, forced gift giving and awful car commercials:

Just say no.

Just say no.

I enjoy almost everything else about the holidays, but I don’t enjoy the gifting part for anyone over 12. Of course, if you wanted to give me a new Tesla, I’d make an exception.

Answer one or more of the following:

  • Do you still do gifts? In not, how have you been able to wean everyone else off the practice?
  • How do you make it not awful?
  • What color Tesla are you getting me?

Join the 10s who have signed up already!

Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.

*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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60 Responses to Ask the Readers: Are you FI-curious? Polyworkarous??

  1. Wayne says:

    I think you may underestimate the computer literacy of many of us over 50. Fifty is the new 80.

    • John Heritage says:

      My father is ~ 65 and programmed BASIC back in the day and plays computer video games a lot lately.. but I still found these examples hilarious 🙂

      “Retired” has always been a funny term as it also implies you aren’t open to new ventures of any kind. Financially independent probably is the right term but that does carry risks.

  2. No gifts here! I’m approaching gift-free Christmas #2 and I couldn’t be happier. My father commented that maybe I’d be willing to give gifts again once I’m “financially stable” in the future. I think he’s missing the point.

  3. Honestly the entrepreneur bit wouldn’t be a lie. You run a blog, that’s a business in some ways even if it’s a hobby and you make less then a buck a month from it like myself.

    Unfortunately no luck with the giftless concept here. Instead I try to plan ahead with points and cash back from credit cards.
    Full Time Finance recently posted…Why should you practice Stealth Wealth?My Profile

  4. Mr. SSC says:

    I like the idea of a guineau pig farm! Just enough on the edge of “is this guy for real?” to make people want to stop talking about it. 🙂

    This is the first year we’re trying to not give gifts to everyone. Our Christmases had gotten pretty out of control with gift giving and we all felt like we don’t really need anything, since we buy what we need throughout the year. We transitioned it with a White Elephant sort of gift exchange. Hopefully it goes well because $40 is way better than my overspending on whatever other limit got set.

    We still do gifts for the kids of course, just not the parents.

    Not to ruin the surprise, but I was having your Tesla get delivered Christmas morning. It might be hard to find though, because I went with “invisible” like Wonder Woman’s jet. Hopefully it will snow the night before so you can find it. 🙂
    Mr. SSC recently posted…November 2016: Our Money Went Where?My Profile

  5. Anna says:

    Have you considered telling people you’re running a website? This allows you to say you’re working from home and it doesn’t need to take up lots of time.

  6. Hilarious! Will keep these in my back pocket for my FIRE day.

  7. Hahaha, great post Carl. Funny stuff.

    Our extended family does gifts, so inevitably we do as well. That said, we try to give things that are cheap or free. Homemade projects are best!

    Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with a little re-gifting either!

  8. chris says:

    We gift our kids and our niece because, of course. We keep it in check, though. Gift from Santa on the hearth, new robe or pyjamas, stuffed stocking, new books and the thing they wanted the most for our kids, one really awesome gift for the niece (Calico Critters and some dollhouse bunkbeds this year).

    We also give a gift to my mom. My father died a couple of years ago and my brother and I have taken it upon ourselves to show her the “gift love” that he used to bestow. Nothing crazy, though. This year I got her a cozy hooded robe, a box of pecan turtles and some pretty candles from Anthropologie. Little luxuries but not much money.

    My in-laws like framed pics of the kids because they already have everything. Quite literally, I think, EVERYTHING. They have a little bit o’ moolah.

    And then therapist/tutor and teacher gifts, of course. $25 gift cards to yummy local restaurants for the three teachers and a heartfelt note. I bought lunch for the tutoring office, which was cheaper and felt kinder than a gift card. Our son has been going there for years and they are wonderful to him and us, unusually so. He loved eating lunch with them.

    That’s it. Nothing with friends, nothing between us and the BILs and SILs, nothing between my husband and me. Everyone agrees that this is awesome. Of course they do. Less shopping. Less wrapping. Less schlepping. Less worrying about what to get. Easy.

