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So I was mentioning to the wife I want to RE
Old 07-05-2014, 06:13 PM   #1
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So I was mentioning to the wife I want to RE

I'm about 42 and realistically can't retire until I'm 55 or so. I mentioned to my wife that it would be good to retire in 10 years if things went really well.

Her response was that I should keep working until our daughter, 4, finishes college. That's 17 years from now and puts me at 59-60.

I explained that I might still work before she goes to college but it would be nice if it was simply a choice vs a requirement at that point.

We'll see, but I found it a bit odd that she wasn't in more support of wanting to retire early. I mean, who would be against having a lifestyle like that. I assume she was at the same time thinking that we'd have to cut back to do it at that age or something. Not sure.

Either way I have work to do.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:26 PM   #2
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Here's a thread on that, in case you haven't seen it. A slight twist on How do you convince your Spouse to RE
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:32 PM   #3
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I don't find her initial reaction odd.

It's a natural reaction for a parent to look for assurance that the kids' college expanses are provided for. Until you know the actual expense, it's a risk. And I would bet you have been thinking of a target date way more than she has.

Look at it this way: in 2027, at 55, your youngest will be entering college. You (and your DW) won't be guessing the size of your age 55 portfolio or your kids' 4-year financial exposure for college expenses. The ER equation no longer has two huge variables that existed at age 42.

Getting specific on a date will become much easier beginning in the spring of your last child's senior year of high school.

Sincerely yours,

A 54-year-old with his youngest child entering college this fall (at state tuition rates )
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:44 PM   #4
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Drop it. Do really good for five years. Repeat.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:03 PM   #5
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Start putting away money for her now, so by the time you are 55, you will have enough. Teach her the value of money, and have her start saving some Christmas and birthday money.

Work with her so she gets smart or athletic, and gets a scholarship. That will also help.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:29 PM   #6
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I'm about 42 and realistically can't retire until I'm 55 or so. I mentioned to my wife that it would be good to retire in 10 years if things went really well.

Her response was that I should keep working until our daughter, 4, finishes college. That's 17 years from now and puts me at 59-60.

I explained that I might still work before she goes to college but it would be nice if it was simply a choice vs a requirement at that point.

We'll see, but I found it a bit odd that she wasn't in more support of wanting to retire early. I mean, who would be against having a lifestyle like that. I assume she was at the same time thinking that we'd have to cut back to do it at that age or something. Not sure.

Either way I have work to do.
I was in a similar situation in terms of our youngest. He was born when I was 36, so the college outlook put me at 58-59 before considering retirement, as (at the time) we thought that was the last big expense we would be dealing with. But a lot can happen in the intervening years, and before he graduated high school I hit FI, so my retirement is not dependent on being able to pay for his college.

If I had told my wife at 42 the same thing you told her, she would have had the same reaction. But as others have said, start saving/investing now to make that more of a reality. Being able to show my wife that when I retire we can still pay for college brought her a lot of joy.

So be patient, accept her current view, and save.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:45 AM   #7
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We'll see, but I found it a bit odd that she wasn't in more support of wanting to retire early. I mean, who would be against having a lifestyle like that..
Change is really scary for a lot of folks. Give her some time and listen to her concerns. Good luck
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:17 AM   #8
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I would not feel obligated to pay 100% of my child's college expenses. Personally, I don't even think that is good for them -- it is much better for them to have some skin in the game. I would aim for 30% to 70% remuneration of college expenses, depending on the situation. Hopefully, you have not built expectations up.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dd564 View Post
I'm about 42 and realistically can't retire until I'm 55 or so. I mentioned to my wife that it would be good to retire in 10 years if things went really well.

Her response was that I should keep working until our daughter, 4, finishes college. That's 17 years from now and puts me at 59-60.

I explained that I might still work before she goes to college but it would be nice if it was simply a choice vs a requirement at that point.

We'll see, but I found it a bit odd that she wasn't in more support of wanting to retire early. I mean, who would be against having a lifestyle like that. I assume she was at the same time thinking that we'd have to cut back to do it at that age or something. Not sure.

Either way I have work to do.
Does your wife work? If not, perhaps she should get a job to help meet the ER goal.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:53 AM   #10
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I would not feel obligated to pay 100% of my child's college expenses. Personally, I don't even think that is good for them -- it is much better for them to have some skin in the game. I would aim for 30% to 70% remuneration of college expenses, depending on the situation. Hopefully, you have not built expectations up.

Financial advice I received at some point regarding this was worry about retiring for yourself first, then your kids college second.

We are hoping to pay for all of it, but we have no hard commitments on it.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #11
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Does your wife work? If not, perhaps she should get a job to help meet the ER goal.

