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Old 04-11-2012, 02:55 PM   #21
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Very interesting. We both would love to get out of our current jobs, but the money is too good right now. We both have plans for semi-retirement/part time jobs though, so if I got laid off tomorrow, I'd just start working towards that. I think DH feels that he needs a few more years and larger nest egg before he retires, but he does make a lot more than me.

When DH was between jobs for a few months, I did have him do laundry and more housework, but it was weird for me to be gone and him to be home. I think the other way around wouldn't seem as weird.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:12 PM   #22
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Very interesting. We both would love to get out of our current jobs, but the money is too good right now.
Even that won't hold you back eventually...
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:35 PM   #23
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No go. "I have told him he has to stay working until the last kid is out of college in four years," Ms. Ewing says. "For me it would be annoying not to have someone pulling their weight. I realize he's older. But on a personal level, I don't see it as positive. My perspective is he would putter around the house."

Having watched her own father retire, she also thinks it's healthier to keep working. "I think when people retire they slow way down and become less productive, less interesting, less healthy, less financially robust," says Ms. Ewing. "I plan to work as long as I can."
This doesn't sound like a disagreement about retirement, it seems like a disagreement about who gets to control his life.

She doesn't see it as positive for him to do what he wants. She feels he'll waste his days puttering around the house. She thinks he'll be healthier if he keeps working. She fears he'll become less interesting. All because she plans to work as long as she can.

The solution is pretty simple. Calculate what the budget would be if BOTH spouses retired. If that standard of living is acceptable to both, then anyone who wants to retire can. If that standard of living is unacceptable to both, then nobody retires. If that standard of living is acceptable to one, but not the other, one can choose to retire at that level and the other can choose to keep working to fund the retirement he or she wants. There is no law of nature saying that a married couple's budget needs to be allocated 50/50. He gets to spend 50% of the retirement budget and she gets to spend her half of the retirement budget plus what ever she earns in addition to that.

It's really not that hard.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:02 PM   #24
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This doesn't sound like a disagreement about retirement, it seems like a disagreement about who gets to control his life.

She doesn't see it as positive for him to do what he wants. She feels he'll waste his days puttering around the house. She thinks he'll be healthier if he keeps working. She fears he'll become less interesting. All because she plans to work as long as she can.

The solution is pretty simple. Calculate what the budget would be if BOTH spouses retired. If that standard of living is acceptable to both, then anyone who wants to retire can. If that standard of living is unacceptable to both, then nobody retires. If that standard of living is acceptable to one, but not the other, one can choose to retire at that level and the other can choose to keep working to fund the retirement he or she wants. There is no law of nature saying that a married couple's budget needs to be allocated 50/50. He gets to spend 50% of the retirement budget and she gets to spend her half of the retirement budget plus what ever she earns in addition to that.

It's really not that hard.
For some people it can be that difficult. It's not always just about the numbers. It wouldn't surprise me if the couple you refer to had already done the math and one partner was still unsure. As you point out, it could be a control issue, but it also could be something else. Retirement means moving from one phase of life to another, that that may disrupt some deeper and less well understood feelings or fears - or even unsatisfied ambitions.

Marriage is hard, early retirement is hard, and (IMHO) together they are an order of magnitude more difficult than each is separately. Congratulations to those that have found these easy.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:06 PM   #25
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DW/me are the same age and decided to retire in May of 2007 after years of planning.

In mid-April of 2007, DW said that she was not "emotionally ready" to retire as planned. She had some concern (not much) what I would say/feel about the last minute change. Since we had no scheduled joint "things" to do that depending our retiring on a specific timeframe, it really didn't bother me at all. I retired May 1, 2007 and have no regrets.

For almost five years, she continued her employment up to about six weeks ago when she said her "BS bucket " had gotten full (and was even overflowing).

She retired last Monday and although it's just the start of the early "retirement honeymoon" period, she is estatic for her decision to leave.

In our case, it worked out with no problem at all.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:12 PM   #26
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Congratulations to your DW, rescueme!

