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DW and I disagree on timing of FIRE
Old 08-10-2016, 09:36 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
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DW and I disagree on timing of FIRE

I am burned out and bored at work. NO job satisfaction and frankly, the money isn't worth it. Financial advisor says we can generate more than enough cash to live on without touching principal. I am 54, DW 56. Both of us work, but I am ready to pull the plug, she is not. We have 2 girls at home (14yo twins) and DW is worried about the unknown expenses yet to come and feels I/we should stick it out a few more years. DW also feels that we can not "retire" in the traditional sense until the girls go off to college. What do you do when you and your spouse disagree on timing of FIRE?

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Old 08-10-2016, 09:42 AM   #2
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I'd tell her that if the situation requires it I will go back to work. Until that point, I'm taking some time off...

Numbers is hard

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Old 08-10-2016, 09:44 AM   #3
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It never hurts to ask a financial advisor for advice, but it's important that both of you understand the financials yourself so that you can determine what your comfort level is. How much cushion do you have, and how much do each of you think you need to feel comfortable?

If you sit down together and go through your expenses, and the run a variety of different scenarios in Firecalc, you will get a greater comfort level of whether your advisor is really correct. Some people feel they need double the minimum savings to be comfortable, others are OK with just enough for Firecalc to say you're good to go.

Keep talking, and keep going through the numbers together. The more comfortable you both get with your own assessment of the situation, the better you both with feel.

And if all else fails, listen to your wife.

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Old 08-10-2016, 09:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Valley fisher View Post
. What do you do when you and your spouse disagree on timing of FIRE?
I do what she says
Swing hard, look up
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:49 AM   #5
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Divorce. J/k of course. That is a tough one. I have a friend who would have retired 3-4 years ago but his wife is making him work until 65 because their last girl is in college working on a Master's degree.(he has plenty of money too) I can understand helping out a child in college, but through graduate school?

Wish I could give you some words of wisdom but only you two can work this out. If she won't believe the numbers and what the FA suggest......not sure what you can do.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
I do what she says
We actually were the opposite (she wanted to quit earlier). But I was the "numbers person" that said we needed her income to keep driving the portfolio.

Bottom line to OP--you have to come to an agreement within the couple. As others indicate, run, run, and rerun the projected expenses. Concern is probably from college costs? How covered is that--and what do you plan to spend?

As for "not until they go to college," there are a host of folks on this site who have retired earlier--some, much earlier. We didn't make it, but if we had put ourselves in a financial position to do so, kids' presence wouldn't have barred early retirement. (In our case, their presence helped shoot down the financial readiness, but again, that was our choice.) But again, need to talk and reach agreement.

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Old 08-10-2016, 09:58 AM   #7
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I'd do a detailed analysis of expenses and expected income and if you really need to keep working, I'd look for another job. If you can in fact retire, I'd tell spouse to live with it. No one should be forced to work if they do not need to, especially in a toxic work environment. That is somewhat abusive.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:04 AM   #8
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Lots of good advice re the financial side here. Obviously, you're ready, she's not. I question the waiting until the kids both leave. It all depends on what your retirement plans, goals are, but for two working people who are parenting two children to up and quit their jobs the day the two kids leave home seems to me like a quantum jump too far. YMMV.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:05 AM   #9
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Maybe re-run the numbers with TRIPLE the anticipated amount needed for the child's well being and school.

If it still works, runt through the results together as an example of being able to handle the "unknowns".
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:08 AM   #10
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Get fired and be unable to find another job. "Honey, it's not my fault!"

With One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer playing in the background.

She said "I don't believe you're tryin' to find no job"
Said "I seen you today you was standin' on a corner,
Leaning up against a post"
I said "But I'm tired, I've been walkin' all day"
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:18 AM   #11
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How long have you been discussing the subject? If it's only a short while, perhaps you just need to let her adjust to the idea.If a FA actually agrees you can retire, you really are probably good to go.

Get some more numbers together and just show them to her without any pressure.Does she love her job? At 14 your kids need driving everywhere and lots of supervision, offer to take that over along with a bigger share of the housework. Maybe she could try working for a year or 2 and see how she feels about it then. College is fine but both of you quitting now would give you much quality time with kids...14 YO girls are entering a rough stage. It might make a huge difference in the peacefulness of your life. Instead of making it about money and being "bored" emphasis the positive difference it could make with your kids last 4 years at home.

