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32 and just starting out
Old 06-22-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
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32 and just starting out

Hello,

I am 32 years old and just starting out on my path to early retirement. Married (husband is 34), no kids.

We're in a good position financially with respect to average people our age, but still have far to go until we can retire. Luckily we have always been frugal, bought less house than we were approved for, with 20% down, and have been saving for retirement since we finished school.

Some issues along the way (my husband has not yet bought into this concept as I have):
  • I really really don't want to work. He says he'd be fine with me not working while he works, but would he actually come to resent that? And, if I continue to work a little longer, could we both retire early?
  • He feels obligated to continue to work as he is a physician and there is a shortage of his specialty. Plus, he enjoys what he does. I have floated the idea of me not working and him working part time.
  • My husband has a chronic health condition (inherited -- not related to lifestyle choices) which makes him uninsurable on the open market, so he'd need to keep employer-sponsored health insurance (my part-time for him suggestion is looking better and better.)
  • Only debt is student loans for med school ($60k at 2.875%, $18k at 4.75%) and mortgage ($160k at 3.6%). Have been aggressively paying off student loans (had some at 6.8% and now I'm attacking the 4.75%). Student loan interest is not deductible as our income is too high. I'd love to be debt-free, but since these rates are relatively low, should we invest extra money once the 4.75% is paid off and just pay minimums?
Anyway, so glad to be a part of these forums. I look forward to "meeting" you as I figure out my way toward early retirement -- I have far too many interests and hobbies to be chained to a desk!
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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Welcome Marathoner.

If you are worried that your husband may resent you if you stop working how about hanging in until you reach a number that would work for you both to retire to a life style you find acceptable. If the current health care law is not revoked insurance won't be an obstacle. Then, if he continues to work, it is because he wants to, not has to. No reason you both have to stop working at the same time. My wife worked 3 years full time and 2 part time after I ERd. Sounds like you may be talking about going a lot earlier than him but it doesn't have to be a disaster.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:57 PM   #3
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I have only been retired for 3 weeks (though I am a bit older than the OP). My DW will continue to work for another 4 or 5 years - maybe more. Even though my wife was behind my decision to ER, I wonder if there isn't going to be some sort of resentment. MY DW mostly likes her job and she isn't mentally ready to retire (as I don't believe she has enough other interests right now). She is 2 years younger than I am. Time will tell, but I wonder if others in this situation have found any "issues" when one partner ER's and the other continues to w*rk.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:10 AM   #4
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Hi there marathoner. I myself am a physician. My wife and I are aggressively paying off the student debt and the mortgage. For us, living a debt free life and LWBYM lifestyle is our road to ER. Only 74 k for medical school? I feel I got screwed with mine...
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:47 AM   #5
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On the student loan at 4.75% you may want to look at weather you can get a fixed rate home equity loan and pay off the student loan at that rate or less as the interest could be tax deductable. In my humble opinion On the 2.875% loan would invest if you believe the investment you make will produce more return greater than 2.875%. You could always pay off earlier with any gains and or income from investment.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packman View Post
Even though my wife was behind my decision to ER, I wonder if there isn't going to be some sort of resentment. MY DW mostly likes her job and she isn't mentally ready to retire (as I don't believe she has enough other interests right now). She is 2 years younger than I am. Time will tell, but I wonder if others in this situation have found any "issues" when one partner ER's and the other continues to w*rk.
Been there (still there).

DW/me (both 63 years of age) planned on retiring in May 2007, when we would be both 59 years of age (I turned 59 in January, DW in May). Not ER, but "good enough".

Came May 1st, I retired (without any regrets). Four years later? DW is still employed. When it came to "her date", she also found that she was not ready - emotionally, to retire. It's not that she dosen't have a lot of interests outside of wo*k, but she found out (a month before her planned date) that while financially ready to leave employment, could not do it.

Four years later? She's happy (and I'm happy). Neither of us (as I can tell) regret our decisions in this matter.

Finacially, it's been a plus. While she's stopped her annual IRA contributions (so have I, as a spousal contributor to my own IRA - based upon her still being employed) but still directs 20% of her gross income to a 401(k), her retirement portfolio has grown quite nicely.

If you look at our joint retirement asset situation, it is greatly improved over our "2007 plan", since she does not draw against her retirement assets, and has recovered quite nicely in the face of 2008 (and early 2009) downturns. We have much more retirement assets (even with me drawing from my IRA for retirement expenses, without SS or a pension, for 100% of my retirement income).

She continues to w*rk, she also continues to travel the world (her passion - sometimes with me, sometimes with another woman who shares her "wanderlust").

While we live together (going on 41+ years in marriage; include another 5 years as a "couple"), we still persue our indivudial needs/desires.

The retirement of one does not necessarily mean a problem, at all. Sometimes it works out quite well, depending on the "strength" of your relationship.

BTW, since retirement, taking over "her duties" (yeah, we're older so we have a different view of married life), of house cleaning, food shopping, and even a bit of cooking (I'm no wiz in the kitchen, but I try), it has taken a bit of a "load" off of her.

