Author Topic: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire  (Read 9007 times)

the_fixer

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2017, 03:59:54 PM »
If I were your wife I would also resent you in this situation and I think she is brave for speaking up and letting you know how she feels rather than not saying anything and letting it fester.

You are married and supposed to be a team you need to take her idea of retirement into account as it matters just as much as your desire to retire as early as possible.

She has wants, needs and desires as well that need to be met and once you understand them you can both decide on something that works for you as a whole.


MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2017, 04:00:59 PM »
If I were your wife I would also resent you in this situation and I think she is brave for speaking up and letting you know how she feels rather than not saying anything and letting it fester.

You are married and supposed to be a team you need to take her idea of retirement into account as it matters just as much as your desire to retire as early as possible.

She has wants, needs and desires as well that need to be met and once you understand them you can both decide on something that works for you as a whole.
Well, I can see why she'd be JEALOUS (I would be as well). But not resentful. Why get mad at him for bettering himself?

babybug

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2017, 04:13:04 PM »
Why are you even married? I mean, if you got deathly ill with cancer and she goes on vacation with friends leaving you to figure out your own care ... would you be resentful or just jealous?

Does the term 'the two shall become one' mean nothing any more?

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MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2017, 04:14:36 PM »
Why are you even married? I mean, if you got deathly ill with cancer and she goes on vacation with friends leaving you to figure out your own care ... would you be resentful or just jealous?

Does the term 'the two shall become one' mean nothing any more?

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That's exaggerating a bit, don't you think? Why do you assume he wouldn't help her out? With your logic, since you can get cancer and have very expensive treatments at any point in your life, you should work until the day you die.

babybug

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2017, 04:17:57 PM »
Why are you even married? I mean, if you got deathly ill with cancer and she goes on vacation with friends leaving you to figure out your own care ... would you be resentful or just jealous?

Does the term 'the two shall become one' mean nothing any more?

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That's exaggerating a bit, don't you think? Why do you assume he wouldn't help her out? With your logic, since you can get cancer and have very expensive treatments at any point in your life, you should work until the day you die.
No. With my logic, you swim or sink together. If you can't both retire now, then wait till you can do it together. And if one gets ill, the other sacrifices their own pleasure to care for them...And so on.

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MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2017, 04:22:27 PM »
Why are you even married? I mean, if you got deathly ill with cancer and she goes on vacation with friends leaving you to figure out your own care ... would you be resentful or just jealous?

Does the term 'the two shall become one' mean nothing any more?

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That's exaggerating a bit, don't you think? Why do you assume he wouldn't help her out? With your logic, since you can get cancer and have very expensive treatments at any point in your life, you should work until the day you die.
No. With my logic, you swim or sink together. If you can't both retire now, then wait till you can do it together. And if one gets ill, the other sacrifices their own pleasure to care for them...And so on.

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Why can't one retire at a time? I don't see the issue. If his wife gets ill, he can still help her. Actually, moreso, as he'll actually be able to care for her on a full-time basis.

I understand there are jealously issues, and I'd have them too, but a loving wife wouldn't force her husband to work and be miserable for longer just so she wouldn't feel jealous of him.

the_fixer

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2017, 04:23:29 PM »
I guess I see my wife and I as a team, we sat down and discussed what we feel we need as a couple to feel secure in retirement. We discussed what we want to do in retirement and when and how to make that happen as a team. Maybe that is why my wife is still on board with this crazy idea I have of retiring early and exploring the world she feels comfortable, secure and that her needs are being meet and she is excited to do this together.

We are a team
VS
Every man, woman and child for themselves

From my savings, I'm pretty close to FIRE for myself.

Maybe his wife does not feel that they will be secure and comfortable in their retirement? Maybe she feels that it is unfair that she has to work longer since she makes less and pays 50% of the expenses? Is she less important to the FIRE plan than her husband because she makes less?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 04:30:14 PM by the_fixer »

the_fixer

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2017, 04:33:19 PM »
Well, I can see why she'd be JEALOUS (I would be as well). But not resentful. Why get mad at him for bettering himself?

