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Partners with different priorities
Old 11-01-2013, 11:42 PM   #1
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Partners with different priorities

I am within a few months of reaching my retirement target. It's been REALLY REALLY hard getting there.
My partner will still be working but, due to restructuring within his work, he now has a lot of leave each year.
He feels that this is the time for us to start going on some big trips. I feel stressed by the idea. That's not what I've worked and saved so hard for. I think the money goes so much further at home. And I'm only 43, so I need my savings to last me a long time.
I am going to carry on doing a little work. (The main reason for that is that I can then qualify to pay voluntary UK national insurance contributions as a self-employed person - I'm from the UK but based in New Zealand.) But work really stresses me and I don't consider it worth doing more work to pay for trips.
My budget might stretch to some trips, but I want to see how it goes for a time first, and then not overdo it.
But of course I need to keep my partner happy.
I don't suppose there is a perfect answer to this, but perhaps someone has some advice or at least understands.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:19 AM   #2
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Aspire,
In your very first posting about 15 months ago you mentioned both that your partner was supportive of your impending ER plans and that he wanted to take some holidays that you'd need to be able to afford. It looks like this has become a bigger friction point than anticipated.
Some questions: How much longer does he want to work full time? Would he and you be comfortable with him paying for this travel for both of you? Would travel on the cheap be acceptable to you both? For example, I admit to having a hard time partitioning my life and spending habits into "at home" and "on vacation"--clipping coupons while at home so I can spend $300/night on a hotel room on vacation just doesn't make sense, I'm a lot happier in more modest accommodations when we travel. Maybe there's a way to travel where you'd consider the working time to be worth it (Is a day on holiday worth 4 weeks in the office? Probably not. How about 1 day for 1 day?).
If he really wants to travel and you'd really rather stay home, I think it might be a problem-unless he just wants to go solo/with his friends.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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I'm afraid I'm in your spouse's camp and would be miserable at the thought of not traveling.

Can you get him to agree to only go to a place that's on sale? That's how I plan my destinations because I'm also a tightwad like you. I don't get my heart set on where. I go where I can find a deal - usually starting with airfare.

Maybe this could be the compromise? Also, if you planned it to keep costs way down, would that help?
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:33 AM   #4
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Thanks for your considered response.
He's three years younger than me and has essentially no savings, so he will be working for quite some time. He doesn't earn enough for either of us to be comfortable with him paying.
Up to now, he has spent a lot of time and money on his hobby - motorbike racing - so it hasn't been so much of an issue. He's now doing less of that. I think he should be wanting to save more for his side of retirement, but I don't want to argue with him about it.
He is willing to choose good value options. We've found some great cruise deals, but there are usually expensive flights to get there from New Zealand, and he also thinks we might as well tack some extra traveling on once we've paid for the flight. I can see the logic, but I would justify it by making the trips very rare, whereas he would like to do plenty.
I think we will have to find some kind of compromise. I don't think either of us would be really happy with having him travel alone, and we would probably drift apart.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:36 AM   #5
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Thanks for your reply. He is someone who values excitement in life (perhaps like you), whereas I value security and lack of stress. He is willing to shop around for bargains, but he wants to do so much that it still becomes expensive.
But I have to care about what he values too, so we will have to work something out.
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:47 AM   #6
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If he has no savings how is that he can afford to take a lot of big trips?

I mostly am in your camp on this although until I saw he had no savings I thought this could fairly easily be handled with compromise - you travel a bit more or longer trips, he travels a little less, etc. But, if he has no savings for retirement it sounds like he really isn't in a position to do a lot of travel....
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:40 AM   #7
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He has a few thousand dollars available on his mortgage facility. He tends to spend most of his money as it comes in. He would be able to afford trips as they came up, but he wouldn't be saving anything towards retirement if he did that. He doesn't plan to retire early, but he will want some money in addition to the state pension when he does retire.
Maybe I do need to point this out to him, while compromising on travel. I think I will have to agree to some travel to keep him happy, but I'm probably not wrong that his plans are unrealistic.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:55 AM   #8
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He has a few thousand dollars available on his mortgage facility.
Do you say that he wants to go into debt for travelling?

Even though I love travelling that would be a NO GO for me.

I understand that he does not want to postpone his dreams till retirement. But it does not need to be one OR the other.
You could propose that he could use one $ for travelling for each 5$ that go into retirement savings - or 50/50 - or whatever.

I understand that international travelling would always come with heavy cost of flights. But other than that and if travelling does not mean **** hotels for you with some creativity you can find lots of options for low cost travelling.
Think of airBnB, hospitality clubs like SERVAS Org, renting furnished appartments at different places, hostels, camping, biking, house sharing, home swapping, living like the locals.
Check out the net for permanent travellers and see how they do it.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:32 AM   #9
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I would feel uncomfortable with the idea of getting to retirement while still talking mainly about "my" money and "her" money.

With the exception of some money that DW inherited last year from her parents and is currently sitting in a corner with "DW's money" written on it, which I believe (and I think she does too) over time will merge into "the big pile" (she has valid emotional reasons for keeping this money separate for now), everything else has been in joint names since we got married. We decide together if we're going on a trip, based on what we want to spend out of the overall pot. (We both have a small "fun money" allowance, but not for four-figure expenses like major travelling.)