  9. Jeff from Jersey says:

    This is why I like Thanksgiving…
    Last year my wife and I finally said enough is enough, we are only getting gifts for those in the generation below us. So our kids, nieces and nephews, but no longer will we be exchanging gifts with each other, my siblings or parents or any other extended family members – and it was glorious. It took a little persuading to get everyone on board, but eventually everyone agreed. We don’t feel so stressed about the holidays and can actually enjoy it a little more.
    My wife’s family does a “grab bag” thing where everyone that shows up on Christmas brings a $10 wrapped item in a bag, and then the oldest person gets first pick of which one they would like, and then works its way down to the youngest. No stealing, no trading, because who cares its a $10 item. It keeps the volume of gift distribution and finance output to a minimum. And there are usually a couple of laughs along the way.

  10. Chad Carson says:

    Ha, Ha! This post had me laughing out loud. I’m DEFINITELY trying several of these lines from you and PoF. I get strange questions and looks of disbelief almost daily about our own weird “semi-retirement” lifestyle and our trip to Ecuador, so I needed this.

    Speaking of Ecuador and Guinea Pigs, I think I’ll add to your Guinea Pig investment line. My investors can also get a share of the delicious “cuey” meat each month. It’s locally sourced, efficiently caged, and easy to cook in any oven. I’ll also tell them they can join us in our ultra frugal experiment while also maximizing our profit by turning the guinea pig hides into clothes for us and our children to wear. If I haven’t lost them by then, I’ll offer to share the dung collection, which makes a great fuel for their fire in the winter.

    The diversion possibilities are endless!
    Chad Carson recently posted…The Annual Review: The #1 Habit of Exceptional PeopleMy Profile

  11. We’ve tried the no-gift thing, to no avail. Still, we kind of like the practice and just work out rough price guidelines. $20 or something like that.

    We end up spending about a grand somehow on gifts but it is still way better than the experience we got when we made donations in our family members ‘and friends’ names. Never. Again. Seriously, those kids in Africa are never getting another dime from us, starving or not.

    Totally hear you on the narrative to tell after hitting FI. There’s no good or easy answer, because the truth (basically, that we’re wealthy at a young age but also really frugal, so don’t expect me to pick up the bill every damn time, John) is too off the wall not to raise eyebrows.
    Done by Forty recently posted…My Two SelvesMy Profile

  12. Hahahaha! I love it! I haven’t given much thought to what you tell people you “do” after you’re retired. I think I would just stick with “entrepreneur” because that’s easier to explain. Or hell, just direct them to the blog if they’re that curious. 😉

    I’ve had a few Christmases where we just did gifts for the kids and IT WAS AMAZING. There was no pressure to spend boatloads of money and the holiday was about spending time with each other, not about gifts. I’ve tried to get Mr. Picky Pincher on board with the kids-only gifting strategy, but the thinks it’s “sad.” Ugh.

    As a compromise, we’ve started doing more DIY gifts. It does take more time to do them, but they have more meaning and they save money as well.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend!My Profile

  13. Mr Jack says:

    I have this problem too, as a soon-to-be-retired (in a matter of months) at 42.

    I already don’t like to talk much, even less about myself, so I like to keep stuff like this simple and short. So I plan to go with: I’m pursuing self-employed software projects. Not exactly a lie because I truly intend to spend more time on such projects (AI in particular), it’s just that I don’t plan to really try and make money out of those projects, and I will likely spend less than 10 hours a week on those projects. They don’t have to know and they likely won’t ask many questions. I think most people (except close relatives) don’t really care what you are doing for a living, if you keep that vague they will just expect that you are doing something for a living.

  14. Katrina says:

    Brilliant post. Exactly how much of PoF’s homebrewed beer had the two of you had to drink when you came up with those lines…? :p

    We only purchase a few gifts each year, and most are consumables or something that we know will be used, which is how we reconcile ourselves to the fact that we can’t opt out of these few gifts. My partner and I don’t do gifts for each other, and my immediate family and I don’t do gifts for each other (we are spread out geographically, and we are all adults, so don’t really see the point of gifts). So we get gifts for my great-uncle and great-aunt, a family gift for our best friends, and a gift for my partner’s father. My aunt and uncle are getting alcohol this year (always appreciated, and we try to find unique ones that they couldn’t purchase for themselves), and our friends are getting a board game (since one of our favourite things to do when we hang out is play games). Gifting items I will be able to see being used and enjoyed makes the process feel somewhat less wasteful to me.

  15. Physician on FIRE says:

    FI-curious. Love it.

