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Disagree on retirement plans and spending
Old 05-06-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
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Disagree on retirement plans and spending

Over the last month, DH and I have been extensively discussing ER and we've come across a few discrepancies between our perceptions. Most of which stem from having to live on a fixed budget in ER , which we've never done before. In our 20+ year marriage, we've been frugal, but have always had the means to purchase items we wanted.

1. I love to travel and realize our ER budget will only allow for a once a year trip. DH says to me today he thinks travel is fine while we're working but will be a waste of money in ER. I said then if the travel budget goes so does his electronics budget. Just this week he's decided he needs a $1,300 remote control helicopter. I said in ER that isn't going to be doable.

2. He hates Winter, so I've agreed we'll sell our home go to FL. We've never lived anywhere else and all of our family is here. As much as I'd like to try a new place, I'm struggling with not being near my parents.

3. He thinks we can live with only one junky car. I love cars and don't want to drive a junk bucket, but a nice used one.

It could be we're just having a bad week, but these disagreements have me concerned on how we'll fare in ER. I now understand why couples have separate accounts, where each contributes to household expenses and spend the reminder on what they want. We've always had one pool of funds.

How have you overcome these issues?
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:03 PM   #2
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:06 PM   #3
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I'm 6 months from retirement, and finding a LOT of difference of opinions with my wife. Sure caught me by surprise. I have no good advice on how to proceed.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:15 PM   #4
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How have you overcome these issues?
Counselling? If that doesn't work, tell him to get a part time job to support the R/C habit. Lowes is hiring..
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #5
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1. I love to travel and realize our ER budget will only allow for a once a year trip. DH says to me today he thinks travel is fine while we're working but will be a waste of money in ER. I said then if the travel budget goes so does his electronics budget. Just this week he's decided he needs a $1,300 remote control helicopter. I said in ER that isn't going to be doable.

2. He hates Winter, so I've agreed we'll sell our home go to FL. We've never lived anywhere else and all of our family is here. As much as I'd like to try a new place, I'm struggling with not being near my parents.

3. He thinks we can live with only one junky car. I love cars and don't want to drive a junk bucket, but a nice used one.
In regards to 1) above, if you have to compromise on your lifestyle too much in RE, perhaps, working a few more years to pad your retirement fund is a way to go.

Moving to another place must be thought through & through. I considered Florida, too, but after studying most pros and cons, I decided to drop the idea. Before that, I considered living in a foreign country, Reno/NV, etc..

We already live with one car albeit new car. While I still work, we decided to buy a new car to last 7 - 8 years without trouble. This way, we don't have to worry about buying a car in the 1st years of our retirement. Junky car can eat away at your expense. Also, refer to my comment on #1 above.


IMHO, you are planning to downgrade your lifestyle (lesser car, move to new place, less travel, ...) in retirement. It can lead to stress or even worse. But it's good that you are talking about the plans.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #6
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:30 PM   #7
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Should try snow-birding before selling home. And unless the helicopter can fetch help when the junker breaks down the car situation should be upgraded.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:48 PM   #8
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I considered Florida, too, but after studying most pros and cons, I decided to drop the idea. Before that, I considered living in a foreign country, Reno/NV
I read this statement as Reno being foreign country

For the OP, I think it sounds like you need to do a better job of understanding your total budget and expectations. Your salary is high now, and it appears your spending habits will need to change considerably, or at least have some limits that are below current no real limits.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:48 PM   #9
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Although I'm usually not a fan of separate money (since I think it encourages overspending) you might be a candidate for that if you can't work through this. Better to not have to fight about this since everyone has their weakness.

DW and I have had many long discussions about priorities and locations. We even made separate lists of each and then compared notes. The fact that we've always budgeted really helped. She wants to travel more so we found room for that. I want a slightly bigger house than she does so we worked that in too.

Regarding the car question: DW recently asked me about my car since mine is ready for replacement. I, like you, am a car person and told her that I'm going to work 3 months longer than our original plan so I can have what I want. In this case, well worth the BS at work. I'd hate to go into retirement with one junky car.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:54 PM   #10
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I just went back and read some of your other postings, you are both in your mid-40 and with 6-18 months of ER. You also mentioned you both are feeling work pressure and want out.

The problem with trying to figure out all these expenses before you ER, is that sometimes ER, along with the natural aging process, changes your perception of things. Your trips and or hobbies might not seem so important, or they might be more important. There is really no way to know this until you actually ER. I guess you could fund all these items to make each of you happy and just keep working until you have enough money for everything.

Most things are not an all or nothing proposition, one year you might vacation together and the next year you might evenly split the same amount of money for hobby items for each of you.

