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Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 02:01 PM   #1
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Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/17/pf/r...ion=2007041712

"Only 38 percent said they made retirement decisions together."


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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 03:14 PM   #2
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

That's sad. DH isn't really interested in posting here, but we're very much on the same page re: FIRE and make the big decisions jointly.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 03:36 PM   #3
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

We make the decisions jointly and that almost always results in a more conservative portfolio than I would have ended up with on my own because my wife is a lot more conservative than I am. We tend to compromise and meet somewhere near "the middle." That way we can both sleep at night.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

We are making retirement decisions together. I actually think it has brought us closer. It is fun and exciting to have a joint goal which guides our decisions (that of retiring early and being financially secure). In the past because we both have had high powered, high paid jobs, we kept our money and much of the financial decision making separate. We each managed our own accounts, paid bills separately, etc. However, as retirement draws near, we're setting up joint accounts, making joint decisions about asset allocation, withdrawal schemes, investing strategy, etc. Most of it has been fun with occasional very frustrating conversations. We also recognize each other's strengths. My DH is the stock picker and I'm the analysis/spreadsheet person. I am more comfortable with guidelines and order, he's more comfortable with whatever works and disorder. I don't get all the order I desire, and he doesn't get all the looseness he desires. It works so far.

We don't agree so far on all the retirement living decisions such as where to live, how to live although our ideas are converging. We live near my son and grandson. His live in two other states. he wants to move there. I'm not ready to leave my grandson yet. He would like to experience living in Mexico for awhile, it sounds boring/lonely to me. He even mentioned setting up a "family" compound with his rugby buddies (friends for 30+years). I don't think so..... We've at least agreed what to do the first year out of retirement. Then we'll see.

I teach workshops mostly to women in mid-life. I'm often amazed at how many of the well-to-do married women do not have their own accounts, have never invested any money and wouldn't know where to begin, don't know where their joint money is or how much of it they have, don't know whether they have pensions or what SS will provide, etc. This is especially true for those who may not work outside the home, but holds true for some who make their own money in professional careers.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 05:38 PM   #5
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by txdakini
We are making retirement decisions together. I actually think it has brought us closer. It is fun and exciting to have a joint goal which guides our decisions (that of retiring early and being financially secure). In the past because we both have had high powered, high paid jobs, we kept our money and much of the financial decision making separate. We each managed our own accounts, paid bills separately, etc. However, as retirement draws near, we're setting up joint accounts, making joint decisions about asset allocation, withdrawal schemes, investing strategy, etc. Most of it has been fun with occasional very frustrating conversations. We also recognize each other's strengths. My DH is the stock picker and I'm the analysis/spreadsheet person. I am more comfortable with guidelines and order, he's more comfortable with whatever works and disorder. I don't get all the order I desire, and he doesn't get all the looseness he desires. It works so far.
I don't understand what you gain by merging your finances. Clearly your attitudes are different; and I assume that either of you would be self sufficient alone.

Why not just continue with what worked in getting you to retirement? Less frustration, more diversification at the level of the couple, and easier to unwind if Mexico or a retirement home for middle-aged rugby players ever became irresistible to husband.

Ha
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 07:03 PM   #6
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

Fidelity asked their customers for survey volunteers a couple months ago.

Now it looks like they're selling the data to Money magazine er making fun of I mean figuring out how to design better financial products.

I can understand married couples disagreeing about life goals & priorities. But not participating in the process to begin with?!?
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 09:21 PM   #7
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

Part of the reasoning for combining resources is a disproportionate amount of pensions and investments. Our pensions and investments are not equal, although our SS is close to equal. Neither of us could retire completely on our own.

up til now, for the most part, we've each paid our half of the bills, but that can't continue in retirement as we need both pensions and investments to pay bills and have fun. Up til now we've also bought anything we wanted without really consulting the other. Also, we do need full agreement on how we will spend our money and on what amount we agree to live in the future. We're downsizing and living on a budget in retirement, something we've not had to do much in pre-retirement. It's not a tight budget, in fact, it's really close to what we now spend, but not spending on the same categories. e.g., health insurance went way up and housing went down. And there are limits as we don't want to have to un-retire.

This continuing working together (which has been successful so far) will go a long way to making our retirement successful. if we had all the money in the world, we might not have had to do it, but actually I'm glad we have. It really has given us an additional common goal and something we can both enjoy. Something we wouldn't have even tried if we'd had 3 or 4 times what we do have.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 10:01 PM   #8
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

Thanks txdakini, I understand what you are saying.

Ha
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-18-2007, 11:13 PM   #9
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

Wife #1---did not understand you can't spend what you don't have and still pay all the bills each month. Had no concept of saving for cars, saving for house, saving for kid's college education and sure as heck did not have a concept of saving for retirement...early or otherwise. That relationship did not work out.

Wife #2---was a saver and understood the value of investments and desired to ER. We formed a good partnership and made it to FI in 10 years..ER in a couple more. Things don't always go as one plans.

Wife #3 (current)--wanted to be a saver but had a spouse like my first wife with similar results. Her next husband was not much better and she ended up supporting him until it became too much to bear. Since we have been married we both wanted and accepted we would be FIRE in 2007. Her ER came a bit early (again not what we planned) and mine is in 29 days. We value many of the same ideas and concept of saving and keeping to a budget; she is still coming to grips with the reality of no longer being able to work; which is not the same as not wanting to work. Our goal is to do as much as she can while she still can while still preserving the nest egg for our Golden years....just in case we actually live that long.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 04:41 AM   #10
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

DW and I have the same ER goals and agree on decisions. Sometimes we have differences, but they are not large. We talk them through. Since she does not understand finance (she has no interest), it usually requires some time to brief her on the issues.

