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Old 09-21-2009, 09:04 AM   #1
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Just Joined -- Retired in 2007

Took an early retirement in 2007 at age 55. Since then I haven't really done anything productive, a fact my wife seems to remind me of on an almost daily basis.

I look forward to learning of others' experiences and sharing some of own my recommendtions on retirement like:

1. If you're married, when you retire make sure your spouse is in agreement with that decision. The biggest shock to me in retirement is that my wife really doesn't like having me around the house.

2. family planning: If you have kids, I'd wait until they're grown (and hopefully out of the house) before retiring. Me, I have a 9 year old. Now that wasn't very good planning at all.

3. Money - here's another shocker to me. I'm finding you really don't spend less money in retirement. I guess you could do so if you sold your place in high cost of living area and moved to a lower cost of living area, but I have the same taste now for amenities that I did when working. So the expenses are just as high.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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Welcome! Glad to have you with us. And so I just have to ask...what has your wife done that was so productive all this time she says you weren't?

I bet it is nice to get to spend so much time with your nine year old, though, at a time when so many folks don't. That sounds pretty productive to me!

Have you considered moving to a lower cost area?
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:35 AM   #3
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Mmmm...well maybe she wants you around the house...just not in her face or following her. That would drive me bonkers. DH has been retired for 6 months...we talked about all that kind of stuff when he pulled the plug.

Peace and harmony.....
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Welcome! Glad to have you with us. And so I just have to ask...what has your wife done that was so productive all this time she says you weren't?

I bet it is nice to get to spend so much time with your nine year old, though, at a time when so many folks don't. That sounds pretty productive to me!

Have you considered moving to a lower cost area?
Well it's just jealousy if you ask me. The wife is 5 years younger and still works, and I think it irritates her to see me taking it easy and enjoying my retirement. You'd think they would be happy for you, but no, apparently that's not always the case.

Oh yes, busy, busy all the time getting the kid fed and off to school in the morning and picking him up at the bus stop in the afternoon. Make sure the homework gets done and all that. Then driving him around to all the extra-curricular type activities that we never had as kids - it's insane how fully-scheduled the kids are these days.

As far as moving to a lower cost area, that's a trade-off, isn't it? I still need a good school district, which isn't a consideration for most retirees; and still want the attractions/amenities that a higher cost urban area provides. Thank-you for asking.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:40 AM   #5
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum! And thanks for your interesting introductory post.

I don't have much to contribute on 1) and 2), since our child was grown and gone before my ex and I divorced. My present companion (Frank) is six years younger than me and although he is sincerely trying to retire when I do, it looks like he may have to work for a while longer after I retire. He has been very sweet about it, though, and says he is happy for me. I have been trying to acknowledge to him that I know how crummy it is for him to work such long hours now that I have started taking some time off in preparation for retirement. Hopefully he will retire just a few months after I do.

Anyway, it is interesting to read 3), which is just as I suspected! Like you, I have read articles claiming that people spend less as they grow older, and I have often wondered if that would be the case or not. I imagine that I will have a lot more time for shopping in retirement than I do now.

Luckily, it looks like I will a larger income in retirement than I am spending now (plus I plan to move to a less expensive area). I want to encourage myself to get out and have fun and be active after retirement. I want to try some different hobbies once I have time for them, and that could entail some expenses as well. I have been putting off a number of major purchases (car, gym equipment, and more) until after the move, because I don't want to have more things to move and potentially be damaged in the move. So, my first year's expenses should be quite high.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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Oh yes, busy, busy all the time getting the kid fed and off to school in the morning and picking him up at the bus stop in the afternoon. Make sure the homework gets done and all that. Then driving him around to all the extra-curricular type activities that we never had as kids - it's insane how fully-scheduled the kids are these days.
Is this what she does or you do?

If I were working and my DH retired, I would expect him to do more around the house .... grocery shopping, cooking, shuttle the kid around, etc. How do you have the household work split?
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:45 AM   #7
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Mmmm...well maybe she wants you around the house...just not in her face or following her. That would drive me bonkers. DH has been retired for 6 months...we talked about all that kind of stuff when he pulled the plug.

Peace and harmony.....
Who's DH?

I don't follow my wife around the house and I give her plenty of space. Sure, I make a few little suggestions here and there about how thing should be done , but I do my share of the housework, can I help it that she usually says it's not done to her satisfaction?
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:49 AM   #8
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Who's DH?

I don't follow my wife around the house and I give her plenty of space. Sure, I make a few little suggestions here and there about how thing should be done , but I do my share of the housework, can I help it that she usually says it's not done to her satisfaction?
DH = Dear Husband.
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I don't know...you are the only that can answer that question...
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:52 AM   #9
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Welcome ! The best thing you can do for your wife is have dinner ready when she comes home or at least in the oven . There is nothing like coming home to a cooked meal after a hard day at the office .
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:00 AM   #10
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Welcome to the boards!