Just telling a spouse to "live with it" isn't a peaceful solution.And pegging a spouse with some concerns about money and providing things for her kids "somewhat abusive" is not accurate IMO.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:26 AM   #12
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OP - you need to know what your expenses currently are. Plus you need to know if you can afford it, the Financial Advisor won't be on the soup kitchen lines with you if he/she is wrong.
You should use firecalc, plus it cannot hurt too much to say how much you have saved in 401K/IRA plus how much outside in regular accounts.

It's the spending that can really determine if you can retire, as

The outside regular accounts are important as you will have to go years until you are 59.5 for IRA withdrawals without penalty, perhaps your 401K allows withdrawals at age 55 or later.

Are you planning to send the kids to med school ?
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:30 AM   #13
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I did only address the $$$.

But really if you retire, you can't go off into the sunset as you have the kids to take care of. So in 1 way your wife is correct, it won't be regular retirement.

I know a fellow that retired, while the kids were in school, so his job became drive kids to school, pick them up after school, drive them to dance and music lessons. He ended up going back to work as he was bored since he couldn't do anything other than wait for the next phone call to "pick us up".
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:53 AM   #14
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We went into semi-ER before our kids started college and we were able to manage our income and assets to qualify for financial aid, so our actual out of pocket college costs have been relatively low. Forbes online has some great article on the subject if you are interested. Our kids have gone to in state, public schools, taken classes at community college and online, received grants, and had paid internships and tutor jobs, so college for us has not been a big budget buster.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:55 AM   #15
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I'm in the same boat. DW 56, Me 56, one kid left starting college this month. All analysis says we can go, but she says not w/kid is college (which is paid for thru MD college trust 4 yrs) She doesn't believe my numbers crunching so, I plan to schedule a fee only advisor mtg to review my spreadsheets, FC output, etc. and concur....let her argue with him on financials, I'll still work the social angle I suppose to see what's really making her hesitant.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:03 AM   #16
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You need to come to a mutual agreement or your marriage will be strained. You can run the numbers fifty different ways and if she's not comfortable it's best for your marriage to keep working.

Enjoying life!
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:07 AM   #17
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I vaguely remember someone using a power point presentation to convince the spouse that all was good with the FIRE plan. As I recall, it worked.

Good luck.
-Big Dawg-FI since 9/2010. Failed ER in 2015. New target 2020.-

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" People say I'm lazy, dreaming my life away Well, they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me When I tell them that I'm doing fine watching shadows on the wall "Don't you miss the big time, boy. You're no longer on the ball" -John Lennon-
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:17 AM   #18
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Thanks to all for the advice. More details:

Girls college is completely funded. I am of the philosophy: one car, one degree, one wedding. If they want more than that, they can pay for it (or at least think that way. They have no idea (and I'm not telling them) that they will likely inherit enough money to allow them to be beach bums if they choose to for the rest of their lives).

I am confident that our financial situation can allow us to RE now, but DW is a doesn't trust the stock market. We have been going over the numbers and having the same discussion with the same outcome for over a year now.

I worked part time for a few years and really enjoyed having more "me" time and time to do all the things around the house that needed to be done (which now consume my weekends). Unfortunately, my job situation had a big shake-up about a year ago and now I am back full time without an option to go back part time. My non-compete clause prohibits me from finding part time work elsewhere in my area for two years, should I leave the organization.

Last, DW thinks I will be bored in retirement. I'm not worried about that and have many interests/hobbies outside of work.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:51 AM   #19
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Does your non-compete apply if you were to work in a non-competing industry/business? I doubt it's purely "no job in X radius". Can you take your skills to another field? Experienced leaders generally translate across many companies.

I would continue to have (nice, warm) discussions with your wife. Retiring without her being in agreement could be a disaster. Many wives who have an issue with it would have said "whatever you think is best is fine with me" which means "please don't". That she is actually saying "No" is at least a good thing, you know what she really thinks.

Even if it's not fact-based, if you wife thinks you both need to still work - and then you don't, she will feel extra burdened for these next few years and your marriage may be at risk. Maybe not at first, but say a year in - and then it's harder to go back to work.

Try to find a way that she is comfortable with you BOTH retiring together.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:19 PM   #20
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Having retired from a career job at age 50 with a one and three year old......retiring with kids is not a traditional retirement as many folks would define. Our activities revolved around the boys schooling and other activities and we do not participate in traditional retirement activities. Travel is limited and family orientated, I continue to work seasonally (somewhat as an example, somewhat to keep busy in winter). Encourage the boys to go through the normal growing up processes such as summer jobs, school clubs & athletics.

I've been the "soccer" dad complete with minivan for all these years, but to be an active part of my sons' lives has been priceless.

Only recently have I started a discussion with my wife regarding what our lives may be like once both are in college in about a year.

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