I really wish she would take an interest in investing and finance. So far, I have not had much luck trying to get her more involved.

My main concern is if anything happens to me, she will not quite undertand the mechanics. If she does not take a shine to it when we ER, I will need to make long-term plans accordingly.... As we age, I will put money into funds that are a bit more auto-pilot (target/lifestyle) as opposed to slice and dice.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 06:36 AM   #11
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

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Originally Posted by chinaco
DW and I have the same ER goals and agree on decisions. Sometimes we have differences, but they are not large. We talk them through. Since she does not understand finance (she has no interest), it usually requires some time to brief her on the issues.

I really wish she would take an interest in investing and finance. So far, I have not had much luck trying to get her more involved.

My main concern is if anything happens to me, she will not quite undertand the mechanics. If she does not take a shine to it when we ER, I will need to make long-term plans accordingly.... As we age, I will put money into funds that are a bit more auto-pilot (target/lifestyle) as opposed to slice and dice.
Very similar situation here. DW just doesn't have an interest and trusts me to deal with it while she is still working. She may take more of an interest when she pulls the plug in a year or two. She is a very intelligent attorney so this stuff will be easy for her. We are simplifying our holdings which should make the transition fairly painless if I die. .
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 07:36 AM   #12
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

We, here, are told time and again how the mainstream is totally unprepared for retirement. Thus it should be no shock that couples don't spend a lot of time discussing a topic they pretty much refuse to even think about.

As to joint decisions, I don't believe that needs to imply that both partners actually "run the numbers" through the computer, anymore than both of us try to stand at the kitchen sink at the same time, or push the lawnmower around the yard together. All relationships have divisions of tasks. Mine is being the family accountant and no one comes behind me and repeats the work.

That said, the strategic decisions that emerge from my accounting are definitely "joint".

Last, I think that just being on this board separates the folks here into a group that is entirely different from the mainstream.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 12:10 PM   #13
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

DH and I are definitely on the same page when it comes to finances and fortunately have been throughout our marriage. Since I went through all of the CFP coursework (although I never practiced) I handle all of our financial investments, etc as well as those for extended family. It makes our marriage stronger in that there is financial trust between us and always has been.

We have always been savers first and foremost, but it is important to us to enjoy the good life as well. I guess you could use the cliche to "have our cake and eat it too" has always been our goal.

As we get closer to DH pulling the plug and retiring we have loosened the purse strings more because we are getting more confident that our nest egg is sufficient.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 04:20 PM   #14
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

We agree on the basic premise of retiring early and "work sucks - other stuff would be more fun". We agree on the LBYM thing. We save a lot of our incomes. However, DW has no interest in investments or savings or asset allocation, etc. Funny thing is she works at an investment bank with futures and options all day. I think her understanding of our plans for ER are very basic: "once we have a whole bunch of money, we can live off of it forever".

I've discussed alternative lifestyles like moving to a foreign country like Mexico or Thailand (she's from Thailand), selling the house and living aboard a sailboat, etc. And we've discussed the semi-ER lifestyle - live partly off the portfolio's earnings and partly from certain fairly well-compensated part time work.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 04:23 PM   #15
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

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I've discussed alternative lifestyles like moving to a foreign country like Mexico or Thailand (she's from Thailand), selling the house and living aboard a sailboat, etc. And we've discussed the semi-ER lifestyle - live partly off the portfolio's earnings and partly from certain fairly well-compensated part time work.
Geez, that's great! You're fluent in Spanish, she's in Thai. Lots of options here!
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 04:39 PM   #16
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

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Geez, that's great! You're fluent in Spanish, she's in Thai. Lots of options here!
Yes, except we have two very young kids and we live 5 minutes from all of DW's family. DW doesn't want to part with her family for long periods of time (and she doesn't want to raise our children away from her family - must be an Asian thing ). So we're saving for a stateside retirement in our current home and if we end up living abroad in a low cost locale, we'll have way more $$ than we need!

On the bright side, she has recently agreed to a 2+ week "bumming around mexico" trip like we did 7 years ago. Might secretly scout out some ER locations and do a marketing job on DW regarding the benefits of retiring abroad.
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 05:26 PM   #17
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

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Originally Posted by justin
Yes, except we have two very young kids and we live 5 minutes from all of DW's family. DW doesn't want to part with her family for long periods of time (and she doesn't want to raise our children away from her family - must be an Asian thing ). So we're saving for a stateside retirement in our current home and if we end up living abroad in a low cost locale, we'll have way more $$ than we need!

On the bright side, she has recently agreed to a 2+ week "bumming around mexico" trip like we did 7 years ago. Might secretly scout out some ER locations and do a marketing job on DW regarding the benefits of retiring abroad.
Better to let her market to you about staying by her family. A good family that works together is worth more than any $ value we might come up with.

Ha
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?
Old 04-19-2007, 09:14 PM   #18
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

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So we're saving for a stateside retirement in our current home and if we end up living abroad in a low cost locale, we'll have way more $$ than we need!
Tell me about it. I do the same and am having nightmare about spending should I end up retiring in VN. Should that happen, I would be member of the exclusive 2% or less SWR club!
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:02 PM   #19
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Re: Do you and your spouse agree regarding retirement decisions?

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Better to let her market to you about staying by her family. A good family that works together is worth more than any $ value we might come up with.
I am already very knowledgeable and appreciative of family. Both of our families are within 20 minutes of us. We are very lucky that our children (one at 2 yrs and one at 8 months) can stay with their grandmother and their cousins all day while we are at work.

At the same time, I think an extended period of living abroad could enrich our lives and the lives of our children. Of course there are trade-offs...
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