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Old 06-23-2013, 12:44 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BellBarbara View Post
I am so frustrated - this feels exactly like what happened to my mom and grandparents.....they were all excellent savers and ended up feeble with large bank accounts, having had no fun.

Do you think this will pass? Any advice? I feel like we are doing great, he is unhappy. Not sure what he expected. We still have a mortgage, which we will rid ourselves of in about 5 years when we downsize.

Total buzzkill weekend.
Let me guess. His glass is half empty. Is he completely and utterly wrong? Probably not, only 99%. But this too will pass. He probably is not too happy with himself about not knowing all the details, not having put in the required time to work on this for as long as you have.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:20 PM   #22
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I'm not a counselor, and may be way off base, but just a word of caution to the OP to be careful here about the relationship. Sounds like some non-retirement issues may need to be addressed, worsened by the money stuff.

It would be terrible to win the battle but lose the war. Perhaps give it a rest for a few weeks and if things don't go well maybe a counselor could help.

Just sayin'.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #23
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We hypothesize and then comment based on that?

I thought the inference was pretty clear - did I read too much into it?

" Any advice? I feel like we are doing great, he is unhappy. Not sure what he expected."

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Old 06-23-2013, 01:25 PM   #24
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I am going to guess that the OP's spouse is newly retired. When DH first retired, we were scared to spend a dime needlessly (of course, that was in 2008 and we were watching our life savings evaporate). He has relaxed a bit - both of us have.

But he still feels it is 'bad' to take a withdrawal from the retirement accounts. I tell him, 'What do you want to do? Look at numbers and die? Or enjoy what you've worked for?"

I think he is coming around. And I'll guess that the OP's spouse will too. And like others noted, a nice problem to have...
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:53 PM   #25
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It's not a bad way to start, better than the other way around. Maybe he needs to run the retirement calculators and read the SWR papers himself. Easy enough to set a budget for the coming year and see how it fits. Hopefully, after living that way for a year, he'll be ready to meet you in the middle somewhere.

One thing that might be useful is an SPIA or deferred annuity. That gives him security and ups your spendable income for the given portfolio value.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:51 AM   #26
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A modification of something that my wife and I discussed before we married and began the first day was for each to have an allowance. One way would be to figure a liberal budget that would take care of any possible fluctuation in everyday expenses and then each have an equally liberal allowance that could be used in anyway you like without the others approval. He could hold on to his share and invest, save or do what ever he wants and you could spend yours in what ever way you enjoy. That way if he saves his allowance the end result is he gets a strict budget and you get to enjoy the result of the previous years of saving. It may not solve the entire problem but it could be an option.

Cheers!
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:31 AM   #27
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My suggestion is to not overreact based on a single weekend to the DH's concern. Perhaps being recently retired or the recent drop in the market or some other reason has triggered the concern. The main issue is communication and seeing how to things work out in the long run. Even though I do the finances and FIRECALC is showing we have a 100% success rate for 40 years at $100K annual spending, you can bet that when I do retire I am still going to look for ways spend less in my initial ER years, simply from a conservative/cautious point of view.

So I would not make it too much of a concern. Sometimes we who do the finances, and think we have done a good job of managing things, can take it too personally when our spouse questions it. The focus should be on determining a middle ground that both can agree on, which hopefully years of marriage can make that an achievable goal.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:14 AM   #28
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So I would not make it too much of a concern. Sometimes we who do the finances, and think we have done a good job of managing things, can take it too personally when our spouse questions it. The focus should be on determining a middle ground that both can agree on, which hopefully years of marriage can make that an achievable goal.
This, yes. Especially the first part. One memorable summer I just handed it all over to him, and he very meekly begged me to take back over. Point made.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:27 AM   #29
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Life is too short

