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Old 02-22-2010, 03:58 PM   #1
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Colorado blonde says Hello!

Hi there,

I've been lurking in the shadows on this site for about a year. I'm decided to jump in at age 48 because I am trying to retire before this year is out. I am married with 2 boys, ages 11 & 17 and have worked full time for 27 years. I've worked for large Corporations in Sales and Marketing but have also started and run 4 companies in that time. (small consumer-based companies) I've been going, going and going on the treadmill for so long that I have no idea what I will do with myself without work. I cannot travel the world as I still a working husband and kids to raise. Advice about how to find yourself in retirement when you still have a household to run would be much appreciated. I don't want to be just an amazing cook and house-cleaner!
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:22 PM   #2
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Welcome Colorado. We have lots of perspectives on keeping busy here. Me, I lean toward the "let out your inner lazy bum" faction.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:36 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.
There is a running thread about what we did today that may give you some ideas.
http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post907078
The posts range from being realistic about real extracurricular activities to being downright silly (not guilty ).
Or...take some time and compose a list of things you always wanted to do or learn but never had time for and go from there. Try to keep it simple and fun.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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I would recommend reading Earnie J. Zilinski's book "How to Retire Happy Wild and Free". That book is all about the non financial aspects of retirement and is very good.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Retire-Hap...5245587&sr=1-1

Among other things he shows that a job provides for:

1) A sense of purpose
2) A sense of community
3) Some structure in your life

those three things need to be addressed once you don't have to work anymore.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:15 PM   #5
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Hi CB. I am a dozen years younger and wondering the same thing: where did my life go while I was working? Fortunately, I am starting to think about all the things I used to enjoy or always wanted to try and planning on trying it out when I break free. We have recently decided to shoot for ESR and a relocation to Fort Collins within 5 years.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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Welcome to the board, CB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradoblonde View Post
I cannot travel the world as I still a working husband and kids to raise.
Geez, you would have hoped to have had someone finish raising your husband before you married him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradoblonde View Post
Advice about how to find yourself in retirement when you still have a household to run would be much appreciated. I don't want to be just an amazing cook and house-cleaner!
I think the answer to your question lies with your husband & kids. You shouldn't have to take over any more house-running responsibilities in ER than you had when you were working. Just because you ER they shouldn't expect you to take over their laundry, cleaning up, meal prep, or other chores. You've paid your dues to the work ethic.

If they were doing their share before you ER'd then they should keep doing it after you ER. If you have a housecleaner or yard service before ER then you should feel free to have the option of keeping them during ER.

And if they're not already hauling their share of the homefront duties (as I suspect many husbands don't) then you have about 10 more months to get them qualified.

A modicum of discretion goes a long way. It's probably a bad idea to sleep in when they're getting up for work/school, although it'd be polite to give them first dibs on the shower. It might be appreciated if you start the coffee while they're in the bathroom. I wouldn't stretch luxuriously and exclaim "Gosh, whatever will I do all day today?!?" while he's stressing over a long day of rush-hour traffic and work meetings. It's probably a bad idea to burn rubber out of the driveway with the longboard strapped to the roof rack and the stereo blasting while the kids are walking to the bus stop.

Or so I've heard.

As long as you have dinner on the table when they get home, they probably won't care what you did all day. Instead they'll want to dump tell you about theirs. And if they're bothered by a little dust in the corners or personal belongings adrift or dirty laundry piling up, then they should feel free to pitch in and do something about it.

And if you've been working on some home-improvement project all day, one that you've been putting off for a few years until you could ER, then I think it's perfectly fine to let dinner be delivered by Domino's.

Maybe when they see the ER example that you're setting, they'll be a little more supportive of whatever planning is necessary for them to be able to join the party...
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:39 PM   #7
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Welcome to the board, CB.


Geez, you would have hoped to have had someone finish raising your husband before you married him.