Bettering himself? What about bettering them as a couple should that not be the goal when in a relationship?


Eric

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2017, 04:34:02 PM »
Why are you even married? I mean, if you got deathly ill with cancer and she goes on vacation with friends leaving you to figure out your own care ... would you be resentful or just jealous?

Does the term 'the two shall become one' mean nothing any more?

Sent from my KIW-L24 using Tapatalk
That's exaggerating a bit, don't you think? Why do you assume he wouldn't help her out? With your logic, since you can get cancer and have very expensive treatments at any point in your life, you should work until the day you die.
No. With my logic, you swim or sink together. If you can't both retire now, then wait till you can do it together. And if one gets ill, the other sacrifices their own pleasure to care for them...And so on.

Sent from my KIW-L24 using Tapatalk

Same here.  If my wife goes out to eat, I go out to eat with her.  If she goes to the grocery store, I go with her.  If she wants a haircut, you better believe that I'm getting a haircut too.  Bathing, dressing, laundry, sleeping, eating, everything together at all times.  That's what you do too, right?  Or are you maybe taking the "two become one" a bit too literally?
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe."  -- Einstein

MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2017, 04:45:34 PM »
Well, I can see why she'd be JEALOUS (I would be as well). But not resentful. Why get mad at him for bettering himself?

Bettering himself? What about bettering them as a couple should that not be the goal when in a relationship?
How does that not better them as a couple? Lower stress, more time with kids if they have any, more time to get stuff done around the house, and probably a happier husband (which will lead to a happier wife). I just don't see the issue. Only positives should come from retiring early.

the_fixer

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #60 on: April 12, 2017, 05:29:42 PM »
I do not think a couple has to retire at the same time. Chances are that my wife will want to work part time or from time to time after I am retired as she loves what she does.

However If I can retire she would be able to retire if she wanted to as well. In that case she is working because she enjoys it and wants to and can quit whenever the spirit moves her.

The spouse in this thread HAS to work to meet HER fire number PLUS provide for the extra that she feels might be needed over what the poster thinks they/ he needs to retire. Essentially an additional burden is being put on her because they have not come to a mutual agreement on what they need to retire.

They are not on the same page when it comes to their future goals together.

prognastat

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2017, 05:41:09 PM »
I do not think a couple has to retire at the same time. Chances are that my wife will want to work part time or from time to time after I am retired as she loves what she does.

However If I can retire she would be able to retire if she wanted to as well. In that case she is working because she enjoys it and wants to and can quit whenever the spirit moves her.

The spouse in this thread HAS to work to meet HER fire number PLUS provide for the extra that she feels might be needed over what the poster thinks they/ he needs to retire. Essentially an additional burden is being put on her because they have not come to a mutual agreement on what they need to retire.

They are not on the same page when it comes to their future goals together.

Sorry but your argument has no point, it could be completely flipped and be just as valid. Why is she hurting the marriage by not joining her husband in working towards FIRE and doing things together. Instead she is sowing discontent in their marriage by resisting taking on this task together.

You argument could be made from either side by accusing the other party of not doing their part in making sure they are working together with their spouse.


the_fixer

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #62 on: April 12, 2017, 06:08:35 PM »
Exactly

They are not on the same page so one side or the other is going to lose...

She has to work longer and feels it is not fair while he retires OR he has to work a little longer so they can both retire and feels it is not fair.

If they were in agreement of what was needed for spending / retirement / goals then it would be less likely that one would feel deprived.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 06:12:32 PM by the_fixer »

Brother Esau

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2017, 06:33:33 PM »
FI needs to be accomplished by both in a marriage. RE can then be determined by different terms. One may love their career, want to work part time, etc. Has to be a team effort IMO.

overlord34

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2017, 07:09:51 PM »
Exactly

They are not on the same page so one side or the other is going to lose...

