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Wife not "on board" with FIRE
Old 08-01-2017, 07:59 PM   #1
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Wife not "on board" with FIRE

Hi, I am 43 and have 40x expenses. I have assets to reach 50x expenses. I have one child in private school. House paid off. College 401k fully funded. I am still workforce by full time in my job that I have done for 15 yrs and am bored and burnt out. I feel trapped and have felt that way for 5 months. My wife works 5-7 hours a wk making $20-30/hr.

I mention to my wife I want to volunteer, garden, find hobbies, build friendships, have fun. She doesn't fully get it. She likes the idea of me consulting, having health care, having a job. She smiles at the idea when I say small business consulting (I could only see myself working p/t 20-30 hrs a wk). I am willing to try it yet yearn for free time and creating a more full life. I would be excited to even cook dinner most nights which I can't do since I am working.

I welcome any thoughts as on how to best educate her about FIRE and to get on the same page.

Ty
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:29 PM   #2
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I've always viewed working as a means to an end and you're beyond the end. It seems you haven't been adequately prepping her for this moment. It appears since you are more than ready financially that your wife may have other concerns that need to be out on the table.


Maybe she's not ready to have you around the house all day, cutting into her routine? Maybe she has issue with being the spouse of a retiree and all that implies? Does she know how you feel about your work?


In any event, seems as though you need to delve into her thinking or you risk being back to 20x expenses. Sounds like a great time for a romantic get away with some deep discussion - sans kid.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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Screw her. She can get a soul killing job if it is so important for someone in the house to get one.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:37 PM   #4
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I am sure others will come up with better ideas than mine, but here's what I am thinking. Using my idea it will take a year to convince her.

From now, for the next year, put every single cent of your take-home salary, and hers, into taxable investments. Don't touch even a penny of it during the full year. Live ONLY on the income generated by your other assets, for the year.

At the end of the year, look and see how much you have left of the income generate by your other assets during the year-long experiment. Is it enough to have covered any increases in medical insurance you might need due to not getting health insurance through work (if that is the case), and income taxes you will be paying in retirement? Show her how much you have left over.

The purpose of this is to firmly demonstrate to her that you two will have plenty to live on. I am thinking that it should be pretty easy to persuade her once she has seen this for herself.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:07 PM   #5
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Good advice from others and time seems to be a common response. 5 months of 'soul killing job' is a lifetime to the one enduring it, 5 months of discussion about a permanent lifestyle change may be viewed as just the beginning of the conversation to the 'outsider'. Currently it's your idea you will need to make it 'our' idea. It will likely entail making sure the discussion includes the positives for all involved rather than just yourself and that means taking her thoughts and fears into consideration. Her friends are telling her that you are having a midlife crisis and that she better start taking steps to protect her share of the assets.

I am retired, my wife is still working - I worry about the day she retires as she can't sit still for 10 minutes while I enjoy my peace and quiet time, and I don't want to play activity director to plan someone else's day. It's going to be an adjustment.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I am sure others will come up with better ideas than mine, but here's what I am thinking. Using my idea it will take a year to convince her.

From now, for the next year, put every single cent of your take-home salary, and hers, into taxable investments. Don't touch even a penny of it during the full year. Live ONLY on the income generated by your other assets, for the year.

At the end of the year, look and see how much you have left of the income generate by your other assets during the year-long experiment. Is it enough to have covered any increases in medical insurance you might need due to not getting health insurance through work (if that is the case), and income taxes you will be paying in retirement? Show her how much you have left over.

The purpose of this is to firmly demonstrate to her that you two will have plenty to live on. I am thinking that it should be pretty easy to persuade her once she has seen this for herself.
This sounds like a really nice exercise for those debating if they are really ready to FIRE versus OMY. Not only can you show the spouse, you can use OMY to demonstrate that you are ready for FIRE and increase your cushion while you are at it. I like it!
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:40 PM   #7
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This may be a false stereotype, but I expect you've run head on into a mother with a child that cares very much about security. Like a top priority. Let's face it, things happen, financial meltdown, divorce, illness - to name a few. Even if you could make progress on the fact that your accumulated finances could provide a nice life, you've got a long way to go to explain how you'll protect her and your child from a catastrophe. As irrational as that may be, I think that's what's in play.

Secondarily, maybe she's thought about a different life. Heck, if you can accumulate what you have by your 40's, imagine what 20 more years could do for you. House on the ocean, wonderful travel, who knows. Maybe she needs to share her plans with you?