    Gifts? I am a fan of the degifting phenomenon. My wife and I have been practicing it for years.

    With my brother and I have agreed to exchange good beers. Our wives will get each other a book. I buy my parents experiences (game / show tickets) and usually take them to the game or show. A much better gift than a Kitchen Aid Mixer attachment.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

  16. Joe says:

    I love the #2 strategy. I can see their eyes glazed over now. 🙂
    These day, I just tell people that I’m a blogger. Although, a mom thought I said logger last week… We were dropping off the kids at school and I didn’t have a chance to clarify. Oh well, 🙂
    Yes, we still do gifts. Our kid’s strategy is to give LEGO to his parents. That means more LEGO for him…

  17. Mrs. BITA says:

    Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
    A: A FI-curious guru who raises guinea pigs as spirit animals.

    Gifts. Ah gifts.
    Full disclosure: I love giving gifts. I like planning and plotting and finding the perfect gift that will force them to crown me Best Aunt Ever and everybody will have to kiss my ring twice on Thursday.
    I do, however, understand that a lot of people are not like me (weirdos!) so here is what we do for Christmas:

    1. All kids get gifts. And no, socks and pajamas don’t count.
    2. My spouse and I exchange Christmas letters and some stocking stuffers.
    3. The in-laws, SIL, BIL and the BITAs pull one name out of a virtual hat – every adult gets to buy one other adult a gift. The approximate value of the gift should be $50.
    4. With my parents and sister and BIL we’ve solved the problem by living on three different continents and all being too lazy to actually ever bother shipping anything to anywhere.

    My favourite thing about this Christmas season? Toddler BITA thinks that he is called Santa Closet. Nobody is allowed to disabuse her of this notion, on pain of death.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Personal Capital Security ExplainedMy Profile

  18. Lucas says:

    Just say you are a “real-estate investor”. Everyone knows you like to build/fix stuff, but probably won’t want to hear about your latest project. And even if they do want to hear about it, it will likely fit into your story anyway. You can always work on your house as well as other project houses.

  19. Haha – I definitely was laughing while reading some of those responses, especially the age stereotypes.

    We still do gifts, but I feel it gets smaller and smaller every year, so hopefully it will soon be close to zero. Good thing I recalled my deposit on the Model 3 since they just pushed back the date to late 2018. By the time Teslas are cheap enough where I would pull the trigger, cars will be autonomous and we won’t own them anymore. Just summons them on an app when we need to run an errand.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…2016 Year in Review & 2017 GoalsMy Profile

  20. Wayne says:

    I say retired from paid compensation, not from life.

  21. Working Rachel says:

    No younguns in my family, so the transition to not giving gifts has been pretty smooth. My side of the family stopped giving gifts 7 or 8 years ago. My parents still give us some cash for Christmas, but no physical objects change hands in either direction. None of us were super into gifts in the first place–we’re a pretty minimalistic family–so I think at some point my brother and I looked at each other and said, “Hey, let’s stop trading stuff neither of us want.” We celebrate with food, music, and other things instead.

    DH’s parents give us stuff…mostly food, plus some occasional utter crap from his mom…and we usually give each of them a box of candy.

    No gifts between DH and me, we figure if we want something we’ll buy it and who cares if it’s a holiday? We make a little bit of a deal of each other’s birthdays in other ways.

    We do Secret Santa at work, which is awkward to get out of, so I just ask for tea or chocolate or something else I actually want.

    This results in a pretty nice gift-lite Christmas for me.

  22. Stockbeard says:

    On gifts: I’ve asked my family over the past few years to donate to a charity of their choice instead of sending me gifts. We’re so far away from family at this point that nobody is shocked when we don’t send them gifts.
    When we do, we typically choose food (chocolates, interesting stuff one can only find in this or that country…) Because we know it’s going to be used. Everything else is just a guess: you can’t get someone something they like (if they really want/need it they can probably afford it themselves) so you can only gift them something that’s useless. Food works.

    My wife an I give each other presents we know we need. This year and last year, she told me precisely what she needed, and I did the same. Not very glamorous, but very efficient way to get what they want.

    Of course thejoy will mostly be in seeing the kids open their presents. That part, I can’t wait!

