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A slight twist on How do you convince your Spouse to RE
Old 07-01-2014, 10:39 AM   #1
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A slight twist on How do you convince your Spouse to RE

Hi I'm Dave and been lurking for a while here. I saw RE1970's post and have a slight twist on her problem. Rather than possibly highjack her thread I thought it was time to join up and start my own.

I will be 55 very soon. I currently work making ~150K/yr in Silicon Valley. I am married with no kids and my wife RE about 10 years ago. We own our home and have 0 debt. Using various calculators like FireCalc and Flexible Retirement Planner among others it seems we are good for the lifestyle we live (we are both quite frugal, the "newest" car is 1997 and was paid for in cash and we never make big purchases without careful thought) and time frames of 50+ years

However my wife does not want me to retire now or even that soon though I have constantly trying to convince her. She will bring up Health care or some other excuse. This is in spite of the fact that she ditched it years ago . Now I don't plan to retire this year even though the numbers say I can as we are going to do a remodel which is best paid for with salary rather than savings.

Anyone else had this issue and how did you go about convincing your spouse that it would be ok? I don't see the point of working once you have enough (my Mom died at 68 due to cancer which is a constant reminder to me that things can degrade fast though I am in excellent health now). I want to be able to enjoy retirement and do things but she is too worried about the uncertain. Ideally I would get laid off in about 6month-1year and that would solve my problem but they seem to like me here and I've survived many layoffs so that seems unlikely. I do know if I leave work I can never return. I also am not at a level or in an industry that I could work part time so I have to go all in for RE

Sorry for the long rambling first post
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:01 AM   #2
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It seems your wife is wanting to have it both ways: she does not work, and then wants you to work for the security aspects.

Without knowing your situation, you say you have enough to cover your lifestyle and expenses. It is therefore an emotional decision and not a financial decision. I suggest you need to understand the real reasons behind your wife's reluctance, from what I read in your initial post it seems she is being selfish.

You might be able to "volunteer" for layoff at your job. That may be a way to get some severance benefits and be out the door gracefully.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:34 AM   #3
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I have to agree with 38Chevy454, as it sounds like you wife has another reason she doesn't want you to retire. I think you need to get to the root of the issue and discuss it with her.

I can't imagine my wife telling me that "I" had to keep working but she was going to take it easy! Luckily my wife and I am planning no retiring within 2 months of each other this year. But my mindset is set, and if she got cold feet, well, let's just say she would be working by herself!

Good luck but I do think you need to find out what is going on in her head, and maybe suggesting she can go back to work if she is so concerned. She has had 10 years off, so now it is her time in the barrel.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:48 AM   #4
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I would just ask her why she thinks it is fair for her to not work and you to work full time. My husband would just say if you are worried about more income feel free to get a job at any time if you want, but we have enough to retire and I am not going to work full time any more.

We actually both just work part-time from home and try to live a bit of a low expense, Mother Earth Living kind of life these days (cook from scratch, low energy consumption, outdoor hobbies) so our income has still been decent in relation to our new lower expenses and neither one of us has to have a high stress 40+ hours a week plus commute type job. If the ACA had been in place for insurance we could have done this years ago.

If you each have a career that would pay $150K full time and can live off $75K, then together each of you working 25% of a normal work week, or 10 hours a week, could potentially cover your living expenses.

If you are in a tech field in Silicon Valley there may be more contract options or self employment opportunities than you think, especially if you enjoy programming type work and don't mind learning something new.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:10 PM   #5
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To lighten the mood, ask her if you should retire, not tell her, and leave the house every weekday morning for a couple years.



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Old 07-01-2014, 12:39 PM   #6
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I faced a similar pushback from my husband. He's had more work gaps than I have, and finally retired for good in January. When I brought up that I was ready to retire, he pushed back for a while. I showed him the numbers, showed him the quotes for health insurance, showed him the set asides for our big europe vacation next summer, our next car, and enough money to finish our remodeling projects. He didn't push back as hard - but was still not very positive on the idea. Then I pointed out that my mom had retired at age 62, only to get a dx of stage 3 ovarian cancer 3 months later. She spent the next 5 years trying to fit their retirement travel in between chemo blocks. My husband and I met a few weeks after her dx, so he saw the whole thing. That was enough of an argument that he finally got on board with my retirement.

