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Greetings, all. Retired with a dilemma
Old 04-30-2017, 08:34 PM   #1
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Greetings, all. Retired with a dilemma

Hello all,

I recently retired in my late 40s after reaching FI. Long story short, I have a passive business that covers my bills and approximately $ 2 million saved.

Now, my dilemma. My wife does not want to retire; she thinks we're too young. If she knew that I only work less than 10 hours a week she would go nuts! She'd be jealous and...trust me, it wouldn't be nice. On my end, I do not see the point when I have more than I need.

So, I am secretly retired. I leave work and pretend to go to work. I usually go to the gym, the museums, walk around, and see friends. I also come home early and just relax (sometimes I'm home by 2pm) but when she gets home at 6pm I do one those "I just got home myself". (our daughter is in college so no one else is home).

Anyone else in this situation? I'm not complaining, but I do somewhat feel guilty.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:41 PM   #2
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Welcome.

I think you might be better off posting in a forum about marriage and relationships. It would seem to me that your issues are not related to retirement, but to the lack of honesty between you and your wife. I don't think retirement will go well when it starts off with a lie.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:55 PM   #3
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Welcome Frank.

+1 with Ready. If she were to somehow to find out your deception, how would that work out for you?

Remember, the night has a thousand eyes.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:03 PM   #4
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Hmmm. I can relate to part of that. I'm 45 and my DH is 53. I want to retire and he doesn't- he also thinks we're too young. I explained that HE doesn't have to retire- I'm perfectly fine if he decides not to, but we could retire and live on 3% of our assets, and I am not going to work longer so we can die richer. It has taken YEARS of discussion and me showing him charts and graphs (and obituaries of people his age who DIED) but he has come to terms with the fact that a) we can do this, and b) I'm going to whether he likes it or not, and he has even mentioned taking Fridays off!

If I were you, I'd come clean with your wife because if she finds out, its going to be ugly and losing half of your assets (through divorce) will take you out the position of being able to retire early.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ready View Post
Welcome.

I think you might be better off posting in a forum about marriage and relationships. It would seem to me that your issues are not related to retirement, but to the lack of honesty between you and your wife. I don't think retirement will go well when it starts off with a lie.
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Welcome Frank.

+1 with Ready. If she were to somehow to find out your deception, how would that work out for you?

Remember, the night has a thousand eyes.
I'm at a loss to provide anything helpful. If you were still working, and your wife was living the 'secret retirement,' how would you take it when you inevitably found out a week, month, year later? That might give you some insight...
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nuts or not ,tell her
Old 04-30-2017, 09:32 PM   #6
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nuts or not ,tell her

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankinNewYork View Post
Hello all,

I recently retired in my late 40s after reaching FI. Long story short, I have a passive business that covers my bills and approximately $ 2 million saved.

Now, my dilemma. My wife does not want to retire; she thinks we're too young. If she knew that I only work less than 10 hours a week she would go nuts! She'd be jealous and...trust me, it wouldn't be nice. On my end, I do not see the point when I have more than I need.

So, I am secretly retired. I leave work and pretend to go to work. I usually go to the gym, the museums, walk around, and see friends. I also come home early and just relax (sometimes I'm home by 2pm) but when she gets home at 6pm I do one those "I just got home myself". (our daughter is in college so no one else is home).

Anyone else in this situation? I'm not complaining, but I do somewhat feel guilty.
i dont know how deep the conversations got, but show her the numbers, so maybe she can see your reasoning, tell her if she wants to work she has your full support. then tell her you have perfected your work to the point its only 10 hours a week. then start doing the house work, good luck
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:39 AM   #7
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FI is not about leaving a job. It is about life choices. It could be continuing to work at the same job or select something different. However, popular culture puts retirement as the ability to leave a job and seems to stop there.

If this is true, it suggests to me that a discussion is required between you/DW so you understand (define) when FI has been reached. The conversation should include possible life alternatives for each of you and as a couple. Is the FI goal a financial target, age, etc. What is the 'trigger' that allows a lifestyle choice?

Just a thought that I am sure can be developed further. Like others have said, I do not expect your current approach will be helpful.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:53 AM   #8
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+1 with the above comments. My only guidance is that you will get caught. You need to find a way to tell her, and perhaps to show a good, strong financial case.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by FrankinNewYork View Post
Now, my dilemma. My wife does not want to retire; she thinks we're too young. If she knew that I only work less than 10 hours a week she would go nuts! She'd be jealous and...trust me, it wouldn't be nice. On my end, I do not see the point when I have more than I need.
I can't imagine ever making a huge life decision like retirement without discussing it with my wife. I don't believe in keeping secrets.

Quote:
So, I am secretly retired. I leave work and pretend to go to work. I usually go to the gym, the museums, walk around, and see friends. I also come home early and just relax (sometimes I'm home by 2pm) but when she gets home at 6pm I do one those "I just got home myself". (our daughter is in college so no one else is home).
Is this an enjoyable life for you? While the activities sound pleasant, the secrecy and guilt don't.