I understand the frustration with the frugality. It seems that you have done your homework, but fear is seeping into the equation. There is always something more out there that potentially could throw a monkey wrench into the best laid plans. It is a bit like approaching the edge of a cliff. You may feel that you are ready to take the dive, but then......oh wait, this could go wrong if............and then there are about 1,000 more if's. The more you try to anticipate, the more you discover. Now you are 90, and you still haven't jumped!
You certainly need to be prudent in planning, but sometimes in life you reach a point where you just need to take the leap. What is the worst thing that can happen? I'd much prefer to have taken the leap and enjoyed the adventure.......even with a bad ending, than to regret never having taken the leap. That is what life is about. Risk/Reward! In actuality, regret isn't the issue. Instead it is simply about living now. Now is truly all we have! Are you enjoying life now? Tomorrow may never come. That won't really matter. Now does! I'd tell your DH to man-up!
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:54 AM   #30
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What reason does DH give for "He now wants to put us on a strict budget and get it way down." Is he afraid you will run out of money? Or is there some "feeling" that it's "wrong" to spend above X?

Why didn't he look at the spending projections and models before he retired? Did he take your word for it then, because it seems that these projections and models would have been part of his decision to retire. Unless he didn't have much choice in the timing. Was this the first time he realized what you all were spending?
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:39 AM   #31
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Does your husband not want to have fun, or is it that he can have fun without spending much money?
No he likes to have fun...loves to travel as much as I do.

Here is what I think happened: We have our own personal bank accounts (second marriage thing) and one joint account. So each month he would ask me for money, usually 3K, to transfer to the joint account. Sometimes it was more as we had some larger expenses. But I think in his mind we were spending 72K, but that is just not realistic.

He was also shocked by a couple of items:

home improvement/garden/maintenance - we spent a lot of money on pent up needs for improvement, repairs, etc. It really wasn't terrible, and it's pretty much done (have purchased the needed raw materials - do the work ourselves)

dining out - we hardly ever eat out, maybe lunch once a month, but we do take the kids out once in awhile and I meet a GF for sushi once a month. But he wanted to categorize every time we picked up a $8 sandwich (we share) on a bike ride as *entertainment* which to me is silly. Anyway, he thought we spent way too much.

Trust me, we are not spendthrifts, and except for more travel and this pent up house stuff, we live the same type of life we did while working. This is what I planned.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:41 AM   #32
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If it were me and I saw we spent $85k, I would've said "Awesome! We can increase our spending and still be safe". My wife and I plan to spend every dime that our projections say we can. We have saved like maniacs our entire married lives and the only reason we did that was so that we could spurge and enjoy our retirements. Work first, play later has always been my motto. When we retire, it's time to play.

As long as your budget has plenty of things that can be eliminated in case of portfolio emergency, why not spend away? We plan to travel extensively and that is a budget item that can easily be lowered substantially if the market takes a prolonged hit and we get worried.
I totally agree with this!!! I was happy. If we have money left for the kids great, but that is not the plan.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:45 AM   #33
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Math Problem

So it is a math problem. should be a simple solution for that.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:51 AM   #34
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The question is: why does he feel that way all of a sudden? Is he freaked out because he just retired and the paychecks stopped coming? He is freaked out by the recent movements in the stock/bond market? Did he think that you guys were spending way less than you actually were?
So we had a good talk yesterday. There are a few things going on.

1. He never looked at our spending and didn't think about it - so he was shocked as some categories.

2. He has his last daughter in 56K private college (we already paid for one of them at 52K).....ex wife is supposed to pay too, but paid zero on first kid (narcissist). At my urging, he told daughter he would pay only the same amount as last one - that she and her mom would have to pay for books and take out loans. (we pay room and board and will cover at least 3 full years of tuition from savings). Mom should be helping (she makes good money) but he feels responsible. I think he wants to pay more. About 1/2 of this money came from an inheritance (to pay for both girls, the rest was saved by him)

3. I inherited some money from my mom, and I decided to buy my son (who is not getting a 225K education as I can't afford it) a condo. My son has lousy dad, and I want to *set him up*. I am paying for half the condo, he is paying me back at 4% for his half...so actually creating income stream for us. It is inexpensive condo (like 150K). I think he resents this, likely the same way I resent the never ending cash spigot towards the girls (whose mother never steps up, even though court ordered).

