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early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-15-2005, 07:40 PM   #1
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early retirement and marriage.....

My husband and I retired together. He is 62 and I am 55. We are still ice skating thru the early stages of early retirement. It is a slippery slope.... Has anyone else out there retired at the same time that their spose retired? We are finding that the being together to much, the insecurities of finances, (o'**** (excuse please) what do we do now!) phase is pretty hard to navigate at times.

I would love to hear from others on their experiences with this and how they handled it.
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-15-2005, 10:37 PM   #2
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

I really have nothing to offer you, but I know what you are talking about for sure. Some couples seem to do great straight off the bat, others struggle. Like I posted a few days ago- from the woman's point of view, one definition of retirement is "twice as much husband, half as much money."

When often twice as much money, half as much husband might be more appreciated!

I think it is more intense when your children are gone, so you are really together without any buffers-maybe for the first time since the very early days of marriage.

I am no poster boy for success, but many here seem to have very successful marriage/ER adjustments.

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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 08:39 AM   #3
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Since DH just retired May 2nd (and I've been retired for yrs) I can't give you a long-term statement but I can tell you that I love having him retired. We've been married 31 years but I still like having him around.

He's currently on an extended vacation with one of his buddies and I miss him more than I thought.

I think that the idea of being "early retired" and in very good health makes this an exciting time for both of us. There's just so much to do and now we have the time to do it. I'm finding it interesting on the financial front though. We've never, ever had to stretch our paychecks from the first of the month to the last day of the month before. But we're both on board in making it work so it will.


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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 10:20 AM   #4
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Jarhead, you are a lucky man. Give my regards to your wife.

Cheers,

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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Jarhead,
Ditto what Charlie said. I recently asked DW if she wanted to return to New Orleans, where our parents and some siblings are. Her reply: No! I suspect I could push it, but not that sure myself. Anyway your wife did you right and you've both proved that, even with some problems, it can be done.
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

My wife took six months off work in the end stages of pregnancy and stayed out until just a few weeks ago. So it was sort of like being co-er'd.

We discovered pretty quick that we needed a little space/separate times. We were fine for about 2 weeks and then there was a bit of that tense "Stop....that.....breathing!"

We set her up with a 'den' at one end of the house, with a tivo and a tv, and a big lounge chair. She spent an hour or two in there watching the antichrist...I mean Dr. Phil. I spent an hour or two reading the news on-line and yapping with you bunch of crazy people. She'll sit out back and play with the baby while I cook dinner. We both take an hour or two every day or two to 'go shopping' (and usually buy nothing).

After a month or two, we fell into our own routines where we crossed paths for meals, movie watching and conversations on the back patio. Worked fine from then on.

I remember someone posting a link here last year about a well to do couple who co-er'd. They took a similar approach. They set up an 'office' for each of them in very different parts of the house and for a period of time each day they 'went to their office' and read, watched tv, snooped the internet, contemplated their navels...whatever. That worked for them too.

I imagine theres a rare couple that can 24x7 with each other for extended periods of time.
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 12:51 PM   #7
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

I still work part time and the rest of the time spend with DH and friends Right now I am home alone while DH is running errands. I am almost never alone. Feels good. I think I'll go outside and play.
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 01:36 PM   #8
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Thanks for all of the replies. You guys are the greatest.

My husband and I have a very good marriage. We will adjust to this.... The adjustment has been more difficult than either of us thought it would have been. We are both implimenting some changes in our activities to insure that we don't have 24/7 together.

We have three grown children that all live within 60 miles from us. The grand kids love to come visit, since we live on a large lake. As long as we can afford the gasoline for the seadoos and the boat, we are assured plenty of company! We can watch the activities on the lake from our living room, so we don't have to go out much for entertainment! It is very quiet around here during the week, but come Friday evening and all the working weekenders start pouring in. Friday night until Sunday night we have plenty of social activities to keep us busy.

We have both joined a health club and have been going daily. We go in together but then go our separate ways at the health club and do our own thing.

I am looking into taking a class or so in the fall when activities slow down around the lake. Fun classes, things I have always wanted to know more about, but didn't have time while I was pursuing a career.

My husband has started playing golf. He still comes in muttering about how golf sucks, but I think he is enjoying it.

I so enjoy the posts on this site. Some of you guys are a hoot!
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 01:58 PM   #9
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by th
I imagine theres a rare couple that can 24x7 with each other for extended periods of time.
Yes there are.

As I wind down, we call her hunnercent (retired) and me fiddycent. On my days off we "practice" being hunnercent together. We both dred the Mondays. She even setup a WebCam at home so I can stay connected. Er ah, I mean noone can prove that! That would violate the company policy I wrote. After all I'm still working.

We can sit right next to each other and share a stimulating conversation, or be doing completely unrelated activities, but we just never get tired of close proximity. 8)
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 02:31 PM   #10
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I still work part time and the rest of the time spend with DH and friends Right now I am home alone while DH is running errands. I am almost never alone. Feels good. I think I'll go outside and play.
I mostly do chores for DW. I spend some time with DW or friends. Right now I'm hiding in the computer room. I wish I was alone more. Feels bad. I think I'll finish the DW-assigned chores.
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
I mostly do chores for DW.* I spend some time with DW or friends.* Right now I'm hiding in the computer room.* I wish I was alone more.* Feels bad.* I think I'll finish the DW-assigned chores.
Before you showed up on this board she claimed that your chores were all self-assigned.