Just our story...
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:00 AM   #7
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Thanks for all of the replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
My wife worked 3 years full time and 2 part time after I ERd. Sounds like you may be talking about going a lot earlier than him but it doesn't have to be a disaster.
Good to hear that you had success while retiring at different times -- gives me hope! If I had my way, I'd retire in a few years, so yes, hoping to go a lot earlier than him, should he decide to stay until "normal" age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Packman View Post
MY DW mostly likes her job and she isn't mentally ready to retire (as I don't believe she has enough other interests right now).
This also applies to us. I have a ton of outside interests and would not have trouble filling my days (I currently volunteer, which I would probably increase, want to learn the piano, and many more interests!) but he would be bored unless he could cultivate other interests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tw90663 View Post
Only 74 k for medical school? I feel I got screwed with mine...
His debt was around $125k for med school, but we've been aggressively paying off for a few years so only $74k left. We were lucky in that I had a good-paying job that could take care of all living expenses without going into debt, so student loans were just for tuition. I still feel like we got screwed, but I'm glad he could follow his dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trawler View Post
On the student loan at 4.75% you may want to look at weather you can get a fixed rate home equity loan and pay off the student loan at that rate or less as the interest could be tax deductable. In my humble opinion On the 2.875% loan would invest if you believe the investment you make will produce more return greater than 2.875%. You could always pay off earlier with any gains and or income from investment.
Thanks. We just refinanced last fall and were unable to take any cash out (which I would have used to pay off student loans) as the fall in home values meant we were close to 20% equity. I will look into whether that is an issue with home equity loans as we don't want to pay PMI. I definitely have a lot to think about here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Came May 1st, I retired (without any regrets). Four years later? DW is still employed. When it came to "her date", she also found that she was not ready - emotionally, to retire. It's not that she dosen't have a lot of interests outside of wo*k, but she found out (a month before her planned date) that while financially ready to leave employment, could not do it.

Four years later? She's happy (and I'm happy). Neither of us (as I can tell) regret our decisions in this matter.
Thanks for your story. Hearing others' successes is giving me hope that we can find an acceptable solution!
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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welcome, Marathoner.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:08 PM   #9
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Hi Marathoner, I missed this thread but saw your handle in another thread and had to ask if you picked that because you run marathons. I do, and it's certainly nice to have more flexibility in when to run in ER, though with the part-time telecommuting I was doing I usually could before anyway.

I think what rescueme said was key about your retiring before your hubby. If you can take on as much of possible the work of maintaining your home, cars, etc, it will help. If he doesn't have to stay late at work because he had to go run errands, and can come home and relax, he'll see the advantages.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for the welcome, obgyn65

RunningBum -- yes I am a runner (15 marathons and at the beginning of a 50 state quest.) Right now I get up at 5 am most mornings to get a run in before arriving at work. I would love to have more flexibility on the timing of my run that ER would afford, though in the summer I might have to get up that early anyway!

My husband continues to be supportive of my general plan to ER. After I posted my intro, I have been talking to him more about the benefits and I think he's buying into it more. I just know I'd be resentful if he stopped working and I had to continue on, so I think I'm projecting those feelings onto him. I guess the big difference is he loves what he does and I just work for the money.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:55 PM   #11
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Not sure this'll work for you....but for me DW decided to go back to grad (law) school in her late 20s and I supported us (outside of tuition) similarly to you on my paycheck during that time. We're both on the same page in terms of an ER or semi-ER but I did half-seriously joke that I would get to ER 3 years earlier than her b/c of law school. She's never balked in those discussions but we'll see.

Of course I position it not as ER but as changing of careers, pursuing a lower-income career such as a professional golfer post-40, being her super tan/buff landscaper, Michelin-star chef, pick-up the kids, etc ;-)

Anyways, good luck. We're close to your age (35) and I'm a marathoner (8), too.....or at least until I had kids recently. Will have to settle for 1/2's until they are out of diapers.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:23 PM   #12
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21 marathons/ultras for me, at age 49. First at 39. It definitely got easier when the kid went to college. I'm not going for 50 states though. I'd rather do local or travel to places that I really want to see rather than check states off a list. It's a neat goal, but not for me.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #13
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jblack -- 1/2s are definitely more doable with young children! Unless you get a running stroller and get a real workout in on those long runs

RunningBum -- I did my first ultra this spring (50 mile) and kind of preferred it to marathons. I only have 4 states down, so the 50 state thing may or may not happen. I totally agree about not doing one just to cross it off the list; I'm cautiously optimistic we can plan a great vacation in every state around a race. Some states may prove challenging, however!
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:27 PM   #14
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Which 50? I did Rocky Raccoon in TX last year, and I'm doing Mountain Masochist in my home state of Virginia in November.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:41 PM   #15
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I did the Ice Age Trail 50 in Wisconsin. You get a nice belt buckle for finishing. I'm also thinking about doing some of the Dances with Dirt series ultras in the future. So many things to do, which is why I need to FIRE!

Good luck at the Mountain Masochist!
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