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I'm poor but still want to retire early.
Old 03-25-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
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I'm poor but still want to retire early.

I currently work for P&G and have been with Duracell for 36 years. Gillette and Kraft both owned Duracell before P&G.

I'm 58, will be 59 this year, and I can't take it anymore. More work, fewer people, and disciplinary action if we can't do it all. I'm better off than most because I do have some management education but what they are demanding is impossible.

I have enough in my 401K and profit sharing to carry me through to 62 for sure and possibly 65 if I'm frugal. I hate to use it but the current conditions at work are forcing my hand. I'm already on medication for extreme stress.

I can draw from it if I keep it in JP Morgan and roll it into their Retirement Plus without the penalty. I can draw a salary from it and plan to draw more the first year while I look for another job. I can work for $10 an hour or less and still make it fine even after I lower my 401K distribution after a year or less, maybe even stop it. My retiree medical from Gillette and P&G is pretty good. I'm embarrassed to say how much I have in my 401K but my calculations say I can make it seven years drawing a decent income. That will take me to 65 or so.

We own a 43 acre farm in a rural area of S. TN. It was worth about $400,000 or more but about half that now. Good thing is, it's paid for. We don't have any car payments. Property taxes are low. I bought my husband a new tractor and that is our only debt and it's down to $3400 left on the balance. My lump sum pension from Kraft will pay it off.

With me commuting 40 miles a day to work and back, my gas bill, including what my husband spends, is $400 a month but usually a little more. We both drive pickup trucks. With me not driving to work it should drop in half. Cost of living here is very low. My husband is 75 and retired. I make $50,000 or more a year and then we have his SS. We can live on half or less of what I make.

We are not wealthy like most people here but we don't do without anything we need. We don't travel. We can't since we are on a farm and have animals to take care of but we don't like to travel anyway. I can grow some of our own food.

Facts are, I can live on half what my husband can so if something happens to him I will be fine. He likes to spend money eating out almost daily and he likes to drive even if he doesn't have anywhere to go. I like to cook and stay home. At his age, change is going to be hard and he is afraid for me to retire. He retired at 55. Currently, we are spending $1000 a month just eating out and buying gas. That is insane.

I plan to work at something after this summer. Businesses in my area love to hire retirees. I job searched for a month and had three job offers but declined them so I know I can find something. I would also be working much closer to home so less cost for gas.

We need to have a balance of spending for me to do this but I think I can if I can get my husband on board. That is my problem. It's not something anybody but me can fix but I just needed to vent and get any input from the group.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:00 AM   #2
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he is sponging off you. just retire. he will never agree
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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From what you are saying, it sounds like you could retire. Have you tried putting your numbers into FIRECalc, our free retirement calculator?

I wonder what reasons your DH has for discouraging you from retiring. Maybe there is something in particular that he is concerned about. If you can find out what it is, then maybe you can put his mind at ease.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #4
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If your area likes to hire retirees,why not let DH go back to work to pay for the gas and the eating out? Your turn to take time off!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard. You mentioned "retiree medical Gillette/P&G" - that's the early retirement wild card for many, it is/was for us. Otherwise it appears you've thought it through, though without all the numbers we can't tell, and not sharing numbers is understandable.

Best of luck convincing your DH, especially if you plan to curtail his "eating out and buying gas." We spend about $550/mo on eating out and buying gas, but we could happily/easily spend $1000/mo on just eating out if could afford justify it. Yum...
One problem is, those retiree medical benefits can disappear.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:27 AM   #6
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If your area likes to hire retirees,why not let DH go back to work to pay for the gas and the eating out? Your turn to take time off!
That was my thought as well. Let him work to pay for those dinners out if he thinks it is such a good idea!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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he is sponging off you. just retire. he will never agree
That thought has crossed my mind lately but after he retired he had a terrible auto accident that almost killed him and left him with short term memory loss. Sometimes I'm not sure he realizes how much he drives. He can't remember that he already gone and come back. He has days where he can't remember if he ate or not. Still, I think he can do better. Lately is the only time that the 16 1/2 years difference in our ages has really shown up.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #8
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Currently, we are spending $1000 a month just eating out and buying gas. That is insane.
Yes that is insane. That is almost my entire budget, for everything, for a month.

Do you have your budget together, maybe in a spreadsheet. Go through what is essentials and what extra fluff ( eating out everyday is fluff ). I'd like to eat out too but if that is costing me ER, then I'll eat at home.

He should get a retiree job to pay for eating out if it's blowing the budget.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:53 AM   #9
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LOL, one thing he does that really helps is that he keeps both lawns mowed and we have a lot to mow. My daughter and granddaughter both live on the farm and he mows their yard and ours since my daughter works the same place I do and we work all the time.

Lately we have let neighbors mow our hay (for the hay) so he doesn't have to do it. Diesel is expensive, even the off road kind. We had a big discussion over that because he didn't think anybody else could "do it right". I figured up what we spent in summer buying diesel and told him I didn't care. If somebody else was willing to do it we needed to let them. After seeing the numbers he agreed.

He doesn't have any confidence since his accident but there are a lot of people older than he is that work part-time. He is too prideful for one thing. When he retired he was an electrical engineer and he's too prideful to do anything less. A lot of this is my fault for letting him get away with it but we were getting by very well and I wasn't in need of early retirement. My feelings are that I'm not too good to do anything. I don't want to stop working, I just want to work with less stress.

I thought about getting him a paper route. Seriously. He would have to do it in something besides his half ton truck though.