Inquiring minds want to know the truth
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 05:46 PM   #12
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notth
She spent an hour or two in there watching the antichrist...I mean Dr. Phil.
The "antichrist"? Just because people clamor to be humiliated by him on national TV for free?!? That good ol' country boy has replaced about half of our working vocabulary with his buzzwords-- how's that workin' for ya?

You just wait until Gabe gets hooked on Dr. Phil & Oprah...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notth
We discovered pretty quick that we needed a little space/separate times.* We were fine for about 2 weeks and then there was a bit of that tense "Stop....that.....breathing!"

After a month or two, we fell into our own routines where we crossed paths for meals, movie watching and conversations on the back patio.* Worked fine from then on.
My spouse usually has the livingroom & TV, I have the familyroom & the computer. Eye contact is available but optional. Every few hours we swap... sometimes I read in the recliner with her, other times we're working honeydos together, and there's always active co-parenting when school's out. When the familyroom is full of kids then spouse & I huddle together in the livingroom and scheme ways to get them to clean the house/yard or cook dinner. Yardwork is shared but I tend to go about an hour longer than either of us should, so that's become an individual activity. Evening walks are "our" time-- frequently a fantasy debate over how long it would take our daughter to notice that we've caught the last flight to Maui. Or how long it'd be before she cared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notth
I remember someone posting a link here last year about a well to do couple who co-er'd. They took a similar approach. They set up an 'office' for each of them in very different parts of the house and for a period of time each day they 'went to their office' and read, watched tv, snooped the internet, contemplated their navels...whatever. That worked for them too.
I found a lot of those stories on MSN. And the military is very touchy-feely about couples retiring "together" after years of deployment separations-- it reminds me of those old "In Living Color" routines with Kim Wayans & David Allen Grier playing a couple of senior citizens who've been married for decades and can't stand each other. "... and we're stiiiiiiiiill together!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notth
I imagine theres a rare couple that can 24x7 with each other for extended periods of time.
There's nothing wrong with a little healthy separation, but we've been nauseating other couples for decades with cute terms of endearment & PDA. Have you guys disrupted weddings or had friends get divorced because their relationship's not like yours?
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 05:50 PM   #13
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Yep he's the antichrist...and wendy usually has gabe sitting in her lap while she's watching, and he watches quite intently.

I know I'm about to have a bad conversation when it starts "So I saw this thing on dr phil today..."

No disrupted weddings or divorces due to our antics, but I do know that there are an awful lot of guys who are married to women my wife works with that are not happy right now. "Her husband cooks, cleans and takes care of the baby and you dont do any of that!" sort of things.

Oh well...
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-16-2005, 10:40 PM   #14
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Lakerat,
For us, separate studies does the trick. Everybody needs someplace to hide, at least I do. They want to come in here, they are in Dad's territory.

If things get really crazy, Bose makes some great noise cancellation headphones.

Seriously, I think it is great to spend time with spouse -- meals, lunches out, hanging out in the morning catching up on stuff together, but we are both 'doers' and are happiest when immersed in our projects. She loves having me around, but that doesn't involve literally being together doing something all the time-- it is more just knowing I am around. I'd say be sure to give yourselves space.

On the financial panic front, these things definitely happen. Re-read the SWR literature -- are you within a reasonable safe withdrawal rate? Can you convince yourself that all the SWR craziness will work over the long run? My favorite remedy is to work on your 'Plan B' -- scope out a downsizing option, another country or a smaller home near where you live.

The other thing I do is to have some part time work that I really enjoy and which doesn't feel like work. Am about to get my first sculpture commission for a bust of a neighbor's 5-year-old kid, and my yoga teacher told me this week I am ready to start teacher training, which I may do this fall. So "work" doesn't have to involve stale air, flourescent lights and suits. Anyway, it can be a nice way to make financial ends meet, since 5k a year of income, easy enough to make, is sorta like an extra 125k in the portfolio from an SWR perspective. When SS kicks in, you can let that take over.

hang in there -- I think we've all been where you are and it hurts, but it doesn't go on forever.
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-17-2005, 07:22 AM   #15
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

I guess my spouse and I are of the 24/7 variety ... didn't think it would happen that way, it just did.

I went parttime in 1999 and my DW quit work altogether in 2002. Then I got laid off in 2003.

I realized, if not now, then when?

It took a while to adjust - now our rythyms are very similar. We're both kinda lazy.

I really wanted to sort of strip away all the "busyness" of our working lives and then build on from there. So far, we're still stripping away!

With regard to SWR, that's always scary - this year, we're selling losers (internet funds).
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-17-2005, 04:27 PM   #16
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

My wife and I do fine when we are together. Fortunatley we both have our hobbies, and interests that get us out of the house. I think that is the key.
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....
Old 06-17-2005, 05:08 PM   #17
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Re: early retirement and marriage.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by atl
My wife and I do fine when we are together. Fortunatley we both have our hobbies, and interests that get us out of the house. I think that is the key.
Agreed. Both my wife and I are always immersed in something. And we have a two-year old, whom we both enjoy hanging out with. And for those times when one of us really can't tolerate any distractions, we have the guest house.

So, the secret ingredients are: separate passions, shared passions, and an escape hatch.
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