She has to work longer and feels it is not fair while he retires OR he has to work a little longer so they can both retire and feels it is not fair.

If they were in agreement of what was needed for spending / retirement / goals then it would be less likely that one would feel deprived.


This pretty much sums up the situation.  We have different ideas about what constitute a reasonable level of FIRE expenses so one of us is going to wind up feeling deprived (me working longer or her spending less).

My attitude has been similar to what MsSindy said, that if she wants things she needs to be willing to work for them.  But there's a difference between that and figuring out the appropriate amount to spend on necessities.  The bottom line is that I think we need to have a discussion and reach some sort of compromise where we spend less than she's prefer and we delay FIRE longer than I'd prefer.  It just seems like unless we can reach some agreement one of us is going to be unhappy. 

BackyarBQ - "I guess you need to answer for yourself, that while you have met your personal goal... you've attached yourself to this human, who's happiness and success is part of you, and you two will have to compromise to satisfy and secure the othe."  Thanks for saying that.

As many posters have suggested, I also need to find out more about whether she even wants to FIRE and what  exactly her reservations are about it.






I am thrilled to be alive at a time when humanity is pushing the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.

the_fixer

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #65 on: April 12, 2017, 09:49:54 PM »
When I first started discussing the idea with my wife she did not understand it. The concept made no sense to her as she loves her job and planned to work until "normal" retirement age and nothing else had crossed her mind.

She has never been on this site, we have watched the video of the summit, played with the calculators but what really made the difference is realizing that it is more about freedom / flexibility than a retirement date.
 
Freedom to volunteer for a engineers without borders project she has always discussed

Freedom to take chances developing and working with interesting technology

Freedom to take off for a 3 months, 6 months or however long to explore

It is a paradigm shift and as the person taking the lead she has put a bunch of faith in me probably more than I could if the roles were reversed.

I wish you the best in your conversation, listen, understand, empathize and I am sure you can work out something that you are both happy with.

boarder42

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #66 on: April 13, 2017, 06:21:52 AM »
When I first started discussing the idea with my wife she did not understand it. The concept made no sense to her as she loves her job and planned to work until "normal" retirement age and nothing else had crossed her mind.

She has never been on this site, we have watched the video of the summit, played with the calculators but what really made the difference is realizing that it is more about freedom / flexibility than a retirement date.
 
Freedom to volunteer for a engineers without borders project she has always discussed

Freedom to take chances developing and working with interesting technology

Freedom to take off for a 3 months, 6 months or however long to explore

It is a paradigm shift and as the person taking the lead she has put a bunch of faith in me probably more than I could if the roles were reversed.

I wish you the best in your conversation, listen, understand, empathize and I am sure you can work out something that you are both happy with.

this ...

Its very outsdie the box of societal norms to Retire or become financially independent at such a young age.  It takes a complete shift in thinking about how the world works, where money comes from, what money is used for, and what life really is about, and what is important to you.

When one person finds this blog and forum and starts to read and understand it takes some time for those societal norms to be broken down.  Some are quicker to understand and see the value than others.  But then we go to our spouses with what we feel is the hoy grail and dont realize or consider that they havent been reading the same thing we have for the last month, they may have a different set of feelings around the whole situation, they may take longer to really understand what its really about, how it really works, etc.

In my personal case b/c of many broken "promises" thru out her life my wife is an eternal skeptic at anything that sounds too good to be true.  And me saying hey we can retire at 37 and keep living this bad ass life sounds way too good to be true.  Even though she is an engineer and understands math she still looks at but this costs alot and that costs alot.  yes but its been accounted for in our budget.  the "how will i get paid"  talk ... Then if you can get someone to understand all of that side and show them the safety of it and how their current spending is easily replaced.  Now you have to deal with the emotional side and the "but what will other people think" since its not a societal norm to not be working or have one working person in your 30s and 40s, and what about her dad who paid for her to go to school and she just works for 15 years and calls it quits.  lots of variables come into play in many different ways.  Every year we get closer my wife comes around more and more.  She's still a skeptic and thinks she'll work longer than our FI date.  But its not about just retiring its about having the freedom to choose to do so if you want.  B/c who knows how you'll feel in 5-10 years. 
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ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2017, 07:25:56 AM »
Maybe I'm missing something, but OP, do you have an FIRE number for "your" expenses alone?

