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80% of couples disagree when it comes to retirement planning
Old 06-23-2009, 05:00 PM   #1
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80% of couples disagree when it comes to retirement planning

And you guys thought the "Does this dress make my butt look big?" question was a mine field...

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If the economic downturn has forced you to rethink your plans for retirement, it's a good idea to discuss your concerns with your spouse or partner. Before you have this conversation though, you might want to clear the room of sharp objects. That way, nobody gets hurt.

In many households, it appears, retirement is an even more contentious topic than politics, religion or whose turn it is to walk the dog. A study by Fidelity Investments found that more than 80% of couples disagree about a major component of their retirement planning, such as the age at which they plan to retire, whether they'll work in retirement or where they'll live after they retire.
80% of couples disagree when it comes to retirement planning - USATODAY.com
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:16 PM   #2
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:16 PM   #3
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I've always thought that "don't agree" is different than "disagree. Disagreement is usually contentious, while failing to agree just means more discussion/study is needed before a decision is reached. Typical headline inflation. I was hoping for bloodshed, or at least flying plates.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:27 PM   #5
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A friend shared this story yesterday about her and her husband retirement plans.

They were in the Navy's retirement planning class.
The instructor ask how many of you are planning on staying in Hawaii.
Her hand shot up, husband stayed down
Of those of you leaving, how many know where you are moving to
Her hand stayed down, hubby went up.
How many of you are planning on working after you leave the navy
Hers went up, his stayed down

I was thinking of the new story while listening to her describe their complete opposite views.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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I'm pretty lucky here. My wife shares my ER goals and is even more committed to LBYM than I am.


My only issue is she is much more pessimistic, even a little fearful, of the future. So she'll have trouble accepting that we have 'enough', no matter how much we have.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:26 PM   #7
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Reminds me of when my brother told his (nonworking) wife that he was retiring at 62 and she said , "Oh no you're not!" . I guess they worked it out, 'cause he did retire.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:03 PM   #8
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One of the reasons my EX left was that I wouldn't spend money.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:30 AM   #9
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I'd say that a spouse is either the biggest help toward ER or the biggest obstacle... nothing in between.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:17 AM   #10
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One of the reasons my EX left was that I wouldn't spend money.
Can you do an intervention with DW? I pay well........

DW is well-meaning, but because she grew up with nothing and her dad was a packrat/expert at rummage sales, she likes to "collect" things.......
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:24 AM   #11
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Can you do an intervention with DW? I pay well........
I feel myself becoming more and more of a tightwad, and though it hasn't caused any problems yet, I sense my wife is starting to think I've simply become too cheap now. We've been talking about getting away to some place cooler for a week later this summer, or perhaps visiting family in California or Oregon, before she starts her new gig. But when I look at what everything costs now -- dealing with boarding the dog (we don't have anyone here who could take her for a week, no), airfares, lodging (if necessary) and rental car (if necessary), my emerging tightwad just cringes at the expense and I can't get myself to accept it.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-24-2009, 11:55 AM   #12
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"Tightwadship" is another form of "JOMY" ("just one more year" ) syndrome, but in reverse.

JOMY syndrome has you pay with time, with the reward being greater riches or security in retirement.

Tightwadship has you pay in current quality of life with the reward being an earlier retirement.

If we only knew when we were going to die, it would be easier. Then, too, not hating your job helps. Each to his/her own, all seeking the right balance.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:12 PM   #13
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We have no problems regarding the issue of ER. I was compulsorily laid off and Iīll be earning nearly as much as if I were working. And she is a civil servant that canīt ER. So there being no choices the only thing that exasperates her is that she has to wait 14 years to retire. And I am already into my Fifth year.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:14 PM   #14
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I was compulsorily laid off and Iīll be earning nearly as much as if I were working.
Where does the line form for this deal?
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-24-2009, 12:30 PM   #15
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Reading your posts I see a number of you are worried about whether youīll have enought money in the future to maintain your standard of living when you retire.
This isnīt a great concern in Spain, problably because you canīt retire with a pension just after a number of years, and so you have little to decide. Thereīs no general early retirement. And when you do retire-at 65 as a general rule- your pension would be almost 85 % of your last salary. Add to that the fact that you have most of your imprtant expenses paid off and a very good public comprehensive health care system....and, indeed, your needs have become simpler and not really expensive...
Would you be so kind as to in simple terms give me a general idea of how your early R. or Ordinary R. works?
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:42 PM   #16
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Tightwadship has you pay in current quality of life with the reward being an earlier retirement.
True to a point.

But I think some of us prefer a simple enough lifestyle that spending increasing amounts of money begin to provide "diminishing returns" on increased "current quality of life" at some point.

That is to say, I think many of us might carefully decide where to spend the first (say) few hundred dollars of "discretionary income" in a month where we find it produces the greatest increase on current enjoyment of life. But above that threshold, we may not see each additional dollar produce the amount of "increased enjoyment" as the first few dollars spent -- and indeed they shouldn't if we've prioritized our discretionary spending properly. And also above that point spending money increases the uneasiness about our economic future.

So there is a natural point at which spending more money can *decrease* our current quality of life because any enhancements to standard of living are more than offset by increased angst about our financial future, including the ability to FIRE.

In reality, it's not as cut and dried as "spending less = reduced quality of life." When you are spending down to the austerity level I personally would agree with you, but once you get past the "splurges" that mean the most to you, spending more and more doesn't really do much for some of us.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-24-2009, 12:49 PM   #17
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Where does the line form for this deal?
Thatīs the most frequent question I am asked everywhere from everyone
Now seriously-Donīt you there have a similar solution when a big company, say GM, needs to downsize staff?
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:51 PM   #18
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Now seriously-Donīt you there have a similar solution when a big company, say GM, needs to downsize staff?
Only if you're fortunate enough to have worked many years for an employer with a fairly generous pension plan. Fewer and fewer of us in the U.S. work for such employers, particularly in the private sector.

If you get "downsized" before you're financially ready to retire and you don't have a pension or health insurance (until age 65) lined up, you're screwed.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-24-2009, 12:55 PM   #19
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But when I look at what everything costs now -- dealing with boarding the dog (we don't have anyone here who could take her for a week, no), airfares, lodging (if necessary) and rental car (if necessary), my emerging tightwad just cringes at the expense and I can't get myself to accept it.
I suffer from a similar malady.

How I've learned to deal with it, at least in part, is to turn it into a bargain hunting expedition. We're taking an "I've just got to find some cool weather" trip to the NW next month and I've scoured the airlines, car rentals and hotel chains for deals. Found SWA tickets for 60% of what they are asking for them today, a week long car rental (full size) for $230 including tax, and a heavily discounted Marriott hotel room plus a "stay 3 nights and earn a night free" summer promotion.

Also, I've kept checking the car and hotel rates - car rental rates have gone up substantially while hotel rates have dropped since I first reserved the rooms. No problem to cancel and re-book at the new lower rate...
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:42 PM   #20
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I feel lucky that dh2b and I are in the 20% who agree on what we want to do in retirement. But we have 10 years to go until he can retire with 20 yrs in current j*b, and a lot can happen between now and then.
So we just dream for now.
We both want to escape the cold. We both want to rent vs buying in case we have a change of heart about a new location. We don't need to be rich, just comfortable.
He was in the military for 20 years, so changing locales is 2nd nature. I'm the one who has been in one place for 25 years. But I'm an adventurer and am itching to do something different. We just may do a transfer for his j*b if something "too good to pass by" comes up. He loves that I am open to that idea.
He is happy to let me be the financial guru for both of us. But he asks questions, is up to speed on everything, and has some darn good ideas.
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