Just imagine the diaper changes...
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:55 PM   #8
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We went through this last year when my wife stopped working to become a SAHM to our two young children - slightly different circumstances but pretty much the same issues.

We had a detailed discussion over the finances to make sure we were on the same page regarding the effects of moving from two incomes to one. We put all the issues on the table and kicked them around for a few months before drawing our conclusions. We made a few cutbacks.

We had a lot of discussions about what DW was going to do - both of us were concerned about the implications of her getting bored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I think the answer to your question lies with your husband & kids. You shouldn't have to take over any more house-running responsibilities in ER than you had when you were working. Just because you ER they shouldn't expect you to take over their laundry, cleaning up, meal prep, or other chores. You've paid your dues to the work ethic.

If they were doing their share before you ER'd then they should keep doing it after you ER.
With the utmost respect (that's lawyer speak for I strongly disagree ), I'd suggest having a discussion with the family before making any assumptions in this regard. Expecting your husband to continue doing the same share of the housework (assuming he is now) and work full time to support the family while you get on with more enjoyable activities could very easily become a source of friction.

I do agree with the "don't flaunt your freedom" message.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:16 PM   #9
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With the utmost respect (that's lawyer speak for I strongly disagree ), I'd suggest having a discussion with the family before making any assumptions in this regard. Expecting your husband to continue doing the same share of the housework (assuming he is now) and work full time to support the family while you get on with more enjoyable activities could very easily become a source of friction.
I'm all for family discussions, especially hand-holding and singing Kumbaya, but I'm suggesting that the ER-about-to-be stick up for herself. And after nearly eight years of ER I'm well aware of the Voluntold Syndrome of "Hey, you're the retired guy with plenty of spare time, how 'bout you..."

Broadly speaking, survey after survey suggests that males continue to win nearly every domestic gross-out contest while remaining oblivious to shouldering their share of the cleaning & cooking & child-raising burdens. Children are also happy to let anyone else haul their load in these areas. Women continue to cave in to what they see as a necessary set of tasks for sanitation & hygiene, let alone society's unspoken expectations.

I'd suggest a role-reversal thought experiment. If the husband was going to ER, would he feel obligated to pick up a larger share of cooking, cleaning, & child-raising? Or would he be looking ahead to getting through his own wish list of home-improvement projects, yardwork, and surfing?

I'm just suggesting that she make sure the rest of the family doesn't have unrealistic expectations of new highs in concierge services.
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Thanks for all the responses!
Old 02-23-2010, 02:42 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the responses!

Hi ER folks,

Thanks for all of the responders and you have some great suggestions and welcoming to the board. I am so new to this forum that I'm can't find who said the "strapping the long-board to the car" comment. You're hysterical! I guess in Colorado, it would be strapping my skis to the roof rack, but I really like the idea of surfing instead!

Yes, I do feel like I do more than my fair-share of chores around the house (doesn't every woman?) and I definitely have more of the responsibility of the kid stuff (you know getting their school supplies, helping make that art project, taking them to buy baseball cleats, Doctor appointments) but these are my kiddos and my DH is stepdad. Just to get a little more controversial here, I am the older woman (cougar) as he is just 40 years old and since he has an advanced degree, he has been working for 14 years full time (but who is counting?) My DH deserves an award for taking my kids on full time as Dad when Bio-Dad (my ex) moved back to California.

I have been discussing this change with my family for a year and I think they are prepared. I have it all set up with passive investments where I will continue to pay the same bills in the household as before and do my chores. I'm going to start reading the "What did you do today?" forum to get other inspiration from others.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #11
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When I saw your name, my simple response was... SKI!!!!!! When I saw your location, um... nvm :-)
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Sorry for the confusion...
Old 02-23-2010, 03:30 PM   #12
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Sorry for the confusion...