  23. Lara says:

    We limit gifts to the kids. Our extended families were pretty accepting when we said we were done and asked that they not give us anything – others may not be so lucky. As for alternates to retirement you could just say ” Work? Oh, I’ve given that up.” Phrase like it was a bad habit. Another possibility is that you are rusticating. That’s what they always called it in old English novels when some land-owning gentleman would withdraw to his own estate so that he could get away from the idiotic acquaintances and social expectations he encountered while living in London.

  24. Our family still exchanges gifts. For birthdays, we ask each other what we want, usually something under $20. For Christmas, we get a list of items and pick whatever we want to give to them. For my parents, that means they disregard my list and get me stuff I didn’t ask for. Trouble is, as the highest paid member of the family, there are very few things I want that I don’t buy for myself. I usually have to stop buying myself stuff in October and write it down for the family. The kids in the family get spoiled!
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…What Do I Do After A Raise?My Profile

  25. Kyle says:

    I plan to just tell people I freelance work and I’m in investment management or some shit. You’ll still get follow up questions, but at least not as bad as you would saying you’re retired. I actually met a bunch of people from a financial advisor company. Had a lot of fun, they seemed to want to poach me away from engineering.

    I just do immediate family gifts. I’m mostly annoyed at finding the gifts than spending the money these days. I’m also annoyed when I get asked what I want for Christmas because I have everything I need.

  26. AmyR says:

    I love telling people I’m retired. The usual response is surprise followed by the same sentence “you look too young to be retired.” Occasionally, I’ll answer the “what do you do” question with “I’m a traveler.”

  27. Tom E. says:

    I bought one share of stock in the Green Bay Packers, quite possibly the dumbest waste of $200 ever. However, my Facebook page lists my occupation as “part owner of an NFL franchise”.

    • I did the same thing for Jay Cutler and I’ve been sick to my stomach ever since. I tried to pay someone $200 to take it and they ran away in fear. I take comfort in the fact that the Bears will have to spend much more than $200 to unload that turkey. And you take comfort in the fact that the Bears are the Bears.

      Just kidding. Maybe…

  28. I almost rolled on the floor laughing after reading this the title and the post, being poly(amorous not workarous sadly) myself. Your description is spot on!

    For gifts, the more people I can bargain with to not do gifts the better. We’ve also asked to do “consumable” gift exchanges as to encourage creativity, drive down cost, and not add to the pile of “stuff” around the house. I was partially raised in Japan where gifts were primarily consumables, as living spaces are small and a single small item can have huge impact on the space. This also makes it less awful.

    I’m going to have your Tesla custom painted to look like a suspicious white van.

  29. Jason says:

    Good luck on finding a work….I personally like prolonged sabbatical. Here, we are giving gifts but I have resorted to giving gifts (except for my small nieces and nephews) that are experiences. So I buy parents tickets to a show or send them lobster in the mail or something. Something that is unique, but they would enjoy. The wife and I are doing Christmas, but much more low-key. We have to pay for some bathroom remodeling (e.g. glazing the tub).

  30. EZ-DIFI says:

    At exxon, we called our retirees “annuitants”.
    Since you’re on equity, you could call yourself an “equitant” or even “dividant”.
    “Dividant” seems particularly appropriate given that it can mean “different”.

  31. RocDoc says:

    I don’t often comment, but this post was exceptional, even for you! I really enjoyed it, especially the dung beetle “spirit animal.” How do you come up with these things!? I’m over 50 but I still laughed at the “what to tell people over 50.” Great post! I sure hope you’ll keep doing this blog even when you retire or become Fi- curious or whatever!

  32. Team CF says:

    Besides that i think you might be just overthinking this FI/no work thing one a bit, i did almost wet myself laughing. This is one of the best and funniest post you have done to date.
    Please don’t stop at 1500 days, pretty please? 🙂
    Team CF recently posted…Crowdfunding – Overview, Yields and DefaultsMy Profile

  33. This is hilarious!

    Real estate investor seems to keep people at bay for me. Also, for the ‘what do you do’, I just say that I’m a Free Agent, which is dabbling with part time and project based work, which means I can take off time in between. I explain that I have the funds/income to endure extended periods off, and I leave it at that. They don’t need to know all the details. Check out “Free Agent Nation”, by Daniel Pink and “The Overworked American”, by Juliet Schor. There is a big movement for professionals going to part time and project based work with more flexibility.