As for the retirement honeymoon period, I am unsure as to how long one can expect that to last. Mine has been going on for about two and a half years and I am still ecstatic.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:35 PM   #27
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Congratulations to your DW, rescueme!
+1

Excellent news for both of you.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #28
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When I decided I could retire, my husband worked part-time from home as a consultant. He worked as projects became available, and when he wasn't working, he played house husband, which I loved as it took a lot off my shoulders when I had to put in long hours.

Funny, he hadn't really considered shutting down his part-time consulting business when I retired. When I explained to him all the things we could go do when BOTH our schedules were unencumbered (mainly the travel we both loved), he realized that - yep, maybe he should retire too. We've always been a couple that did a lot of things together - at least the big things. So for me I couldn't imagine not being retired together. He was able to gradually close down his business over the next couple of years in between our travels. It worked out very well.

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Old 04-11-2012, 07:17 PM   #29
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Even though my DW was totally supportive for my ER last summer (while she continued to work), it started out a bit rocky. She was resentful for several months. The situation has improved now. She plans to work another couple of years, but she sometimes now says she would like to ER as well. Health insurance is our big nut. If we had to pay (say) $15k a year for policies that now cost us less than $2,000 through her employer - that would put a dent in our financial plan.

I keep telling her we can certainly both retire and be fine financially, but I think she is worried that her discretionary spending would need to go way down (cloths, hair, nails.....). So she would rather work than have to cut back on that very important stuff .
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:07 AM   #30
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I have had a new girlfriend for the last few months now. This subject has not come up (yet).
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How Couples Decide When to Retire - WSJ.com


I would include health considerations to the above -- whether you are healthy enough to keep working, whether or not you could afford non-employer health insurance if you were not healthy, et cetera.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:39 AM   #31
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I have had a new girlfriend for the last few months now. This subject has not come up (yet).
I'm pleased to hear that you have a new girlfriend

If this turns out to be someone you want to be with for the long run, it is a subject that needs to be discussed sooner rather than later.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #32
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Of course it is important to be on the same page with your spouse. And it is not always an easy process. Issues can go well beyond just the money and security concerns. Patience, and frequent communication has been key in my circumstance. Still not completely there yet.

I thought the article did a good job of exploring many of the nuances around why couples might stuggle to be on the same page with the 'when' question.


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As for the retirement honeymoon period, I am unsure as to how long one can expect that to last. Mine has been going on for about two and a half years and I am still ecstatic.
W2R, you really need to cheer up and be more positive about your ER decision.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:12 AM   #33
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W2R, you really need to cheer up and be more positive about your ER decision.
I'll try. Upon awakening this morning and half opening my eyes, as usual I greatly enjoyed the pleasure of rediscovering my freedom. I tend to forget while asleep and then when I awaken, wondering if I am late to work, it is all new again. This is the most wonderful feeling!

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I have had a new girlfriend for the last few months now. This subject has not come up (yet).
Wonderful! I am happy to hear this. Like Alan, I think that if this relationship has any potential then it is important to mention your upcoming retirement to her soon. I gather from your other posts that you are planning to retire this year.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:23 AM   #34
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For some people it can be that difficult. It's not always just about the numbers. It wouldn't surprise me if the couple you refer to had already done the math and one partner was still unsure. As you point out, it could be a control issue, but it also could be something else. Retirement means moving from one phase of life to another, that that may disrupt some deeper and less well understood feelings or fears - or even unsatisfied ambitions.

Marriage is hard, early retirement is hard, and (IMHO) together they are an order of magnitude more difficult than each is separately. Congratulations to those that have found these easy.
Thanks for pointing out the changes can be an issue. DW and I both retired from Army a while back, and after 1 year home retired, she decided that she needed to go back to work. She went to work for the school district here and has really enjoyed it mostly. Now she if eligible to retire the 2nd time next year, and I'm supposed to finish out 2015 and retire.