I mean, I've never even considered running an FIRE simulation based on my expenses alone.  I consider my fiancee and my expenses to be joint, and I'm not going to retire until that joint FIRE number is met.
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sw1tch

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #68 on: April 13, 2017, 07:33:34 AM »
When I first started discussing the idea with my wife she did not understand it. The concept made no sense to her as she loves her job and planned to work until "normal" retirement age and nothing else had crossed her mind.

She has never been on this site, we have watched the video of the summit, played with the calculators but what really made the difference is realizing that it is more about freedom / flexibility than a retirement date.
 
Freedom to volunteer for a engineers without borders project she has always discussed

Freedom to take chances developing and working with interesting technology

Freedom to take off for a 3 months, 6 months or however long to explore

It is a paradigm shift and as the person taking the lead she has put a bunch of faith in me probably more than I could if the roles were reversed.

I wish you the best in your conversation, listen, understand, empathize and I am sure you can work out something that you are both happy with.

this ...

Its very outsdie the box of societal norms to Retire or become financially independent at such a young age.  It takes a complete shift in thinking about how the world works, where money comes from, what money is used for, and what life really is about, and what is important to you.

When one person finds this blog and forum and starts to read and understand it takes some time for those societal norms to be broken down.  Some are quicker to understand and see the value than others.  But then we go to our spouses with what we feel is the hoy grail and dont realize or consider that they havent been reading the same thing we have for the last month, they may have a different set of feelings around the whole situation, they may take longer to really understand what its really about, how it really works, etc.

In my personal case b/c of many broken "promises" thru out her life my wife is an eternal skeptic at anything that sounds too good to be true.  And me saying hey we can retire at 37 and keep living this bad ass life sounds way too good to be true.  Even though she is an engineer and understands math she still looks at but this costs alot and that costs alot.  yes but its been accounted for in our budget.  the "how will i get paid"  talk ... Then if you can get someone to understand all of that side and show them the safety of it and how their current spending is easily replaced.  Now you have to deal with the emotional side and the "but what will other people think" since its not a societal norm to not be working or have one working person in your 30s and 40s, and what about her dad who paid for her to go to school and she just works for 15 years and calls it quits.  lots of variables come into play in many different ways.  Every year we get closer my wife comes around more and more.  She's still a skeptic and thinks she'll work longer than our FI date.  But its not about just retiring its about having the freedom to choose to do so if you want.  B/c who knows how you'll feel in 5-10 years.

Great post.  I think you hit on a crucial point here in regards to "trust", "broken promises", etc.  Many people were sold/told/manipulated/neglected/whatever in the past especially in regards to personal finance.  Finances tend to be taught and marketed to us as an emotional thing instead of from a scientific data-driven approach.  I see this issue with a TON of things with my wife (especially since she's not a numbers type of person - well was never taught to consider that).  This of course is compounded by my own issues with emotions!

Trying to explain to someone that their feelings don't change how the world works when they have an ingrained and taught belief that everything is about feelings is difficult and ultimately takes a lot of treading carefully and usually lots of time.  Not to say that feelings don't matter; they do!  But, their relationship to finances and diving into how to heal some of those wounds and separating that relationship takes A LOT of work (and time).  I think that's why FIRE is such a strange and downright foreign paradigm shift for many.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 08:00:32 AM by sw1tch »
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GetItRight

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #69 on: April 13, 2017, 08:41:43 AM »
I would want to put in a few more years to both FIRE if SO was on board and lived/spent like she was on board. But you said she deicded FIRE wasn't a priority for her.