Our next door neighbor (husband) just retired. The wife has been a homemaker since their (now grown) kids were born. She had a tough adjustment to him being home during the day. Perhaps this is what your wife fears - she likes her time alone in the house. Talk to her and work through her concerns.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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I think that your wife is being unfair. That you should have to ask her permission is ridiculous, especially given that she has not being working for a decade.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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I re'd maybe six years before DH and the day he left his job was one of the happiest days of my life. I wonder what your DW is afraid of, nuke_diver. My unsolicited advice (oh wait, you did ask , but take it for what it is worth) is to find out what that is before you RE. I don't think you should have to convince her but I would want to know her reasons if I were you.
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:03 PM   #9
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I have a pair of married couple friends who are extreme in this regard. The woman retired about 10 years ago, and she is out most of the time, day and evening with various social undertakings. I figured she was having affairs, but this does not appear to be the case. The man retired 3 years ago, and has been outside the US for all but about 2 months of that time. When he visits, most of his time is spent traveling around visiting friends.

I have no idea about his social life in Asia, but I don't think he is much into women, his own wife or any other woman.

I think they do not have the money to separate, so they do their best to avoid one another. When I have observed them together in their house, she is cool but polite, and he tries but tends to get critical.

During most of man's history on the earth people made do with one another, economics and survival demanded it. Doesn't fit the way modern wealthy nation occupants (including the "poor" in these populations) like to imagine themselves or live life.

Before I moved back to Seattle I lived in a service center town of an ag area. Lots of older guys retired to their shops. One guy I liked a lot and got to know had bad asthma from a lifetime of welding. IF he ever came into the house other than for meals or bedtime, his wife would light up a smoke and he would head for the porch, no matter the weather. Better cold and wet than struggling to breath.

Ha
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:50 PM   #10
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I have a pair of married couple friends who are extreme in this regard. The woman retired about 10 years ago, and she is out most of the time, day and evening with various social undertakings. I figured she was having affairs, but this does not appear to be the case. The man retired 3 years ago, and has been outside the US for all but about 2 months of that time. When he visits, most of his time is spent traveling around visiting friends.

I have no idea about his social life in Asia, but I don't think he is much into women, his own wife or any other woman.

I think they do not have the money to separate, so they do their best to avoid one another. When I have observed them together in their house, she is cool but polite, and he tries but tends to get critical.
For some reason, I'm getting a mental image of TV's first "open marriage"...
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:01 PM   #11
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Yes it is an emotional one not a financial one as I see. I think the issue with my wife is that she is very financial conservative and the lack of a known inflow of $ is scary. And I am not sure that she entirely believes me when I say the number work out ok. We will go see her FA in a few months and maybe he can help convince her. It may also be that she is worried that we will have trouble getting along if we are together all the time but I doubt we will be since I have a lot of activities that will keep me out of the house.

I have volunteered for layoffs and been refused
@rodi my mom died of Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer at 68 only 10 months after the dx horrible disease
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:54 PM   #12
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What were the conditions of your wife's ER, was she RIF, medical issues,or job stress?
Did you discuss her ER together and decide as a couple, or did she just stop working?
As a female myself, I feel you are actually pretty laid back about her reaction. She's not that worried about "inflow", since she hasn't actually personally "inflowed" any money for the last decade.

You seem to feel you need to convince her you can stop working, if you actually have the funds to retire, why are you deferring to her many "excuses" as you labeled them yourself. Are you certain you really want to stop working? Maybe you are nervous about pulling the plug and she is picking up on that.
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A slight twist on How do you convince your Spouse to RE
Old 07-01-2014, 06:24 PM   #13
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A slight twist on How do you convince your Spouse to RE

As others have said, your wife is welcome to find a job if she desires ongoing income. She has had a decade off and has no room to complain now that you want to join her.