I'm still worried about her not having the structure a job forces on you, but I think she is better prepared to deal with it this time. More of her friends are either retired or close, she knows that she needs to plan some part of her week, we hit the gym daily, about 20 minute drive and 1 hr at the gym, (mostly I get sweaty fast, then watch the young females while she does a good 45 min or longer workout). So there is some structure in place.

All the changes you go through that are hard, retire from Army; Kids start college; empty nest; dealing with kids that are now adults and learning to let them make mistakes and fix them; and now real retirement. I would think they get easier but it doesn't seem so. Hopefully the real retirement will be easier than the other changes.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #35
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After selling our home 3 years ago and becoming debt free, I told DW that I wanted her to feel free to retire whenever she felt ready. She was in a stressful job working with Special Ed. students (and a few PITA coworkers). Her annual salary was only about 1/6 of mine and my job is very low stress for me. I assured her that I could work a bit longer if we felt it was necessary.

One year later, she decided the time had come. The arrival of two more grand children also helped her choose personal time over a small addition to our income that really made little difference in the overall plan for my retirement. I have an obscene amount of vacation time and it has been great for us to travel without having to factor in a job commitment for her.

Constant, honest communication has been key to our decisionmaking.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:25 PM   #36
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I guess we don't fit the mold in some ways.

We have an annual "FIRE checkup" annually at Christmas time. We go over all investments, budget for the coming year, and plan for 2 different time horizons...1 year and 3 years. We commit to each other that we will come to agreement...so all these things in the article about not agreeing on whether they even have a detailed plan...don't apply.

We've decided that one spouse will FIRE earlier than the other. Which one? Well...it doesn't really matter at this point, but probably will be DW since she is 4 years older and my income is much higher. My plan is to have a part-time activity for low pay...and hers is completely get out...so I may go to PT before she completely leaves the race.

Why different times? Well, we just agree that there will be a lot of "logistics" and errands to run for a few months. I told her it would be nice if I could focus only on the j*b for the final 6-12 months while she cleans the house, takes the motor oil to the recycling center, buys groceries, mows the lawn, takes the dog to the groomer, schedules the furnace maintenance, plans our vacations, and a zillion other things that today we somehow share and fit into an already busy schedule as I'm sure all on this board do.

I've never in my life had a time when I came home from w*rk and had a hot meal waiting for me...so I asked her if she'd be willing to do that for me a couple days a week that last period...and she smiled and said "happily".

Once we get within 12 months (currently we're within about 2-3 years), we'll really have to nail this down tight (I'm an Engineer by education ).
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:21 PM   #37
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This topic was also featured on today's "Talk of the Nation" on NPR.

Couples Can Conflict Over When To Retire : NPR

The guests reinforced the need for couples to communicate. Seems obvious but base on the discussion, not so much...
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:58 AM   #38
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Alan and W2R - Point well taken. Thank you.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:35 AM   #39
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Yeah, my "dream outcome" is to be laid off and given a nice severance package right as I was gearing up to pack it in anyway...

Hehe, this is how it worked for my Dad. Talk about a score, the company was sinking slowly and he saw it since he was part of the management team. So, at 60, when the company was still giving out nice severances, my dad volunteers to "take on for the team". He never looked back.

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Transition harder than I thought
Old 04-13-2012, 07:17 AM   #40
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Transition harder than I thought

My plan was always 55 and out and my wife who has always stayed at home was totally on board. However, as 55 approached it became very clear to me that she was very anxious about: 1. Going broke 2. Having me around 24/7 basically driving her crazy. It really was a much more significant issue than I anticipated. She grew up dirt poor so #1 was a fear of going back to that and was taken care of pretty much when we went together to 2 different financial planners who ran the numbers and said we were indeed good to go. #2 made it easier for me to ease out by negotiating 1 day off and then 2 days off a week for the last 18 months rather than stop cold turkey. I think the transition has been good for both of us.

June 12 is last official day but I only have 10 more actual work days with days off and vacation.

My smile at work is getting bigger every day and people at work are adding to my already big list of cool things to do in retirement by sharing their own dreams with me.

Jackson
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