If she thought the idea was interesting 10 years ago but declined to work towards it for 9.5 years I would be inclined to FIRE sooner than later if you're able. She made her choices and reaped the rewards in the intermediate years while you waited to reap the rewards at the end. Also there is no reason she couldn't pursue a higher income either previously or now, if she hasn't then it isn't that important to her to earn more to live grand in the moment or retire early. That should not prevent you from FIRE. Having yours/ours/mine accounts as you mentioned is helpful having different financial and retirement goals.

If she was on board with being frugal and saving but not to the same extent, or was on board for FIRE but just on a longer schedule, then I would be inclined to put in a few more years and FIRE together. My fears would be getting trapped in the OMY cycle or SO saying she's on board to FIRE but her actions showing otherwise resulting in the RE date perpetually pushed back or having to work again out of necessity. You know your SO, so you should know if there are valid concerns.

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #70 on: April 13, 2017, 10:28:54 AM »
I get that people are hyper focused on this separate number that the OP brought up.

But I have fully joint finances with my husband and if I told him that FIRE is cool and all, but I'm going to need him to go back to work so I could have a bigger house, I would expect him to tell me the equivalent of "Go F yourself."

Joint finances don't mean that I get to spend all of my money from my job and then guilt-trip my husband into working harder/longer so that I can also spend his money on luxury items like a home upgrade or parking spot.

If the OP's wife is legitimately incapable of saving because her income is too low to cover necessities AND save, then there's an argument to be made that no - he's not FI. He's not FI until all of the necessities are covered and his wife is able to save because she no longer has to put such a large proportion of her income toward keeping a roof over her head. But if the reason his wife doesn't want anyone to retire early is that she wants to spend all of their money on luxuries, then that's not fair to him. There's always a better apartment to spend more money on, and a better parking situation, and a better dinner, and a better everything.

I will humbly suggest that the OP saves enough that they can both quit their jobs and FIRE to a location other than NYC. Then his wife can have an enormous house for what they currently pay in New York, with a driveway and a garage and everything. I have a feeling that it will be easier than saving to buy a bigger apartment in NYC.

Gin1984

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #71 on: April 13, 2017, 10:47:43 AM »
If I were your wife I would also resent you in this situation and I think she is brave for speaking up and letting you know how she feels rather than not saying anything and letting it fester.

You are married and supposed to be a team you need to take her idea of retirement into account as it matters just as much as your desire to retire as early as possible.

She has wants, needs and desires as well that need to be met and once you understand them you can both decide on something that works for you as a whole.
Well, I can see why she'd be JEALOUS (I would be as well). But not resentful. Why get mad at him for bettering himself?
Because he is putting his wants above hers. 

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prognastat

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #72 on: April 13, 2017, 11:19:36 AM »
If I were your wife I would also resent you in this situation and I think she is brave for speaking up and letting you know how she feels rather than not saying anything and letting it fester.

You are married and supposed to be a team you need to take her idea of retirement into account as it matters just as much as your desire to retire as early as possible.

She has wants, needs and desires as well that need to be met and once you understand them you can both decide on something that works for you as a whole.
Well, I can see why she'd be JEALOUS (I would be as well). But not resentful. Why get mad at him for bettering himself?
Because he is putting his wants above hers. 

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You can just as easily argue she is putting her wants above his by forcing him to work longer than he wants to.

Laura33

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #73 on: April 13, 2017, 11:20:53 AM »
I think people are conflating the "how we handle our finances" issue with the "can I FIRE?" issue, when in fact they are completely different.

