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One spouse continues to work
Old 03-18-2009, 07:55 AM   #1
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One spouse continues to work

For anyone who has had this situation come up, can you tell me a little about it.

I am 28 and DW if 27. She loves what she does (ownes her own business) and has said several times that she may slow things down eventually but never sees herself really retired.
I on the other hand do NOT like what I do. I want to put my 30 in and see-ya. Of course I would have to find something else to do Iam not the type to just sit around, and that would probably be something to do with the family farm. Which I help with even now on an as-needed basis, as needed is usually 3-4 afternoons a week.

What kind of pitfalls (socially or maritally) should I expect.
Is there usually some resentment on one side or the other? I can only imagine that it would make the financial aspect of it a real piece of cake, if I have my state retirement coming in, and my wife is still working.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:22 AM   #2
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Im in a similar situation but we are older If she enjoys working then be all means. Just something you need to work out together.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:35 AM   #3
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My wife is working part time now for an organization she loves working at.
Before I retired, we had a number of long talks about how we both felt about work.
Good communication is the key in my mind. She loves the work but was getting a bit burned out. So she talked with her boss, moved from social work supervisor to database training and cut her hours. She loves it, and we have had no issues.
We still talk about it to make sure everything is running smoothly for both of us.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by nnkrealtor View Post
For anyone who has had this situation come up, can you tell me a little about it.

I am 28 and DW if 27. She loves what she does (ownes her own business) and has said several times that she may slow things down eventually but never sees herself really retired.
I on the other hand do NOT like what I do. I want to put my 30 in and see-ya. Of course I would have to find something else to do Iam not the type to just sit around, and that would probably be something to do with the family farm. Which I help with even now on an as-needed basis, as needed is usually 3-4 afternoons a week.

What kind of pitfalls (socially or maritally) should I expect.
Is there usually some resentment on one side or the other? I can only imagine that it would make the financial aspect of it a real piece of cake, if I have my state retirement coming in, and my wife is still working.
Sure, some resentment could develop after a while.

I know that when I was her age, I would have said the same thing. I loved my job and retirement was the last thing on my mind. My opinions regarding work in general are obviously quite different now. She could get burned out later on and want to retire, too. If it isn't possible, then look out.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:32 AM   #5
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It could happen. As much as I love my wife dearly, I still fight off pangs of resentment once in a while feeling like the weight of our household financial success is entirely on my shoulders right now -- and has been for several years.

Still, if she (your wife) continues to love her job it might not be a big deal. Heck, if I felt my job were secure and I loved it, I'd actually like that my wife doesn't have a job and can do most of the household chores and run all of our errands since my income is currently more than sufficient. But I don't feel like my job is that secure and I don't particularly like it (it's okay but it's occasionally a real PITA), so pangs of resentment do surface sometimes.

There's nothing I want more right now than for her to find a decent job that she enjoys.

So back to your case, as long as she continues to enjoy what she does, it may not be an issue -- as long as you "add value" to the household with the household chores, running errands that sort of thing. I'm projecting a little, but that's my perspective.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:41 AM   #6
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If I were you I'd look for a different job--maybe not right now, but you're only 28, and 30 years is an awfully long time to spend doing something you don't like, just waiting for retirement.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:44 AM   #7
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At your ages, it is good to discuss remote retirement from time to time just to see if your values and plans are in line, and to synchronize if not. But you have such a long time before you retire that it is virtually certain that life's circumstances, luck, politics, and a zillion other unforeseen factors both good and bad will render almost anything more specific totally irrelevant by then.

