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Old 09-05-2019, 09:18 AM   #1
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I am almost 41 and my partner is 47. We have $2,200,000 saved. Our finance guy says I can retire now if my partner works 15 more years so that she gets her full pension. However I feel guilty if I stop working and she has to for 15 more years. How do you find a balance?

It is such a catch 22. The longer you work the more money you save but the less you need. I have been thinking about part time. Work has been overly stressful for a few years. So my dr wants me to either retire or find a new job.

There are just so many factors I canít keep track of them all. What tipped the scales for you to bite the bullet and make the leap?
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:48 AM   #2
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Should be a joint decision.

Also, work is not just the stuff you do that produces an income. One household member can produce income while the other assists with tasks that make the wage earner more productive. Whatever those tasks are and how they are split up is also a joint decision.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:00 AM   #3
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Should be a joint decision.

Also, work is not just the stuff you do that produces an income. One household member can produce income while the other assists with tasks that make the wage earner more productive. Whatever those tasks are and how they are split up is also a joint decision.
Totally agreed. I married for the second time when I was 50 and DH was 65. We relocated for my job and he filed for SS- he was in advertising so you can imagine his prospects for a new job, although he did some freelance work for his old agency's clients till that fizzled out, too.

I was perfectly happy with the arrangement. He did research on major purchases, got multiple bids on work on the house, negotiated the purchase of new cars (I HATE that process), did all the cooking, maintained the pool and cleaned the house. I have to say the only area where he fell far short was cleaning the house. My responsibilities, in addition to working for a living, were managing the investments and paying the bills, which was fine with me. I could travel on business and know everything at home was taken care of.

So- talk to her about the division of labor. It might work. There's plenty more you can bring to the table besides an income.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:04 AM   #4
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If your doctor recommends it and you are aware of the stress, that's an overriding factor. What does your partner say when you bring it up? One would hope she wants you to stay healthy.

Part time is certainly is an option, or you take on the household tasks and errands so you can make the most of her hours off.

$2.2M is a lot, depending on your expenses. What does Firecalc say about your numbers if she was to retire now without vesting in her pension? Maybe your finance guy is too conservative.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #5
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What are your expenses? Will your partners income cover all bills for the next 15 years or do you need to pull from savings?
How does your partner feel?

Agree with previous posts, it is definitely a joint decision. There are many households with one partner working outside the home, you both have to be on the same page about expectations regarding finances and running the household.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:21 AM   #6
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My daughter and I were discussing why it is difficult for women to assume top-level management roles in business (accounting in this example). She said that most executives have a spouse or SO who plays a supporting role. At a meeting, a female executive asked her peers (all male) to raise their hand if their spouse holds a significant position outside the home. No one raised their hand.

Your stepping back to a supporting role may give her the opportunity to step up in her professional capacity.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:28 AM   #7
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At 41, with your partner being 47, asking her to work until she's 62 while you stop at 41 does seem like it might post some challenges. But you have 2.2Mil so saying "work another 15 for a pension" would be overdoing it. You'd pass the finish line well before that if you forget the pension. Start doing FA-independent research here on your own. Depending on your budget and saving rates, overall cost of living, etc., you might be looking at retiring together, sooner

So the all important question here is what does she think? If you've come here before talking with her about it I think that means you're not feeling it's a fair situation.

Of course there are a million alternatives between staying in a high stress job and doing nothing. What might one of those look like for you? Part time or just a dialed back full time role in another field? Is there home/family care that could benefit from you taking more of that on?
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by crook32 View Post
I am almost 41 and my partner is 47. We have $2,200,000 saved. Our finance guy says I can retire now if my partner works 15 more years so that she gets her full pension. However I feel guilty if I stop working and she has to for 15 more years. How do you find a balance?

It is such a catch 22. The longer you work the more money you save but the less you need. I have been thinking about part time. Work has been overly stressful for a few years. So my dr wants me to either retire or find a new job.

There are just so many factors I canít keep track of them all. What tipped the scales for you to bite the bullet and make the leap?
Personally, I wouldn't consider myself able to retire if it meant that my partner HAD to keep working. If she CHOSE to keep working, that's an entirely different story. From the sounds of it, it sounds like you can only afford to retire if she has a full pension, which means you don't have enough saved to support your current/future spending, assuming your financial guy is correct. Without details about your estimated spending, I'm only guessing by your post above.

If it were me, I'd keep working and saving until I had enough so that both myself and my spouse can retire together (again, if she would want to keep working, that's fine). What if she becomes disabled somehow and can't work? Or if she is laid off, regardless of how unlikely that may be. That would put you in a bad place. It sounds like if retirement is hinging on 15 years of future employment, you're not financially able to.

This being said, run your numbers through firecalc and see if you really are able to without her working. And/or provide us with your anticipated spending in retirement.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:39 AM   #9
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I can retire now if my partner works 15 more years
Well, that's easy. I'm sure she'd be on board, right?

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Originally Posted by crook32 View Post
So my dr wants me to either retire or find a new job.
People here on this site tend to be a bit sceptical of doctors (statin pushers), but maybe your doc would enjoy posting some info here!
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:25 AM   #10
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There was just so much to say I knew I would forget stuff. Thank you everyone for your insight. I forgot to mention that if she works 15 more years our finance guy says we would probably leave about $19M to our kids when we die. So I probably shouldnít of said she has to get the full pension. It is just I am overly cautious and worry about running out of money. Now she does have to work a minimum of 5 years so we can switch to her health insurance and have insurance in retirement.