1.  Finances:  plenty of happily married couples maintain completely separate finances.  My mom and stepdad did for the entire 38 years of their marriage.  The key to doing this successfully is having a fair split of the expenses -- it is not fair for one partner to make 90% of the money but expect the spouse to shoulder 50% of the bills.  This approach also has to be flexible when unusual events happen; e.g., my stepdad had Parkinson's, and if he hadn't died unexpectedly would have run up massive long-term-care bills; at that point, my mom would not have said, "gee, sorry, shoulda bought LTC insurance, you're on your own" -- she loved him and would absolutely have spent "her" money to take care of him.  (and it wouldn't have worked anyway, since the government saw her savings as his and vice-versa)

2.  FIRE:  many, many couples have fundamental disagreements on the question of when/if to FIRE, regardless of how they handle their finances.  DH and I have pooled our money since we married, but that hasn't led to unity on this particular point -- I think we could FIRE right now, whereas he wants $5M (yes, you read that right, it really is a 5.  Which is down from 10.  So, you know, progress).  The key to a happy marriage is figuring out what your *partner* wants and valuing that as highly as you value what *you* want.  So I have agreed to work longer -- it's not like my job is horrible -- and he has agreed to push 62 down to 58, and maybe earlier; he has also given me express permission to quit or go part-time whenever I want and to pursue my post-FIRE writing plans.  And we keep talking, re-evaluating, and talking some more -- frequently over a bottle of wine.  Because, really, what is better than sitting on the deck with a glass of wine and talking about your hopes and dreams for the future with the person you love?

And, really, that is the key to all of this:  wanting your partner to be happy just as much as you want that for yourself.  So if you split finances, you want to make sure you and your partner pay fair shares; if you combine finances, you want to make sure you both agree on a reasonable savings target.  If you want to FIRE and your partner doesn't, or vice-versa, that is all fine, as long as you and your partner make those decisions together and with each other's best interests in mind.

Tl;dr:  It's not about the actual decision -- it's about how you make the actual decision.
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MrSal

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #74 on: April 13, 2017, 11:25:11 AM »
I do not think a couple has to retire at the same time. Chances are that my wife will want to work part time or from time to time after I am retired as she loves what she does.

However If I can retire she would be able to retire if she wanted to as well. In that case she is working because she enjoys it and wants to and can quit whenever the spirit moves her.

The spouse in this thread HAS to work to meet HER fire number PLUS provide for the extra that she feels might be needed over what the poster thinks they/ he needs to retire. Essentially an additional burden is being put on her because they have not come to a mutual agreement on what they need to retire.

They are not on the same page when it comes to their future goals together.

I am sorry even though I see your point I dont agree.

So lets assume a "Normal" couple that work all their life until retirement age.

The husband is 6-7 years older than the wife. Husband reachs 65 (or whatever is the retirement age) and gets into retirement life while the wife is around 57 years old and is required to work until 65 or something.

Should she say ("Hey you need to work more because I haven't reached my retirement age yet) ...


Gin1984

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2017, 01:08:46 PM »
If I were your wife I would also resent you in this situation and I think she is brave for speaking up and letting you know how she feels rather than not saying anything and letting it fester.

You are married and supposed to be a team you need to take her idea of retirement into account as it matters just as much as your desire to retire as early as possible.

She has wants, needs and desires as well that need to be met and once you understand them you can both decide on something that works for you as a whole.
Well, I can see why she'd be JEALOUS (I would be as well). But not resentful. Why get mad at him for bettering himself?
Because he is putting his wants above hers. 

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You can just as easily argue she is putting her wants above his by forcing him to work longer than he wants to.
Yes that is true.  But that was not the question asked.  Both parties are suppose to put each other's wants as equal to their own.  And if my husband thought his were more important, we'd have a problem.  And we do have a similar situation, but with the genders reversed.  I want to retire earlier than my husband and he wants more spending money.  So we compromise.  He gets less spending money than he wants but we save less than I want.  That is part of being a couple.

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prognastat

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2017, 01:42:46 PM »
If I were your wife I would also resent you in this situation and I think she is brave for speaking up and letting you know how she feels rather than not saying anything and letting it fester.

You are married and supposed to be a team you need to take her idea of retirement into account as it matters just as much as your desire to retire as early as possible.