My advice is very simple. Keep working and start planning your life with your wife, as in including her in the conversation. Maybe next year, she'll be comfortable with you consulting and going with your plan. And maybe by then, you can understand what's going on inside her head.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:46 PM   #8
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Screw her. She can get a soul killing job if it is so important for someone in the house to get one.
+1 No one should have to get permission to retire when they can well afford it. If the sexes were reversed in this scenario, the stay at home, part time spouse would be an ogre.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:48 PM   #9
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Screw her. .
hahahahaha
If you retire will she divorce you and take half?
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:52 PM   #10
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hahahahaha
If you retire will she divorce you and take half?
With 50X expenses he would still be fine with half.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:54 PM   #11
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With 50X expenses he would still be fine with half.
True
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:05 PM   #12
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With 50X expenses he would still be fine with half.
Unfortunately, half is not written in stone. As others on the board sometimes mention, there are real benefits to being single.

Definitely it sucks to have one's life dictated by someone who was never knowingly chosen to possess absolute veto power. But that is marriage in the USA!

Ha
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:20 PM   #13
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Unfortunately, half is not written in stone. As others on the board sometimes mention, there are real benefits to being single.

Definitely it sucks to have one's life dictated by someone who was never knowingly chosen to possess absolute veto power. But that is marriage in the USA!

Ha
Hopefully she will see reason. If not, sometimes one must do what one must do.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:52 PM   #14
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You are wise to want out. Go for it!! DH was a burned out primary breadwinner and I took on the task of convincing him to leave a lucrative career to live life fully. Took awhile, but he embraced it.

I suggest you ensure she has a good understanding of:

1. How w*rk is sucking the fun out of life for you AND your family.
No j*b is worth that. Repeat - NO j*b is worth that.

2. Financial concepts and challenges related to a successful ER.
(Walk her through Firecalc or another good retirement tool. Discuss what a SWR is and how a good asset allocation and sticking to your budget will help ensure you remain FI. Discuss your planned budget (vs. current budget), sequence of returns risk, etc.

Good luck to you, and congrats on FI!
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:33 PM   #15
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I agree with others who suggest having some deep discussions about what her fears and concerns are. Once you understand her perspective better, you and she together can work out how to best address them. Hopefully you can find a solution that allows you to cut back as you want to while also maintaining your marriage and family harmony.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:36 AM   #16
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I mention to my wife I want to volunteer, garden, find hobbies, build friendships, have fun. She doesn't fully get it.
Is she volunteering, gardening, involved in hobbies and friends and having fun currently in her time off? If so, I think she actually really does get it. Otherwise she would not have a problem going to work full-time if she wants more financial security.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:49 AM   #17
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Screw her. She can get a soul killing job if it is so important for someone in the house to get one.
Very harsh way to put it, but the argument has merit
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:52 AM   #18
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2. Financial concepts and challenges related to a successful ER.
(Walk her through Firecalc or another good retirement tool. Discuss what a SWR is and how a good asset allocation and sticking to your budget will help ensure you remain FI. Discuss your planned budget (vs. current budget), sequence of returns risk, etc.

Good luck to you, and congrats on FI!
I agree, you must make sure DW understands the financial side of the plan completely.
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Old 08-02-2017, 04:37 AM   #19
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My situation was pretty similar. Job going downhill and 45X expenses, not counting small pension. DW liked the security of the paycheck. I picked a firm date about a year out and went over the finances with her. She got used to the idea by the time we got to the date.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:16 AM   #20
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Very harsh way to put it, but the argument has merit
Yeah, I have very little sympathy for my fellow ladies who think it's A-OK for their spouses to work soul-killing jobs just to maintain a certain standard of living or because they're scared of the unknown and don't want to educate themselves. So, my first impression: really bad, and probably not actually helpful to the OP.

Giving the OP and his wife the benefit of the doubt, some improved communication is in order, as others have said. Seek to understand what her concerns are, take them seriously, and work with her to alleviate them - don't just steamroll over her. Then work on getting her to understand your burnout, how unhappy you are, what wonderful things you could be doing together. Be vulnerable for each other - DH and I do best when we confess our fears to each other and help each other overcome them. It makes you and your relationship stronger. A professional (IOW, therapist/counselor) can help with this if you don't have a lot of practice.

I really hope my first impression is wrong. It just really gets my back up when it seems like people want someone else to suffer for their own benefit, and I hope that's not the case here.
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