But she wasn’t retired anymore either. She was getting paid. Again, and I gather I didn’t make it as clear as I hoped, it’s a matter of using one’s words accurately — if you’re working, you’re not retired. You’re working. It’s bait and switch to turn around and sell that as a how-to piece on FIRE. In fact, I doubt your mother the one guilty of writing the fake FIRE articles that stuff my feed with bull****. And, also, she may not realize it, but nobody believes she’s doing well financially if she’s working retail for social interaction. There are too many other options for that. Church, clubs, hobbies, volunteer worker… one does assume that she needs the money and just doesn’t want you to worry. Even if the assumption is wrong in a rare case like hers, for most people, most of the time it’s right.