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Younger spouse
Old 11-12-2011, 04:45 PM   #1
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Younger spouse

Just wondering how those with younger spouses are dealing with early retirement or the thought thereof. My goal is to hopefully retire at 50 - I am currently 36 - and so far I am on track. My gf is 9 years younger than me and she supports this goal. When I am 50, she would of course be 41 and would keep working. For others in the same boat, has this created resentment from your partner? My thoughts are that if i work say 30 years, then it would seem fair to have my partner work at least the same or more if they actually enjoyed what they were doing. My gf has indicated she would have no desire to retire at that age, but I worry that down the road as I pursue other things in my retirement while she is at work that this might create a problem. How have others dealt with this?
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:15 PM   #2
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My DW is also almost 9 years younger than me. When I retired at 61, she intended to work another 5 to 6 years. That lasted about 1.5 years. After an extremely stressful day at the hospital, she asked if she could retire. I answered to the affirmative saying our investments well doing well. (One month later the market started its slump.) Neither of us regret her earlier than planned retirement.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:21 PM   #3
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DW is only 5 years younger than me. I'm retired. I planned that we would retire at the same time. But she didn't want to retire since she enjoyed her j*b. We'll probably end up closer to your plan, with approximately equal years of w*rking. It would be a little less boring if she had retired with me, I think, but I'm fine without her here during the day as well. Especially nice to have the income and health insurance benefits during the recession and uncertainty.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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I was 17 years younger are really resented being his retirement plan with no plan for my retirement. He didn't want me to save to retire because he said I was too young in my 20s when the IRA was invented. He didn't want to buy a house or save any money at all. I demanded he buy me a house so I would at least have something in my old age. He was thinking he would retire at a normal age and I would work until he died so in retirement he would have his SS check and my paycheck and when he died I would only have SS. He actually probably didn't think that far ahead. I divorced him when I was 34 and immediately started to save for retirement.

Mom was 12 years younger than Dad and he worked until he was disabled in his 50s. But they had a house that was paid off and dad had two pensions and SS. Mom saved in her pension plan. She worked until she was 60 so dad was 72 and needed some care giving and died at 79 leaving mom a young widow. She has been widowed 20 years now but didn't mind that dad retired before she did since she had to work and he couldn't work. Before he died he gave her over time all the money in his bank account to put in her credit union so she learned to deal with CDs and having so much money since he had handled all the money except minor amounts for the 47 years they were married so taking over when he died was smooth.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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DH and I are the same age, so we didn't go through one retiring before the other. We both said to heck with mega-corp at roughly the same time. What I can offer is DD and SIL's discussions. They both have high stress, good paying jobs. He's 11 years older than she is and he's talking about retiring (no fat corp benefits) at 55 while she continues to work. Their daughter is a junior in high school. His two sons (prior marriage) are in their late 20s. DD helped raise his two sons...through college. DD is more than frosty toward his idea of retiring at 55. I am smart enough to keep my mouth shut and offer no advice or opinion to either of them. If I had to guess, he'll keep working at least until their junior is through with college.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
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My DW is over 15 years younger than me and she's retired, I'm not but trying to.....this is an individual, couple decision. Many DW's never work outside the home, they take care of children, etc.

More important than who retires when is the common interests of a older man and younger woman; or vice versa. Although my DW and I are years apart, we enjoy the same things, same restaurants, same values, etc. Some think I have a tropy wife, we both think we have a trophy life. I hope this lasts, it has over 20 years now, the rest of our lives.......formerly I was married to a woman my age......and miserable......today I'm happy, and we both consider ourselves very lucky!!!!!
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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Ms. G is 4 years younger than me, and she retired before me at age 50.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
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My wife is just 2 years younger that I am. I retired earlier this year and she plans to keep working for another 4-5 years. I had a life long plan to retire at 50, but when I was in my late 40's, the age of 50 did seem a bit early, so I waited until I was almost 55.

At first my DW was unhappy about my being home and her working, even though she supported my ER. Things are getting better with time. She is now a kept women as I do all of the housework, shopping, errands, etc.

Actually, I think if we had retired at the same time, it would not have worked well for us. IMO, it is quite an adjustment to retire and be home all of the time, after a very demanding career. I am adjusting, but it takes time. I don't think my DW is ready for ER quite yet, as she gets bored on weekends. By the time she retires, I'll be an expert.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:34 PM   #9
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At first my DW was unhappy about my being home and her working, even though she supported my ER. Things are getting better with time. She is now a kept women as I do all of the housework, shopping, errands, etc.
Doesn't that make you a kept man? Not the other way around.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:18 PM   #10
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My wife is 3 yrs younger than me. I will be 54 in January, and will retire on my 55th birthday, when I can begin my pension. She will continue to work 3 additional yrs after I retire, because if she retires prior to age 55, we couldn't access her 401k (if we need/want to) without paying the IRS penalty. So....I'll retire at 55, and 3 yrs later she'll also retire at 55. Guess I'll be a house-husband for a little while.
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:02 AM   #11
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I am the younger, by 8 years, spouse. I am the driving force for DH to retire early, and well before I plan to retire. In the end, we will probably work close to the same number of years. But I suspect he will, like many folks, find something that he enjoys doing as a "retirement job".
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:14 AM   #12
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DH is 60 in January and can retire any time from then on. Currently the plan is summer of 2012. I will be 53 then.
We have always planned to be in financial shape to retire together. As we are married for 30 years now we had a lot of time to save up to that goal and to keep our lifestyle frugal enough to live on his pension and interest of our savings till my pension kicks in.