She works. She's a nurse and she works about 20 hours a week. Enough to carry benefits. She's about 25% of our total annual income.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:03 AM   #12
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She works. She's a nurse and she works about 20 hours a week. Enough to carry benefits. She's about 25% of our total annual income.
An extra shift every two weeks would go along way toward college expenses, RN's make a nice hourly wage...
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:24 AM   #13
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An extra shift every two weeks would go along way toward college expenses, RN's make a nice hourly wage...

True.
Right now the middle child is just moving to all-day first grade, and the daughter has another year of pre-school, but she'll have full-day kindergarten after that.

We should have capacity for additional income on my wife's part without substantial increase in daycare if she chooses in fall of 2016.

Over the next 16 years, that could be another additional $250k-$350k in added income during that time frame.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:29 AM   #14
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Do your ER plans include funding your daughter's college? I ask that because it sounds like that's a goal for your wife. But not all parents feel obligated.

I just retired 2 weeks ago at age 52 (Wahoo) and was older when I had my sons. They're in middle school now. Because I was older when I had them I always knew I had to plan for paying for their college after I was hopefully done working, and definitely after my husband was retired. So we started saving early for their college.

My retirement plans include funding 4 years at a cal state or univ. of CA program. I didn't pull the plug till I saw I had that covered. With various calculators you can adjust the inflation rate of specific expenses - I increase the inflation rates for both college and health care...

With planning you can retire before your kids are in college, and still provide them a college education.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:42 AM   #15
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Do your ER plans include funding your daughter's college? I ask that because it sounds like that's a goal for your wife. But not all parents feel obligated.

I just retired 2 weeks ago at age 52 (Wahoo) and was older when I had my sons. They're in middle school now. Because I was older when I had them I always knew I had to plan for paying for their college after I was hopefully done working, and definitely after my husband was retired. So we started saving early for their college.

My retirement plans include funding 4 years at a cal state or univ. of CA program. I didn't pull the plug till I saw I had that covered. With various calculators you can adjust the inflation rate of specific expenses - I increase the inflation rates for both college and health care...

With planning you can retire before your kids are in college, and still provide them a college education.

We have three kids and we want to pay all of their college off. We might be fine with leaving them some college loans, but nothing ridiculous. We are both of the mindset that we won't retire until they are all set and self-sufficient, or that we are well enough set up that we can provide support if need be in their early years.

A lot can change between now and then of course.
Her family has some known mental health issues, and hopefully that doesn't affect our kids. So far things seem good there, but I know in the case of one of her cousins, their parents spent over a million dollars trying to rehab the guy. That's a problem that never got solved... and we won't have the capacity to match that level of care if things go that direction.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:12 AM   #16
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When I was 35 I told my wife I wanted to retire by 45. She said we will talk about it when that time approached. Well, I am set to ER at 42, three years ahead of schedule. Recently we sat down, I showed her the numbers that supported my decision to quit my job. She basically said "looks good, go for it". That simple.

What a woman.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:10 PM   #17
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The kids still in college was one of the reasons DW kept working, though only part time for the last year. Last DS graduated this year, and DH's friendly boss left the company, and DW is now retiring. No particular need for her to work, she just felt better that way.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:53 PM   #18
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I had a discussion with my wife on the weekend and told her I wanted to scale back on work from start of 2015. Her response was "Why don't you wait another 3 years until our youngest has finished high school?"

My wife no longer works (she has been working on a project that finished up recently and is planning on some full time study next year).

Part of her response seemed to be, if you are not working, what are you going to do, we cannot travel with a child still in school and her studying.

I am 55 and we have over $5m invested assets plus mortgage free house etc.

I was surprised at her response as she has been wanting me to ease back on work for year.

Anyway, I think I will go ahead with my plan to ease back anyway.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:01 PM   #19
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Different people take longer to warm up to the idea of cutting the flow of earned income to the household. If her concern is that ER may endanger the future security of the family (or any of its members), I'd suggest working on a spreadsheet/financial plan to show that you have considered the issue(s) and have the numbers to support your plans.

In the years leading up to FIREing I spent a lot of time making sure that DW was comfortable with me quitting the w%rk force and wouldn't feel a financial need to continue her job. For this purpose, I assumed (i) zero income from both of us even though DW still works because she chooses to and (ii) that both our children who were 8 and 10 when I FIREd last year would remain fully on the payroll until the have finished an undergraduate degree.

If the concern is non-financial, producing a "to do" list may help assure her that you will not be spending your free time sitting in front of the TV drinking beer all day (or, worse, intruding on her free time). In my case, I signed up for a part time MFA.
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