My suggestion: find a quiet time now to sit down with your wife. Explain what you did and why. And stop with the secret life - eventually it won't be a secret one way or the other.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:05 AM   #10
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Gotta confess, the first post here gave me quite a laugh. But, like others have already posted, there is a serious side to this. Certainly, this secret is much better than if you secretly had a mistress! But I suspect there will be some considerable hell to be paid if/when this very big secret is exposed.
So, obviously the financial thing is fine, but the relationship thing is a big deal here if you don't tell her. BTW, I may get flamed for this next comment: if you do decide to tell her, I suggest a sort-of-white-lie be included so that you do not reveal you've already been secretly ER'd.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:13 AM   #11
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So, I asked my wife what her thoughts would be if the OP were me. They need to sit down and have a heart to heart as to what their goals are together and individually. What type of job does his wife have high stress low stress does she like working and find it fulfilling? Would she rather volunteer and find fulfillment that way? Does the OP help with household chores, since he's not working or does the burden fall on his wife after she's worked all day? The bottom line, as others have posted is he needs to be honest with her and the sooner the better. Dishonesty in a marriage is poison.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankinNewYork View Post
I recently retired in my late 40s after reaching FI. Long story short, I have a passive business that covers my bills and approximately $ 2 million saved.
Good work. Congratulations on becoming FI!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankinNewYork View Post
My wife does not want to retire; she thinks we're too young. If she knew that I only work less than 10 hours a week she would go nuts! She'd be jealous and...trust me, it wouldn't be nice. On my end, I do not see the point when I have more than I need.
If you are proposing that you retire while she continues to work, I can see why she might be jealous: you are a team and if there isn't enough income to cover your joint expenses (not sure what you meant by "my bills"), both should continue to work until there is.

If on the other hand money isn't the issue and she wants to continue working merely because she doesn't feel ready to retire, that's her choice and there is no need for any jealousy. ugeauxgirl's remarks apply.

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Originally Posted by FrankinNewYork View Post
I am secretly retired. I leave work and pretend to go to work. I usually go to the gym, the museums, walk around, and see friends. I also come home early and just relax (sometimes I'm home by 2pm) but when she gets home at 6pm I do one those "I just got home myself" (our daughter is in college so no one else is home).
(1) I believe it is only a matter of time before your lie is exposed. (2) The deception is quite large, and could well lead to a divorce.

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My suggestion: find a quiet time now to sit down with your wife. Explain what you did and why.
I think I would frame the decision in terms of what you are doing (ceasing work effective now) and why, rather than coming clean about the whole thing (i.e., the fact that the OP has already been leading a secret life for some time). There is an obvious downside to confessing the whole situation.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:27 AM   #13
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Honesty in a relationship is important. No doubt. That being said, what does DW need from you? Seems like a pay check. You are providing that. It shouldn't matter that you earn that pay with very little time commitment. My DW has a job that is less flexible than mine. I have a laptop and can work from home or on vacation. She cannot. My boss is a "get the job done" vice a "hours-clock watcher" guy. She kids me about it but the bottom line is I bring home the bacon. So, yes you need to talk to her about your life of leisure. Maybe offer to be the man of the house (cook, clean, etc...). I think you are out of the box but not too far. Good luck.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:06 AM   #14
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Franklin - What's really changed in your life?

You say you work 10 hrs per week at a passive business that covers your expenses. Sure, that's very light work but it's still work. Would your wife really see that as being "retired" and be upset? If so, not sure why. Seems like it's just worth talking about so she realizes how efficient the business has become for you and her relative to your needs. If she doesn't understand the numbers, maybe you take on some part time job you would enjoy just to keep the marriage happy.

You didn't mention it but maybe you quit another full time job without even giving your wife the courtesy of consulting her. If that's the case, my guess is your marriage is in trouble and you should consider how your finances may look after a nasty divorce. Then begin talking honestly and fully to your wife.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:11 AM   #15
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Honesty in a relationship is important. No doubt. That being said, what does DW need from you? Seems like a pay check. You are providing that.
IMHO, every dear wife needs and deserves an honest partner far more than a pay check.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:13 AM   #16
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Anyone else smell a troll here?
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:16 AM   #17
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So your not telling you DW you have perfect your work life so you only need to work 10 hours a week, is not the problem in IMO. In IMO the problem the outright lying you are doing about saying you just got home at 6. How many hours you each "should" work can be an ongoing discussion between you with 2 different points of the view. The other is outright lying to your spouse, which automatically puts you in the wrong and make her feel she can't trust you. Have you lied to her in the past, or is this a new thing.

BTW you are going out in public and meeting friends, what do tell the friends don't ever mention this to my wife? Then you are screwing up her relationships with other people as well. Honestly, I'm half way wondering if you are a troll.

Also I am not sure how your "retired" without your DW knowing anything about it
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:17 AM   #18
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[W]hat does DW need from you? Seems like a pay check. You are providing that.
This probably came out differently than you meant ... reads like a throwback to attitudes from another century!
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:21 AM   #19
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Anyone else smell a troll here?
It could be legit.

Lots of very strange things happen within some marriages.

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IMO the problem is the outright lying you are doing about saying you just got home at 6. How many hours you each "should" work can be an ongoing discussion between you with 2 different points of the view. The other is outright lying to your spouse, which automatically puts you in the wrong and make her feel she can't trust you.
+1

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I am not sure how your "retired" without your DW knowing anything about it .
We've probably all heard denial anecdotes about people losing their jobs but being too ashamed to tell their families; so they allegedly go off to "work" each morning and spend their days sitting on a park bench or something. If that is possible - I for one don't actually know of anyone in that situation - it should be relatively easy for the OP to fool his wife: at least he doesn't have to explain why he is no longer able to cover expenses.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:22 AM   #20
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Anyone else smell a troll here?
Sure - has the classic points of trolling...... 1st post. No response to quick replies. Unlikely (but possible) situation. Clearly hitting a point of people's interests.

I like some of these troll posts and typically respond once. Interesting to get various people's perspectives on the topic.
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