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Coordinating dates with spouse
Old 04-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
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Coordinating dates with spouse

What are the thoughts on syncing retirement dates with your spouse?

DW gets a very good benefit in 2018 (hugely subsidized health insurance). We'll both be 55. I would also be able to tap into this plan. The savings would be at least $10k per year in today's money.

Meanwhile, I don't have any incentives from my j*b except for some final stock vesting later this year, my last lot. After that, there's no reason to stay except for the paycheck.

I'm pretty much ready to ER now, especially if the DW stays for the H.I. benefit. But this doesn't feel good to me. Having a sugar mama would be cool and all, but it isn't my style. Honestly, I'm looking for an excuse like a layoff or buyout.

What are other people's experience in this? Have you successfully done retirements with many years overlapping with just one spouse? Or did you stick it out to go together.

I'm just not feeling good letting the DW hang out to dry. Another option is to just go for it and have her leave early too and we pay for the health insurance. But it is a lot to give up since we'd be in the ACA pool.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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It might make you feel better if your ER could (in some way) raise the living standard of both of you. Could you cook nicer meals than you now enjoy? Could you get started on projects she wants to have done? It might take the guilt out of it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:18 PM   #3
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I retired at age 55 from NASA. DW was a teacher and had two more years to go until eligible to retire. I was able to arrange to work two days a week for a NASA contractor (doing the same work as I did before) for those two year. That left me time to do more at home, give DW a break from those duties, and ease into full retirement at the same time as her. This worked out very well for us.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:38 PM   #4
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It might make you feel better if your ER could (in some way) raise the living standard of both of you. Could you cook nicer meals than you now enjoy? Could you get started on projects she wants to have done? It might take the guilt out of it.
Yes. I'm 100% behind doing some of the house stuff she does now, like cook. That's possible.

Also throwing around the idea of seasonal work during this transition, if we decide to go this way.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #5
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Too soon, otherwise you'd know.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #6
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I retired at 56 and DW retired about 5 years later when she was 57. I waited to ER until I calculated that we could both pull the plug. She elected to stay longer to be even safer. I rationalized that being 5 years younger she had five years more work to break even with me on work years. But, I am teh cook and I acted as her chauffeur while she continued work. It worked out fine -- I didn't feel guilty and she didn't give off any negative vibes. The big difference is I provide health insurance so we really could both go if she wanted to. If your wife has to work you should discuss the situation in detail before bailing. It might help ease resentment if you really step up to the plate around the house to balance things out.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:04 AM   #7
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Seems dependent on ones beliefs and financial circumstances. My personal view is that there really is no ER until both spouses are retired, but thats just me.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #8
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Great thoughts here! Thank you.

I am feeling it is a bit too soon. Meanwhile, we've started talking about this and agree if either of us get a buyout, then they can go. Her buyout is extremely unlikely. She works for a great, stable, medium sized firm that has never had a layoff or buyout. It is very unlikely there will be one. But, never say never, they could do an "add 5 years of service" kind of thing. If so, she could go. I would probably then go with her.

Meanwhile, on my side, if I get a buyout or layoff, I'm gone. I have some seasonal opportunities in mind that would soak up 4 months a year pretty well full time. She would still work. This would be a transition plan.

That's the plan right now. We'll continue to talk about this.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:03 AM   #9
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I shoulda known better after (then) 31 years married, but when I retired I told DW she could retire as well if she wanted (she's 2 years younger than me not that it matters). She told me she planned to keep working, though neither of us have pensions of any kind (not a reason for her to continue).

I listened attentively like any good husband , and told myself 'yeah sure, give it a few months and she'll be saying, I don't want to work anymore.'

Here it is almost two years later and she is still working, targeting summer 2014 to retire. Had I known that, I might have continued to work a few more years. In retrospect I should have initially told her she HAD to keep working and she'd be retired by now...

Any other useless advice I can provide?
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:08 AM   #10
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I'm curious whether the ACA will have any impact on your decision. If health care wasn't an issue - would your wife want to work?
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:33 AM   #11
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I'm curious whether the ACA will have any impact on your decision. If health care wasn't an issue - would your wife want to work?
No, she would be ready to ER soon, within the next year or two if HI wasn't an issue.

Let me give you the numbers straight. This would be our insurance premiums after retirement, for both of us on our respective plans:
- Her plan: $200 per month
- My plan: $1100 per month
- ACA: ? But $1100 doesn't seem out of the realm of reality.