    Several years ago, I asked my family not to get me any gifts for any occasion. I really don’t want to be attached to things just because they were gifts. Money and gift cards are fine, but really, I would just rather people not spend any money at all on me, or just take me out for coffee and conversation, or even a hike.
    Primal Prosperity recently posted…Shut Up And CalculateMy Profile

  34. Zaxon says:

    Just tell them your a techical/software contractor. You get to pick and choose the projects you work on. They’ll ‘mutter that must be nice’ and move on.

    If they start to get too nosy just tell them its feast or famine, very scary but you don’t like 9-5’s. They will likely once again shutup and realize they like to clock in and out because its “safe” and likely don’t have marketable skills anyone would want on a temporary basis.

    And I long for the day my… ahem, clueless selfish younger sibling asks for money so i can laugh in their face and say get a job. If its anyone else who i actually respect and might have fallen on hard times i’d likely do what i can to help.

  35. ESI Money says:

    Personally, I say “retired” because the definition is commonly understood by the listener. People know it means “I don’t have a career/go to work.”

    It doesn’t say “I’m loaded” or make any judgments about them or their choices — it just says “I don’t work.”

    The fun for me is that I retired at 52, but because I’m blessed with good family genes I look 35 or 40 (people tell me this all the time.) So I LOVE to tell people I meet that I’m retired. The look of bewilderment on their faces is priceless!!!!
    ESI Money recently posted…Buying in Bulk is Always CheaperMy Profile

  36. Tawcan says:

    What about telling people that you’re working on the new Death Star? 😀

    FI-curious, love it lol!

    Yes we’re doing gift because Mrs. T loves Xmas. It took me literally 3 months to come up with my wishlist because I really don’t have anything to wish for.

  37. RoseRelish says:

    My answer is that I’m embracing a SAHD life. (Stay At Home Dad). It’s sort of funny and totally true. The issue is when they look at my wife and ask her…and she’ll say “The SAHM.” Such a good “dad joke”.

    Anyhow, we still do gifts. But have decided to only give useful/meaningful gifts regardless of price. And in years when someone doesn’t need as much, the gift is smaller or toilet paper. For example: we’re giving my father-in-law a new video camera. But my mother-in-law is getting toilet paper.

  38. This post is a perfect example of why I love this blog. Funny stuff! I’m currently going with “extended sabbatical” and “self-employed freelance consultant” — definitely not describing myself to others as FI or ER!
    Matt @ The Resume Gap recently posted…Fall in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National ParksMy Profile

  39. Personally, I say “retired” because the definition is commonly understood by the listener. People know it means “I don’t have a career/go to work.”

    It doesn’t say “I’m loaded” or make any judgments about them or their choices — it just says “I don’t work.”

  40. Pingback: The Best Financial Independence, Retire Early Articles of the Week (#6) - Lazy Man and Money

  41. Jules says:

    We have instituted a policy of gift giving freedom. Everyone is free to give any gift they’d like, including no gift at all. Gift giving is no longer expected at any holiday or birthday. But if you feel the inspiration to be generous and you wish to indulge that inspiration, then do so, regardless of the time of year.

    This Christmas I gave some gifts, I made some gift and I abstained from giving, based on who the recipient was. My sister is totally cool with no gift giving. My Dad got a $10 art print in a Goodwill frame I purchased for $1.29 and repainted. My Mom got a box of shortbread and some tea towels I made. My kids are young adults and broke so I do still give to them. The little kids, grandkids and niece and nephew (all under 12) don’t understand no gifts so they get stuff (I love them and I do love to give them stuff, they’re so enthusiastic).

    • This. Is. Awesome. It takes well adjusted people to make this work though. Otherwise, I picture hurt feelings.

      The gifts that you do give are pretty awesome. Much better than some plastic nonsense found on Amazon.

  42. kimobear says:

    As a recently early retired person I describe myself to those whom I know are not well read as …….. “A gentleman of leisure”, to others I simply say “I’m taking a gap year/decade to reevaluate the meaning of it all”. Specially when they feel the need to remind me that my peak earring years are just starting. Yes, I change the message depending on the audience. Once my wife told some girlfriends ” He is just living out his fantasy of reenacting out being a late 70’s porn star but he has a hard time fitting in bellbottom pants and growing a big mustache ” that cause a laugh or two and changes the subject.

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