Even snowbirding can be done gradually.Take the first couple of winters and try out a couple of areas you might like by renting. Also depending on where you live you might find 6-8 weeks away in winter might be enough to make you happy. You might find out you really don't want to live in Florida 365 days a year.

You might spend months trying to work this out fairly and they find one of you has had a change of opinion about something. Then what happens?

ER is just like real life, you can plan, but nothing is really set in stone, being flexible is pretty important. I guess your budget needs to be flexible too.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:12 PM   #11
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Should try snow-birding before selling home. And unless the helicopter can fetch help when the junker breaks down the car situation should be upgraded.

Lol
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:20 PM   #12
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I just went back and read some of your other postings, you are both in your mid-40 and with 6-18 months of ER. You also mentioned you both are feeling work pressure and want out.
If you are that young with so many fundamental disagreements about life after retiring, then I would suggest that you are far more than 6-18 months away from being able to retire. Most of your disagreements could be resolved with a larger nest egg. You are trying to push things too quickly and find yourselves needing to make too many compromises to live within your reduced income.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:28 PM   #13
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Thanks for your comments. We aren't fighting about these items at the moment, but our conversations have me thinking it could be an argument real quick.

We don't like our current neighborhood, so the idea is to stick it out until ER, sell, then rent in Fl. I don't think we could handle the snowbird thing as we would not want to hire someone to maintain our home. We are extreme DIY'ers. DH can build or fix anything.

Our frugal nature is what will have us trying to spend little in the beginning of ER. Perhaps we are now entering the OMY syndrome, as our "number" seems to be increasing.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:31 PM   #14
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If you are that young with so many fundamental disagreements about life after retiring, then I would suggest that you are far more than 6-18 months away from being able to retire. Most of your disagreements could be resolved with a larger nest egg. You are trying to push things too quickly and find yourselves needing to make too many compromises to live within your reduced income.

Our income would only be reduced by choice. Our current "number" will allow for the same spending we've had plus added healthcare. DH seems to think we should live on less.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:36 PM   #15
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The issue with using the word "frugal" is what might seem frugal to you might not be considered "frugal" to your SO. Isn't that exactly what you are posting about now?

Actually, selling and renting is not a bad move either, as you aren't as tied down and can still have a few options open.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:07 PM   #16
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Sounds like you need to convince DH on a reasonable spending level. That pretty much sets the agenda for what you can or can't afford in retirement. Won't help a lot with the travel, unless you don't mind going by yourself. You can start with some cash left out of the retirement planning for early ER travel or cars.

With a sizable portfolio, if that is the case, you are not necessarily on a "fixed" income, maybe even less so than while you are working. There is actually a lot of potential upside to the normal FIRECalc 4% safe withdrawal rate for example. You have to plan somewhat conservatively at the start to make sure you can survive a disaster retirement environment. But if things go even average you will probably have to figure out how to spend more.

Hope he has flown R/C helicopters a lot already. They crash pretty frequently, even with experienced pilots. That would be expensive. $1300 is just the start. Our best pilot at the park could do amazing copter stunts, but pretty regularly augered into the ground.

I'm uncomfortable with just one car. I like a backup. If you hardly ever use it, that might be another matter. Your budget again determines where on the spectrum of junk to new one or two cars fit in.

Rent in Florida should be OK, but I think you'd miss your family. The social contacts in retirement can be important.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SoClose View Post
Over the last month, DH and I have been extensively discussing ER and we've come across a few discrepancies between our perceptions. Most of which stem from having to live on a fixed budget in ER , which we've never done before. In our 20+ year marriage, we've been frugal, but have always had the means to purchase items we wanted.

...
How have you overcome these issues?
I may not be informed enough or it may be out of line, but all of your comments and questions lead me to believe that you don't yet have enough money to support your desired lifestyle (your travel, his hobbies) in retirement. Are you sure you're financially ready to ER?

IMO only, if it's going to create financial hardships in the marriage, the answer is no.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:34 PM   #18
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I may not be informed enough or it may be out of line, but all of your comments and questions lead me to believe that you don't yet have enough money to support your desired lifestyle (your travel, his hobbies) in retirement. Are you sure you're financially ready to ER?

IMO only, if it's going to create financial hardships in the marriage, the answer is no.

Yes fire calc says we have 100% success rate with our projected spending. Which includes two cars, travel and electronics.

DH reads bogleheads any thinks we need to limit to 3% max SWR or less.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:42 PM   #19
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Do you want to be far away from your parents as they enter their 80s?
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:56 PM   #20
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Do you want to be far away from your parents as they enter their 80s?

That is 13 years away
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