So basically I feel like this is a delayed step we never took because I could not get him to do it.....so all these issues are rising up at once. We get along great, no one is mad, just reconciling our thoughts around ER,
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:59 AM   #35
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What reason does DH give for "He now wants to put us on a strict budget and get it way down." Is he afraid you will run out of money? Or is there some "feeling" that it's "wrong" to spend above X?

Why didn't he look at the spending projections and models before he retired? Did he take your word for it then, because it seems that these projections and models would have been part of his decision to retire. Unless he didn't have much choice in the timing. Was this the first time he realized what you all were spending?
I think he thought we spent less overall so he was shocked. I expected we would spend the same amount as when we were working (net check amounts) and we would spend the child support drop money (2K per month) on travel and any taxes (we will not pay taxes for years because we have lots of cash).

Yes, overall he is always afraid we will run out of money. I can't tell you how many times I have had to go over this with him. For example, we have like 400K in CASH....and he keeps worrying how we will survive until he can withdraw from his IRAs. Hysterical because he is 59 in October! He can withdraw next year.

Basically his inattention has cause him anxiety....it's not that I had not tried. I have been reading this boards for about 5 years. I tried so many times to get him to make a budget, track it, etc. I did create a budget on my own about 6 months before we retired, and of course he criticized it Saturday when parts of it were off. I just let that stuff slide off, as I know he is anxious.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:11 AM   #36
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I really appreciate everyone's thought here - so helpful. Here is a full update:

First of all, no worries on the marriage. I am super easy going, and I know what battles to pick. I always keep my eye on the end goal. I would never fight about something like this. We basically agree, just need to fine tune through negotiation.

We had a much better day yesterday. He spent Sat night scrolling through the expense transactions even though he told me he didn't want to talk. haha Sunday morning he changed his tune a bit....said that our spending was OK, but that we needed to make a better budget and manage to it. (YAY!) I said I was totally in favor of this but that I thought our travel expense was unrealistic for something we both want to do. So he raised it by 3K a year (to 15K).

There are 5 categories he wants to "manage". We just doing jars and receipts and will track them monthly. No issue.

So we can still spend 98K even after I buy the condo for my son. But our budget will be 87K. I am OK with this. I just didn't want him to drastically change our ER because he suddenly woke up.

11K extra per year is fine, and should cover any *opportunities* (great term!).
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:46 AM   #37
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Here is another factor - he has not paid any attention to his investments (which I cannot control). Yesterday we read half of Larry Swedroe's book about portfolio theory and will be working on a better financial plan. We each have our own investments, but this is not optimum.

So general inattention is making him anxious. HE has also talked about doing some contract work so he can give more college money to his daughter. As unhappy as I would be about that, it's not a battle I can fight. He is divorced dad who feels guilty (he did not ask for or cause divorce) mainly because exwife is useless, and his daughter knows this.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:03 AM   #38
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Sounds like things are starting down the right road. Maybe you should change the thread title. Something like, "Glad I got DH involved".
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:08 AM   #39
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And thank god for FireCalc! I could never get him to look at it. Yesterday he sat next to me and we ran through many scenarios so he could see how expenses, SS, income affect the money.

I do not expect for it to be smooth now, as one poster said, it's constant re-evaluation. And I totally expect at a huge market drop for him to say *cut the travel budget in half*. I am Ok with this....while we love traveling outside the US, our first love remains long roadtrips in our Prius, staying at uber inexpensive hotels and living on $60 per day food budget. We have done this for years and have it fine tuned. I could do this twice a year and be happy.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:10 AM   #40
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Sounds like things are starting down the right road. Maybe you should change the thread title. Something like, "Glad I got DH involved".
Haha yes! He is a good egg. We are really well matched in terms of values, interests, money management, etc. I should not have been so panic'd.
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