You've been retired for about two years and your DW (dear wife) is not on board with it? Yet you're making "a few little suggestions here and there about how things should be done"? Ouch.

Is she more worried about the money situation (costing as much in retirement as before) than you are?
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:24 AM   #11
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Welcome to the Board.

Sometimes these "adjustment reactions" are just that, but after 2 years maybe it's not as simple as "it irritates her to see me taking it easy and enjoying my retirement." Be careful.

So, what does your 9 year-old tell his friends and teachers when asked what his father does?
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:55 AM   #12
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Welcome ! The best thing you can do for your wife is have dinner ready when she comes home or at least in the oven . There is nothing like coming home to a cooked meal after a hard day at the office .
you sound just like my wife. So maybe I'll learn how to cook.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:03 PM   #13
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... The biggest shock to me in retirement is that my wife really doesn't like having me around the house.

....
This one really jumped out at me. My SO and I live a block apart and usually have dinner together at my apt. or ocassionally out. We have basically, gradually over a year, negotiated time apart to be almost as much as we had before I retired; (SO retired about seven years before I did). When we think about doing something together during the day, we plan it in advance.

I think the thing about wifes not wanting their newly retired DH around all the time it very common. A co-worker set up a special office for his father when he retired. His father used that office for about twelve years until his wife died. My co-worker always said he set up that office for his mom's sake.

Welcome to the forum, chaseinva69.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:03 PM   #14
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Welcome to the boards!

You've been retired for about two years and your DW (dear wife) is not on board with it? Yet you're making "a few little suggestions here and there about how things should be done"? Ouch.

Is she more worried about the money situation (costing as much in retirement as before) than you are?
very good question and one I'm sure comes up quite a bit among couples when one of them retires.

Actually, I'm the one who tries to keep a tighter reign on the expenses now, while she doesn't want any reduction to the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. Didn't help that the stock market crash in mid-2007 cut our net worth in about half. So money issues do cause some friction now and then.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:12 PM   #15
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Welcome to the Board.

Sometimes these "adjustment reactions" are just that, but after 2 years maybe it's not as simple as "it irritates her to see me taking it easy and enjoying my retirement." Be careful.

So, what does your 9 year-old tell his friends and teachers when asked what his father does?
I haven't heard him answer this question directly, but I assume he says something like "oh, he just sits around on the computer all day." Which isn't really tue, BTW. But I'm pretty sure he is happier now that we have more time to spend together and that my stress level is way down compared to what it was when I was working.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:27 PM   #16
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Sounds like you and your wife need to have some talks so as you are both clear on expectations.

I no longer work, whilst my husband does. However, I see my role as being responsible for doing everything around the house. I do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, I handle all the finances. All he has to do is get dressed and go to work each day. For me, I feel that is a fair division as I don't think it would be right for him to work hard all day then for me to expect him to come home and cook dinner.

How much longer are you planning for your wife to continue working?
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:34 PM   #17
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Sounds like you and your wife need to have some talks so as you are both clear on expectations.

I no longer work, whilst my husband does. However, I see my role as being responsible for doing everything around the house. I do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, I handle all the finances. All he has to do is get dressed and go to work each day. For me, I feel that is a fair division as I don't think it would be right for him to work hard all day then for me to expect him to come home and cook dinner.

How much longer are you planning for your wife to continue working?
up to her. She's too young to get an early out, so she'd have to quit, and she doesn't want to. The amount she earns does make all the difference between just "getting by" and having that extra $$ to live a reasonabaly comfortable life. I always tell her how much it is appreciated. Still, my retirement income is about twice hers.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:50 PM   #18
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Welcome chasinva69.

My SO was riffed 2 years before I retired and it was very hard on both of us. He couldn't find another job and it was devastating to his ego.

It was hard on me too. You don't realize how comforting it is to come home and kvetch with each other about the day's office irritations until it's gone. It just isn't the same when your partner has spent the day cruising the internet. Your very different circumstances push you to the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. One is bored and wants to do something in the evening, the other is exhausted and wants to veg. The one still working begins to resent the retired one. The non-working one gets defensive. Ug-ly.

I don't have any advice. The only thing I can say is that we made it through, and were great again after I retired. Suddenly we were on the same wavelength again.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:00 PM   #19
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You might find a tidbit here and there on this thread....

One spouse continues to work

Welcome to the forum...btw....
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:09 PM   #20
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But I'm pretty sure he is happier now that we have more time to spend together and that my stress level is way down compared to what it was when I was working.
No doubt - I would have loved to have been semi-retired when my kids were that age.
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