It wouldn't be fun for one of us to retire alone as we love to spend time together, even it it is just for hanging out in the garden or putter around in the house.

But each couple has to decide on its own what is fair to them and how they want to spend the first valuable years of retirement, those years when our health still allows us to do things together that might become impossible later on.
No salary, company car and pension increase will be able to compensate for those years IMO.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:13 AM   #13
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But each couple has to decide on its own what is fair to them and how they want to spend the first valuable years of retirement, those years when our health still allows us to do things together that might become impossible later on.
No salary, company car and pension increase will be able to compensate for those years IMO.
So true!

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Old 11-13-2011, 07:59 AM   #14
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My DW is over 15 years younger than me and ........................... Some think I have a tropy wife, !
The guy who did our hardwood floors is a part-time musician and gave us
a few of his CDs. You should check out the last picture (CD) at the bottom
of this link Bob La Beau - One Man Show - Music
The title song is hilarious.....you might appreciate it more than most.
I'm not sure how this all works...pretty sure you can buy the CD; perhapsyou might be able to buy just the one song.
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Fair? What Does That Really Mean?
Old 11-13-2011, 08:01 AM   #15
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Fair? What Does That Really Mean?

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My thoughts are that if i work say 30 years, then it would seem fair to have my partner work at least the same...
You may be overthinking the issue. Yes, I can imagine it's good to give this situation some consideration but it may be a little too early to worry about this topic. Save money, watch your investments, keep the discussion lines between you and her open, see what happens. Life has a way of changing things.

I am older than DW by 4 years and she retired before me. The opportunity presented itself and we made it work. Another completely unforseen event presented itself to me less than a year later. Now we're both retired and loving it!

Back to the idea of what is fair. My first response is "fair" does not necessarily enter into the picture. What does fair really mean in this case? The idea of fair strikes me as odd in this situation. Maybe I'm biased since my thought is life is not always fair. It sounds too much like I'm okay, you're okay. We all get a gold star for the day.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:45 AM   #16
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My 'current' (and last) wife I met 8 years ago, almost 2 years after my late wife died......she's 10 years younger and was working in Ottawa as a Software Developer; I 'retired', (OK, I quit), when my late wife & I returned to Canada from Saudi at age 46.

While I was incapacitated, (after being run over by a truck in Ottawa), she worked from home for a while until I could get around unassisted.......she'd just gone back into the office for a day and they started giving her grief, (liked to 'see' their employees sitting in their cubicles regardless of the fact that her productivity level remained stable, or in actuality higher because there were no office distractions ).........I was briefly chatting to her online...she was PO'd and I said "If you quit now you can be home for lunch".

She did, and she was.

That was 4 1/2 years ago. I turned 69 in September, she was 59 in October.

We both love it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:53 AM   #17
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DW is 5 years younger than me. She left the workforce back in 1991 to raise our kids. About 5 years ago she took a p/t job and will most likely retire from that in February 2012, and I will follow her sometime between April and June. I've never really even thought of the need for any parity in the "you work a comparable number of years as me". Everyones situation is different, so I suspect it would be hard to apply the experiences of others.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:57 AM   #18
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DW is 30 years younger and left her job 8 years ago (when we got married) to raise our son. I told her that I would take over when our son was 6, so she could have her career. So far it is working out well. She works in the countries most prestigious clinic, where the doctors appreciate her work ethic and bi-lingual skills. We have a nanny who gets my son ready for school and prepares our meals. I have the mornings free to hang out with friends for coffee and when my son comes home at 2:30, I take him to the park overlooking the Pacific Ocean to teach him to bicycle ride/roller blade/play catch etc. We come home when DW arrives and sit down as a family for dinner. The only downside so far is the lack of time in which to travel together. I imagine in the summers (when my son is older) I will take him to Colorado for a few months where his 1/2 sister is studying for her doctorate and we can all go skiing together.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:36 AM   #19
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DW is 30 years younger .
I believe you receive the "I Robbed the Cradle Award" on this forum.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:45 AM   #20
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I believe you receive the "I Robbed the Cradle Award" on this forum.
Uh oh. Based on some of the responses on this old thread, you're walking into sensitive territory: retire abroad
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