This may not be of immediate practical help to Aspire, but perhaps it's an angle into some more fundamental issues that might be worth exploring. Of course, I can't tell very much from a couple of forum posts, so this is not "advice".
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:45 AM   #10
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I think we will have to find some kind of compromise. I don't think either of us would be really happy with having him travel alone, and we would probably drift apart
To me it seems there is more for the two of you to work through than travel.

You value frugality and desire early retirement. He's a bit of a spendthrift with no savings. Neither of you would be happy with him traveling alone and you think the relationship couldn't handle it.

How much traveling are you talking about? Five to ten weeks a year? Why don't you think the relationship would be able to survive that type of separation?

If it can't survive that, how will it survive through the other more real difficulties that stress any long-term relationship? How will it survive 30+ years of you being retired with plenty of time to do what interests you while he is punching a clock for most of that time?

My wife doesn't travel well and so doesn't enjoy it much. I enjoy travel. There are plenty of trips I go on without her. I'd much rather her be with me, but we're much happier together if I'm able to travel. She doesn't mind the alone time either. But (most importantly) both of us agree that the expenses of any trip fit in with a budget as part of an overall plan for financial well-being.

Then again, in our relationship, we don't have her money and my money. What's hers is hers and what's mine is hers. ::: jk ::: We've been married over 25 years and since our college days there was never a mine or hers (money-wise) it was one checking account (ours) from the moment we were serious about our relationship. However, we were kids then; I wouldn't advise that in your situation.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
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Maybe I missed it. Is this man a husband, or a non-married partner? If he is your husband, the best of luck to you. If not, you have way more freedom. Many routes can lead out of a logjam like this.

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Old 11-02-2013, 10:51 AM   #12
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...(snip)...
He is willing to choose good value options. We've found some great cruise deals, but there are usually expensive flights to get there from New Zealand, and he also thinks we might as well tack some extra traveling on once we've paid for the flight. I can see the logic, but I would justify it by making the trips very rare, whereas he would like to do plenty.
...
Many of us in the US would think of New Zealand as exotic and a travel destination. But you live there so it's just home. We do find plenty of vacation spots to drive but that is in California and maybe up the west coast.

Does it have to be a cruise + air flight? Could it be something in Australia that's easy to fly/drive to? Seems there might be some bargains in your neighboring countries.

It's been touched on above but I it would be high on my list to get a grip on the overall finances. Maybe even see a counselor together or some such 3rd party. It would be wise to have a plan you can both execute together.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:57 AM   #13
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Maybe I missed it. Is this man a husband, or a non-married partner? If he is your husband, the best of luck to you. If not, you have way more freedom. Many routes can lead out of a logjam like this.

Ha



+1 This disparate view of financial issues can really blow up...esp if he gets burnt out and starts eying your pile as a life boat.....I'm not saying this is going to happen,but burning out can happen pretty quickly. For me it was a new National sales manager that had no interest in private life....his or his reports.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:04 AM   #14
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One of the challenges of living in the Antipodes is that it's a long way from other English speaking parts of the world. While I was working I met some colleagues from Australia who had an annual travel allowance of $12,000 for that reason. (Mine was $0).

It seems to me that you and your partner do not share an approach to financial management. Is this a knowledge issue or a philosophical one? Your post makes it clear that you consider your assets to be separate. It sounds as if you do not trust your partner financially. While that may or may not be justified, it speaks to conflict in the relationship. You two need to talk!
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:11 AM   #15
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I don't understand the thrill of combining assets. If you are married, they are combined and if you don't realize that you may be in for big shock sometime.

If you are single, and don't make certain errors, they are separate. Every adult in the world is either a woman or a man. But only a small portion of these men and women can pull their own weight financially without regular work. Helpful thing to remember.

Ha
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:20 AM   #16
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I don't understand the thrill of combining assets. If you are married, they are combined and if you don't realize that you may be in for big shock sometime.

If you are single, and don't make certain errors, they are separate. Every adult in the world is either a woman or a man. But a small portion of these men and women can pull their own weight financially without regular work. Helpful thing to remember.

Ha
That depends on what country you live in, and it does not currently apply in New Zealand.

Law: No such thing as 'common-law wife' | Law | The Guardian

HowTo Division of Property When a Marriage Or De Facto Relationship Ends
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:25 AM   #17
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That depends on what country you live in, and it does not currently apply in New Zealand.

Law: No such thing as 'common-law wife' | Law | The Guardian

HowTo Division of Property When a Marriage Or De Facto Relationship Ends
So in NZ, when does one's property get burdened by another's interest? When you go out to dinner and pick up the check, when she stays over for the weekend, when you enjoy brunch after a nice weekend at Whistler?

What a wonderful world.

Ha
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:31 AM   #18
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So in NZ, when does one's property get burdened by another's interest? When you go out to dinner and pick up the check, when she stays over for the weekend, when you enjoy brunch after a nice weekend at Whistler?

What a wonderful world.

Ha
According to the legal site I linked, three years of cohabitation is the threshold in NZ.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:33 AM   #19
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According to the legal site I linked, three years of cohabitation is the threshold in NZ.
Thank you. It is worse than this in Washington State. Still, I think I can bear never traveling to NZ so I might as well strike it off my list.

Ha
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #20
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I would love to visit NZ but it isn't in the budget for 2014. About 5 years ago I was contacted by a NZ headhunter about a job in Wellington. I decided not to pursue it, because I felt too old to move to a new country so far away where I didn't know anyone.
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