So I say don't worry about what it will be like with one in the work force and one out 30 years from now. Too distant a horizon. Stay the course on the big goal by saving, LBYM, etc., stick around this board, and get back to us in 30 years with the same question .
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:57 AM   #8
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But you have such a long time before you retire that it is virtually certain that life's circumstances, luck, politics, and a zillion other unforeseen factors both good and bad will render almost anything more specific totally irrelevant by then.
yeah - at your age I would be more concerned about important spousal interaction issues. You need to decide once and for all who get the remote control ! If you can get through that then retirement will be a breeze.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:03 AM   #9
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Staying home and spending your spouse's money even though you're FI sounds like a good deal!
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:30 AM   #10
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At your ages, it is good to discuss remote retirement from time to time just to see if your values and plans are in line, and to synchronize if not. But you have such a long time before you retire that it is virtually certain that life's circumstances, luck, politics, and a zillion other unforeseen factors both good and bad will render almost anything more specific totally irrelevant by then.
Good point. You can make tentative plans for retirement based on the current situation, but you need to accept that the chances of the status quo remaining for the next 30 years are fairly remote. Maybe you'll find a job you prefer; maybe you'll be laid off; maybe your wife's business will flourish and expand rapidly (and maybe you could quit your current job to help her with it?) and maybe it will go bust. Maybe any number of things could happen over 30 years.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:34 AM   #11
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I plan to work longer than my DH, but only because of our age differences.
The real key, as has been mentioned, is that you revisit the topic frequently.
A lot can change, especially if you have kids.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:37 PM   #12
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As the others have written, the main pitfall of your scenario is that you waste 30 years of your life doing something that you don't like to do.

My spouse works. I have worked full time and now work part time. Mature couples should have no problems with that. Early in my career, my spouse made lots more money than me. Then I made lots more money than her. I still make more money than her even though I work less than half her hours. I don't care. She doesn't care. It's not a problem.

Oh, we have kids as well. I know some moms that said they were going back to work after having a child, but then changed their minds. It can happen.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:32 PM   #13
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My spouse works. I have worked full time and now work part time. Mature couples should have no problems with that. Early in my career, my spouse made lots more money than me. Then I made lots more money than her. I still make more money than her even though I work less than half her hours. I don't care. She doesn't care. It's not a problem.
My ex-wife started working not long before she split. Although she made very little money, she did work hard and spin her wheels vigorously. I remember a fight where she yelled at me "Why don't you get a job?" This got filed in my brain, as I had made and continued to make through trading close to every dollar than ever came into the house.

Somehow I don't think that she is the only woman in the world who likes to see the husband at work, and who gets fed up fast if she thinks she is working hard and he isn't.

My guess is that at least some of the wives who go on working after hub-a-dub quits are a little worried about the prospect of being around him all day long.

For married men who are not interested in being fathers, I recommend an early divorce. Like the old school saying-"Flunk now and avoid the June rush!"

Ha
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:03 PM   #14
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DH stopped working over 10 years ago. Until I partially FIRE'd two years ago, I worked full-time and he did not. I never felt a moment of resentment. It was so wonderful to see how much happier and healthier he was. Coming home to a happy man is grand. Of course, the home cooked meals didn't hurt either.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:32 PM   #15
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When I was in my twenties the last thing on my mind was retirement ? Stop worrying about thirty years in the future and enjoy life now !
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:30 AM   #16
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30 years is much too long to do a job you do not even like!
Look for something more satisfying, even if it needs additional training or brings in less money or benefits.

If not I see more resentment issues coming than your wife's if you finally ER:
The longer it goes the more you will resent her being happy with what she does.
She will resent coming home to a DH who can never share happy stories about "how was your day" but only looks forward to ER.
Over time each day it will get harder for you.

You only live once and you both deserve a good life, not only a good retirement.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:02 AM   #17
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30 years is much too long to do a job you do not even like!
Look for something more satisfying, even if it needs additional training or brings in less money or benefits.
What he said.

We're in that situation now - I'm working, she's not, and we are better off for it. But we've been married 20 years and have long since acquired everything we need and most of what we want. I much prefer living with a non-working but happy, content wife than a working stressed-out exhausted wife.

Generally, more money is better, but we have found that if the price of it is exhaustion and stress then it isn't worth it. There are a LOT of people in WV who have made that choice.

There is no resentment on my part, as we've been both places and this way is better. For us. YMMV.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:49 AM   #18
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how can you claim

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Retired six years ago at age 52
when

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We're in that situation now - I'm working, she's not
and why would you want people to think you are retired when you (by your own admission) are working? that gives people who read your posts the wrong idea about your perspective.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:21 PM   #19
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You've retired, thinking about going back to work?

A few days ago Walt said: "I'm one of the ones who chose to go back to work."
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #20
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I will echo what others have said -- don't work for 30 years at a job you don't like. At 28 you have a long life ahead of you. You can afford to try many different things until you find one that pleases you. At 50, I am on my 4th different career, let alone job.
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