I guess the big question is can we bridge the gap between retirement and 59.5 when we can withdraw that money. We do have outside investments so the possibility is there.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:36 AM   #11
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Happy wife (domestic partner), happy life ! She would have to be really on board to allow you to retire now while she continues to work until 62.

With my pension, I could quit now (at 54) and still get my 20 year pension at 62, or continue working, and get a 28 year pension at 62...a sizeable difference, but not enough to overcome $2.2M.

Is her health insurance offered at the worker rate after retirement, or would you be paying COBRA rates ?
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:38 AM   #12
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There was just so much to say I knew I would forget stuff. Thank you everyone for your insight. I forgot to mention that if she works 15 more years our finance guy says we would probably leave about $19M to our kids when we die. So I probably shouldnít of said she has to get the full pension. It is just I am overly cautious and worry about running out of money. Now she does have to work a minimum of 5 years so we can switch to her health insurance and have insurance in retirement.

I guess the big question is can we bridge the gap between retirement and 59.5 when we can withdraw that money. We do have outside investments so the possibility is there.
Get a new finance guy. Pronto..
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:29 PM   #13
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Fifteen years of additional work - while you stop working altogether - that's a heavy burden/ responsibility to lay on a "partner" seven years older than you. What if her doctor wants her to stop working, way, way ahead of schedule.

Without more information, if I were you, I would look for a lower stress job that would offer access to health insurance, and would also allow you to retain your market value in your field, in case your partner needs you to carry the ball.

What tipped the scales for us? We're both exhausted and have health issues. But each of us is very concerned about the other, and each worked a bit longer out of concern for the other. We are timing our retirement within a few months of each other.
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by crook32 View Post
I am almost 41 and my partner is 47. We have $2,200,000 saved. Our finance guy says I can retire now if my partner works 15 more years so that she gets her full pension. However I feel guilty if I stop working and she has to for 15 more years. How do you find a balance?
Discuss it with your partner. Find a solution that works for both of you. Consider what you would be doing with your time for the next 15 years while your partner continues to work.

Quote:
It is such a catch 22. The longer you work the more money you save but the less you need. I have been thinking about part time. Work has been overly stressful for a few years. So my dr wants me to either retire or find a new job.
So find a new job that's less stressful. Clearly you don't have to worry about maximizing your income, so you can focus on the stress portion.

Quote:
There are just so many factors I can’t keep track of them all.
Which factors do you feel are important?

Quote:
What tipped the scales for you to bite the bullet and make the leap?
I was a lot older than you. And my partner was happy for me to retire, even though she wasn't quite ready for herself until two years later.
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:01 PM   #15
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But you have 2.2Mil so saying "work another 15 for a pension" would be overdoing it. You'd pass the finish line well before that if you forget the pension.
Why would you assume that?
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:55 PM   #16
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Now she does have to work a minimum of 5 years so we can switch to her health insurance and have insurance in retirement.
Is there any way her employer could weasel out of that ir is it in a contract somewhere? I've mentioned it here before, but my brother retired a few years ago with a good pension and company-paid health insurance. As of 1/1/18 they stopped the insurance. Period. He and DSIL are now 63 so they're not in as bad a shape as some, but last I heard they were paying $22K/year (combined) for "Affordable" Care Act coverage. One of my previous employers decided to free their contributions a few years ago, so retirees had to pick up ll the cost increases but at least they didn't do what my brother's company did and walk away completely.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:25 PM   #17
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.....Work has been overly stressful for a few years. So my dr wants me to either retire or find a new job. ...
This is important, but it doesn't necessarily mean retiring.... especially at 41 and expecting spouse to work from 47 to 62.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:34 PM   #18
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This thread is a bit far-fetched. I smell a whiff of troll - or maybe it's just the fish I had for dinner.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:05 PM   #19
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I am almost 41 and my partner is 47. We have $2,200,000 saved. ....

...Work has been overly stressful for a few years. So my dr wants me to either retire or find a new job. ....
Talk to your partner and figure it out, but I know there would need extra circumstances for many to support 1 of 2 working another 15 years, like kids, ill parents, schooling, major health disability, etc.

Of the $2,200,000, how much did you contribute? If you contributed majority, then there's more support for you but consider shared and % of individual expenses.

Tell the Dr to put up or shut up. Dr should help you qualify for disability or worker's comp due to your health reason to suggest retirement. Tough love - stressful job is just part of life and age 40 is mid-career for many. Perhaps fine a different job to reduce the stress.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:53 PM   #20
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I know asking her to work that much extra is not realistic which is part of the problem. I am the one with the health issues. I was out of work on short term disability six times in less than 3 years. My dr has talked about me going out on disability but I am reluctant to do it right now.

I have saved about 65% of what we have and contributed about 60% of the amount towards the house which is our only debt. My partner wasnít a saver until she met me.

I have been looking for a new job for two years with no luck. Plus most of the jobs happen to be a 90 minute commute on a good day and I donít see that lowering my stress. Best case scenario I see is going part time and her working 5 years for the insurance qualification and then we both retire. We will still have the kids college to pay for though and 7 years until we can touch retirement. I feel like I am juggling and have too many balls in the air.
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