We are in Louisville, CO (not KY) It's part of Boulder County.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:31 PM   #13
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By the way, what is the dryer sheet thing and how do I get that off my profile?
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I'm all for family discussions, especially hand-holding and singing Kumbaya, but I'm suggesting that the ER-about-to-be stick up for herself. And after nearly eight years of ER I'm well aware of the Voluntold Syndrome of "Hey, you're the retired guy with plenty of spare time, how 'bout you..."

Broadly speaking, survey after survey suggests that males continue to win nearly every domestic gross-out contest while remaining oblivious to shouldering their share of the cleaning & cooking & child-raising burdens. Children are also happy to let anyone else haul their load in these areas. Women continue to cave in to what they see as a necessary set of tasks for sanitation & hygiene, let alone society's unspoken expectations.

I'd suggest a role-reversal thought experiment. If the husband was going to ER, would he feel obligated to pick up a larger share of cooking, cleaning, & child-raising? Or would he be looking ahead to getting through his own wish list of home-improvement projects, yardwork, and surfing?

I'm just suggesting that she make sure the rest of the family doesn't have unrealistic expectations of new highs in concierge services.

Nords... With all due respect (hey, I LIKE this lawyer speak).... I agree with you most of the time, but I will be like the other poster on this... there is a certain amount of work that needs to be done by the family... and included in that 'amount' is going to get a paycheck if your family needs it (mine still does)..

So, if you have house work, yard work, taking care of two kids... etc. etc. and both are going to work and bring home the paycheck... the division of all that work should be shared... so the husband and kids have to pitch in to get all of it done, or people agree that they should hire out some of it...

Now, if one spouse decides to 'retire'... they have now been releived of a significant burdon of the total housework (which includes a paying job)... to reallocate the workload then they should be willing to take some other duties. They should not be the only one in the family to enjoy time off... IMO, everybody should 'share' in the benefits... not all going to one...
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:06 PM   #15
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By the way, what is the dryer sheet thing and how do I get that off my profile?
That's an inside joke that pre-dates me about how cheap some of us are.

The member description changes with the total number of posts you have made on the forum.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:07 PM   #16
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Got it...I better get more posts up!
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:58 PM   #17
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By the way, what is the dryer sheet thing and how do I get that off my profile?
You never will - it's worse than duct tape.
Just kidding...
The "dryer sheets" thing is an inside joke that preceeds my first time here. Someone will come along and explain it.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:00 PM   #18
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For those that really want to know about dryer sheets here's a link.

"What's the deal with the dryer sheets?!?"
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:00 PM   #19
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DW retired 4 yrs ago @58 and I retired 2 yrs ago @57. Our younger son went away to college 3 yrs ago although we didn't see all that much of him in the last couple years of HS. Retirement has been good to us but we are restrained from really extended travel by MIL who lives in local senior home and needs a lot of assistance. That may be something for you to consider in your future.
On chores we have found that there are certain things that I am willing to do like laundry and some I actually like like computer and car related activities. DW likes the garden. I hate house maintenance; many years ago I got our house out of probate and did a lot of house work and lost all interest in such activities, the place could rot around me until I notice and hire someone to fix things. Drives DW nuts, especially since I am capable of a lot of it. Maybe your husband can find the domestic activities he will do voluntarily and then look at the ones you would do and hire someone for the rest? Even in retirement we still have a house cleaner come in once a month to backstop our efforts, good for DW to have someone else clean once in a while.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:16 PM   #20
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...Even in retirement we still have a house cleaner come in once a month to backstop our efforts, good for DW to have someone else clean once in a while.
Same here...once a month I have a housecleaner come clean the place throughly top to bottom. I clean the worst dirt collecting areas in between visits.
As far as laundry/cooking/lawnmowing, I do the majority of it because
a) I am FIREd and have tons of time to do it, and
b) dh2b does all of the car repair w*rk on weekends. He still w*rks full time.
A splendid chore tradeoff, in my book.

For the record...I never pick up his socks or underwear.

The general solution is to find a tradeoff that suits both adults and kids, and do the least favorite together (mutual suffering). Negotiation at low volume is key!
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