I have been planning this for a while. I have made a budget that will work as long as we cut back on some of the unnecessary things. I have also called some of the retirees that left last year and they are making it fine. Some even still have a mortgage. They said that they have to be frugal but they don't have to do without a lot.

About the retiree insurance. I am heritage Gillette and there was some kind of agreement with P&G that promised we would have our insurance, but who knows. I don't think they planned for the Affordable Care Act. I am not a fan of it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:05 AM   #10
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So DH retired at 55 and doesn't want you to retire at 58?

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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I think I'd also trade in those trucks for smaller cars, too. It kinda scares me that a guy who can't remember if he already went to town today is driving something that could mow down a row of little import cars and the people inside them.

You can renegotiate your ideas of what each of you do--just because back when he retired you were okay to work doesn't mean you have to be chained to that agreement now. That isn't fair to you at all.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:59 AM   #12
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I think I'd also trade in those trucks for smaller cars, too. It kinda scares me that a guy who can't remember if he already went to town today is driving something that could mow down a row of little import cars and the people inside them.

You can renegotiate your ideas of what each of you do--just because back when he retired you were okay to work doesn't mean you have to be chained to that agreement now. That isn't fair to you at all.
Actually, his driving is pretty good. It's his memory that he has trouble with.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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my wife retired 56-she is 5 years older than me-i had to complain and fight tooth and nail to retire at 62.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:08 PM   #14
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So DH retired at 55 and doesn't want you to retire at 58?

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Exactly! We had a heated discussion the other day about this. I told him that I have been working full time since I was 17 and now I am three, almost four, years older than he was when he retired. I said "it's my turn!!!!".

I just don't want to retire and be more miserable than I am working. I told him I WOULD retire by at least 2/2014 but probably much sooner. I just want to make sure I don't have trouble so that I don't have to listen to "I told you so's". I think I will turn in my Intent To Retire Form, take the summer off and look for a job in the Fall. A lot of businesses here hire seasonal employees and that will get me started.

You all have been SO much help. I am extremely easy going and don't like conflict at home but if I don't stand up I will be working forever. We get along very well but after 30 years of marriage you are bound to have "discussions" at times. He is just very insecure. I think he is also worried about something happening to him and me still being able to make it without his SS each month. I told him that is not a concern.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:20 PM   #15
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I am planning on retiring this year while DH works another 7. He was sort of jealous until I made my retirement a good thing for HIM. He currently does 80% of the cooking, I said I would cook every day except for those days he WANTS to (he actually enjoys cooking). I also told him I would do all home cleaning (we share that now). I offered to the laundry but he likes doing it (weird, I know !).

If you were retired how could you make life better for him (without sacrificing your new found time) ? You would also be home to remind him that he had already been out and you could make lunch and dinner dates with special foods instead of eating out. Would he like that ?
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:33 PM   #16
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I just don't want to retire and be more miserable than I am working.
Is that even possible ?


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I think he is also worried about something happening to him and me still being able to make it without his SS each month. I told him that is not a concern.
From what you described, your budget might show you would be better off in that case. ( just kidding)
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:57 PM   #17
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....I think he is also worried about something happening to him and me still being able to make it without his SS each month. I told him that is not a concern.
Check into it but since you have been married for so long I believe that if he were to pass that you would continue to get SS survivor benefits based on his employment record (assuming it is higher than your employment record). From the page below it looks like you would get 70-100% of his benefit from age 60 to FRA and 100% of his benefit once you reach FRA. If his benefit is a lot higher than yours that could be a big help.

Survivors Planner: How Much Would Your Survivors Receive?
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:07 PM   #18
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I think I'd also trade in those trucks for smaller cars, too. It kinda scares me that a guy who can't remember if he already went to town today is driving something that could mow down a row of little import cars and the people inside them.

You can renegotiate your ideas of what each of you do--just because back when he retired you were okay to work doesn't mean you have to be chained to that agreement now. That isn't fair to you at all.
I forgot to mention that I have discussed trading one of the trucks for a small economy car. I won't buy anything that doesn't get 40+ mpg. We need to keep one truck for farm stuff but we don't need two.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:24 PM   #19
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I looked into the survivor's benefits on the SS site and will get a part of his SS but I didn't tell him because nothing I say would look good.

I did tell him that he is beneficiary on my Savings Plans and I have a $250,000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment policy that I took out after he had his major wreck. It's only good for accidental death but if an accident took either one of us that the other would have that.

I am in excellent health except for the issue I have with stress from working 10 1/2 hour rotating shifts and the pressure of trying to make the people that work under me keep up with the demands that are required of them. If they don't succeed it trickles down to me since I am responsible. I don't want to be responsible for somebody under my supervision losing their job. My doctor put me on Wellbutrin twice a day to get me through the stress until I can retire. I will be able to get off of that once I retire.

I have been trying to slow down his habit of eating out without him going cold turkey. I told him no more than once a day and I would prefer less than that. I have known him to eat all three meals out when I am working nights or overtime. I have also told him that eating out for lunch and getting the lunch special as well as the senior discount would be much cheaper by half than eating out in the evening. I don't qualify yet for most senior discounts but most restaurants here give me the discount because they give it to him. I'm preparing him now to help him give it up more later. Right now, I am able to slow down the eating out quite a bit when I'm on vacation like I am this week.
I just start cooking and tell him that we can't go out because I already have it started.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:32 PM   #20
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I sense that you are afraid of your husband. Has he ever physically abused you? If so please get help immediately. He certainly seems to be mentally abusing you based on your posts. Are you willing to stand up for yourself?
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