So, it is like getting a $900 pension. And ACA doesn't seem to be competitive right now. Never say never, but her company is very community minded and doubtfully will not screw their retirees with this benefit. My Megacorp? Ha. There are a million warnings in my plan about how they could drop it any time. And they will.

Her plan also has great low copays. Mine is high deductible.

ACA? See other threads. One thing scaring me about ACA is the choice of physicians. Both me and DW have GREAT networks with our coverage and many choices of quality physicians. Not so sure if we go to the ACA pool.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:37 AM   #12
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My story is similar to others. I ER'd 2 yrs ago at 55. My DW continues to work. I've told her that it is fine with me if she retires at any time but she wanted to work a couple of more yrs to boost her final pension amount (one more yr syndrome).

We had always split the housework 50/50. Now I do all of the housework and she really appreciates it. Though, I've told her that when she retires she will get her 50% back again.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:46 AM   #13
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ow I do all of the housework and she really appreciates it. Though, I've told her that when she retires she will get her 50% back again.
Ha ha. If we end up with an asymmetric retirement date, we'll have to discuss this carefully and make sure when we're both synced up again, it reverts back to 50/50.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:00 AM   #14
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I retired 3 years before my wife by taking advantage of a buyout at Megacorp. I'm also a few years older and she enjoyed her job so didn't miind staying. The original plan was for her to work two additional years but because of a health care benefit, she stayed on for one more. For us, this worked quite well as we built our retirement house and I was able to focus on that job nearly full time- we built a house about 2 hours from where we were living and I basically worked on the house building crew (at very low pay, lol) and she joined me here on weekends. I was way ready to retire but even now, I'm not sure she is fully committed after less than a year- after we get many of our projects done, I think she will look for something, even a volunteer type of job.

Not for everyone but being so involved with building our log house really paid off with all the small decisions that need to be made along the way. I also learned a lot about painting and staining! After the financial discussions, I think it comes down to how the two of you will feel about the major change in roles.

Good luck with the decision!
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:13 AM   #15
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Only time my wife and I were syncing dates was when we were trying to get pregnant.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:39 AM   #16
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Absent some exogenous force such as a layoff or health issue, the young wife and I will almost certainly pull the plug together. It would be fine if she retired and I continued working (that's essentially how it was when we were young and I was in the Navy), but she would never countenance the converse.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:30 AM   #17
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Absent some exogenous force such as a layoff or health issue, the young wife and I will almost certainly pull the plug together. It would be fine if she retired and I continued working (that's essentially how it was when we were young and I was in the Navy), but she would never countenance the converse.
"Together" is relative. Within 5 months is the plan for us. That's close enough to be "together." I'm done on January 2 of '18. Had enough. This date will give me access to the 401k if we need it. She has to wait until the middle of the year to get the benefits promised to her.

Megacorp keeps having layoffs. I pray for a buyout, but not sure they'll ever do it again. It will be difficult to make it another 19 quarters, but you never know. Yes, I'm counting quarters. Not close enough for weeks or days yet.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #18
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Our decision will be guided by the school calendar. The young wife is a high school teacher, and if she starts a school year, she will finish it and retire in the summer, even if she could technically retire at any time. She knows that switching teachers mid-year is almost never optimal for students and feels a sense of responsibility to them. To avoid any friction at home, I will synch to her schedule. June 2018 is the latest for us, but it could be any June before then depending on how the health care situation resolves itself.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:10 AM   #19
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Our decision will be guided by the school calendar. The young wife is a high school teacher, and if she starts a school year, she will finish it and retire in the summer, even if she could technically retire at any time. She knows that switching teachers mid-year is almost never optimal for students and feels a sense of responsibility to them. To avoid any friction at home, I will synch to her schedule. June 2018 is the latest for us, but it could be any June before then depending on how the health care situation resolves itself.
Your DW sounds like an upstanding person. Very good of her to consider her students like that.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:20 PM   #20
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DH retired 3 years ago in June. He was 62 at the time. I am 6 1/2 years younger than him. I went to very part-time status at my work about the same time. Almost 3 years later, he is still retired and I'm still working very part-time. From the beginning, he has said he is fine with me quitting whenever I wanted to. At the beginning we had some specific things we wanted to do with the money I was earning part-time, but since then most of those specifics no longer apply. I am pondering now when to quit fully. Just this week DH reiterated that I could quit any time. We have both been happy with what we have done over this time.
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