Is This What Early Retirement is Like?

For Mother’s Day I went out with my mom, dad and my brother’s family for bunch. As the bill came I was going to offer to pay half when my brother picked up the bill and said he would cover it. This stuck me as a bit odd (after all he had just moved and his wife was still on maternity leave), but hey if he wants to pay I’ll let him this time and get the bill next time. Yet what really got me was he commented “I might as well since you are not getting paid for the next six weeks.”

Just because I’m not getting a pay cheque he assumed I must suddenly be poor! Ha! That was funny. I actually explained we had saved up for my leave so I was not actually poor, but I did have to watch so I didn’t go over board on our spending.

Do people just assume that if you don’t have a pay cheque that you must be poor?  Won’t a lack  of a paycheque and a happy person imply “there goes a lucky guy”?  After all in my mind not working and still being happy are great things, so shouldn’t we celebrate people who do this?  Has anyone else come across this problem as well?
Mmm, this leave is already proving to be an entertaining view of the world.  I’ll have to share more insights that I notice as time goes on.

6 thoughts on “Is This What Early Retirement is Like?”

  1. Hm…I’ll be interested to see how that goes since I’m about to start a leave myself to go back to school….I’ve known this is coming, so I’ve saved up for it. I’ll be in the same boat, not poor but have to watch to make sure I don’t go overboard…I wonder how my friends/family will react?

  2. Lots of people out there are living pay cheque to pay cheque.
    They tend to put a lot of importance on earned income.

    I prefer investment income myself,a lot less work and a better tax rate as well.

  3. At least 80% of the people I work with live paycheque to paycheque. I doubt they could even make it 4 weeks without a paycheque without starving to death. A lot of people have trouble saving… every time they have a few extra dollars in their pocket/bank, they find a way to spend it. It takes a considerable amount of self discipline to have money sitting within arm’s reach and not spend it.

  4. I doubt that your brother thought you were broke. Rather, he probably thought that you were watching your spending (you are) and figured he’d take care of the bill as a kind gesture while your income is on hold.

    I think most people would realize that if you were broke and couldn’t afford to take 6 weeks off, you wouldn’t have.

    Sometimes it’s tough to be a saver. I often get people feeling sorry for us because my husband and I live in a “starter house” and drive beaters, but it’s much better than having them ask me for handouts! 🙂

  5. Hazy & Sarlock,

    You both got a point. People do tend to put a lot of focus on employment income when you live cheque to cheque.


    It is possible, but funny to me. After all I consider my brother’s overall financial health to be much worse off than mine. So in that case I should have bought brunch. Oh well it doesn’t really matter. I just thought it was amusing.


  6. I say you take advantage of it and let everyone buy you lunch–you’ve only got 6 weeks to milk it, after that people will remember that you have money, and it will be back to reality.

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