I get very angry that the at-home spouse thinks of the impending retirement as an invasion of territory. The home belongs to both. Communicate, adapt, or make a change. If you do not already each have retreat space of your own (a room or a corner), establish that immediately.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:03 PM   #14
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I'm in the same position, except I'm the DW and my DH retired 8 years ago at 52, while I've continued to work. It was ok for a few years, but now I am ready to quit at 59 1/2. He doesn't want me to, as I currently work from home. He says I have it too easy and the money/healthcare is good. But I'd like to play more like he does! And the kicker is, that even tho we have 100% Firecalc, he complains anytime I spend on any splurges! even if I work overtime to cover them! He has a lot of resentment that he was unable to find work after leaving his 30 yr job, and thinks I'm a fool to give up "good money". Not a happy household at the moment!
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #15
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I'm in the same position, except I'm the DW and my DH retired 8 years ago at 52, while I've continued to work. It was ok for a few years, but now I am ready to quit at 59 1/2. He doesn't want me to, as I currently work from home. He says I have it too easy and the money/healthcare is good. But I'd like to play more like he does! And the kicker is, that even tho we have 100% Firecalc, he complains anytime I spend on any splurges! even if I work overtime to cover them! He has a lot of resentment that he was unable to find work after leaving his 30 yr job, and thinks I'm a fool to give up "good money". Not a happy household at the moment!
Doesn't he have any interest in finding something he could do part-time or at home himself, like seasonal tax work, substitute teaching, or making web sites?
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:13 AM   #16
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I am amazed at all the asymmetric relationships reported in this thread. I would expect these spousal attitudes to drive people directly to the door. Maybe that should be the response - "I am ready to pull the plug, think how much more secure you will be if I go with you rather than without?"
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:22 AM   #17
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I am amazed at all the asymmetric relationships reported in this thread. I would expect these spousal attitudes to drive people directly to the door. Maybe that should be the response - "I am ready to pull the plug, think how much more secure you will be if I go with you rather than without?"
Surprises me too. There had best be some intense, honest communicating going on or neither party will enjoy RE divorced as that little event tends to wreak havoc on the net worth of both parties.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:10 PM   #18
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Money is the cause of so much marital discord, that I am not surprised to hear of disagreements with spouses over when to ER.

I can only suggest listening to your spouse closely, and giving any concerns your serious consideration. In conversations, it may help to emphasize the fact that retiring is a team effort and both partners need to be on board and contributing sufficiently towards that mutual goal.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:20 PM   #19
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My brother has a similar situation but with a twist.

Financially, they could easily FIRE

In his case, he is retired, but is wife likes work and wants him to work.

As a result, they are heading towards divorce.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:21 PM   #20
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I am amazed at all the asymmetric relationships reported in this thread. I would expect these spousal attitudes to drive people directly to the door. Maybe that should be the response - "I am ready to pull the plug, think how much more secure you will be if I go with you rather than without?"
We are carefully stepping out into one of these asymmetrical situations. My wife and I moved to DC about 7 years ago and both began looking for Fed jobs. She found one, I did not (found various other stuff and we have comparable salaries). Now, benefits for Fed employees are great and much better than what I have available, but when you enter the workforce late, it takes a while to get those benefits.

So the bottom line for us is this:

We want to retire and maintain our current level of spending. This can be done under three scenarios (all +/- 1 year ish)

1) DW works 8 more years, I retire now.
2) DW and I both work about 6 more years.
3) DW retires now and I work 12 more years.

The reality is that the fast growing Fed benefits (pension) and a fairly significant increase in her SS benefits (her earnings before her current position were paltry) has a much bigger impact on our post-retirement income than my contributions (no pension, basically flat SS) will.

DW knows that I have been miserable in my current situation and encouraged me to retire. BUT we are having regular conversations to ensure that we remain on the same page with our expectations. We are both trying to remain sensitive to each others feelings about this while at the same time being supportive.

Sorry about the length...
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