She has wants, needs and desires as well that need to be met and once you understand them you can both decide on something that works for you as a whole.
Well, I can see why she'd be JEALOUS (I would be as well). But not resentful. Why get mad at him for bettering himself?
Because he is putting his wants above hers. 

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You can just as easily argue she is putting her wants above his by forcing him to work longer than he wants to.
Yes that is true.  But that was not the question asked.  Both parties are suppose to put each other's wants as equal to their own.  And if my husband thought his were more important, we'd have a problem.  And we do have a similar situation, but with the genders reversed.  I want to retire earlier than my husband and he wants more spending money.  So we compromise.  He gets less spending money than he wants but we save less than I want.  That is part of being a couple.

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I would agree in some way it would have to come from either side, but without further information it is harder to say what is and isn't fully reasonable. On top of that of course is it isn't only about what is reasonable, but also what ends up being a workable solution for both parties.

If they can agree on a middle ground as far as spending goes then both working till that point will be best, if not possibly getting to a baseline stash both can agree on before OP FIREs and their spouse working to build the stash until it allows for any additional spending they are looking for.

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2017, 01:53:58 PM »
I FIREd over a year before my husband. He loved it. Freaking loved it.

I got up and made him breakfast from scratch most mornings. I packed his lunch for him, including lots of snacks and home made food (which he enjoys).

I did 95% of the errands, meal prep, cooking and housework/yard work. He literally had his job to do, but came home every day to a cleaned house, a home cooked meal, and a happy and loving spouse. He was fine helping out more, but I told him one of the benefits of having a stay at home spouse was that he wouldn't have to do nearly as much.

And another benefit was that I could save us a ton of money by being a better shopper, cooking better food the majority of the time, doing a better job on tracking down deals and haggling over any work to be done, etc. So things she might have paid more money to provide conveniences for are no longer as necessary since you'll be taking over as a "convenience/comfort provider" - meaning she can save more of her money for herself.

It may sound like I was doing lots and lots of work, but in reality most everything took me under 2-3 hours a day, and could be spaced out as much as I wanted, so I was able to fit in lots of napping, loafing, piddling around with my computer or hobbies.

And the fact that I could get all the errands and chores done during the week meant we both had the weekends completely free for whatever the hell we felt like doing. Even the evening hours after he got home from work were better and more about quality time for the most part. So sure, you could lead separate lives, or you could maximize your available time together even more so with you able to get all the pesky day-to-day crap done when she's not there (and she doesn't have to do much of it at all).

If your spouse is dead set on you not being able to retire before her, then you may want to have a discussion about what exactly you will be doing while she's at work. If she thinks she'll still need to be responsible for a whole bunch of household chores while you do very little other than loaf/piddle with hobbies, then yes, that could be a big perception issue you need to deal with.

Of course, this is all predicated on the idea that you actually will want to take on all of that stuff in the interest of having the majority of your days free from working. It would really suck if you were wanting to quit work and pay a maid to clean your house, eat out or stop off at fast food to feed yourselves and rarely bothered to do things in general around the house (especially if you expected her to kick in on those costs) while pursuing your own agenda. I could see her point if this is more what might happen. But only you know what type of FIRE you're planning for yourself, and whether it is something that should be genuinely worrying your spouse.

There is the argument that you could work another few years to get to the shared goal that would enable your spouse to feel good about quitting.  If it is a difference of a few years, and the place you're at isn't a hell on earth, it might be worth it. But I don't think you should be held hostage at a job just because your spouse can't deal with the idea of you wanting to stop working. So really, it means sitting down and talking all this stuff through until you come to a shared agreement/compromise that you both can live with.

This is what my husband is doing these days, plus a hell of a lot of home renovations and some side hustles. He cut back to a part-time job and a small business roughly eight years ago, with some years more profitable than others. We've had some on-again/off-again conversations about what we'd each like to do in the short and long-term. While he says he's willing to go back to a 40-hour office job if his small business doesn't take off this year, deep down I know he hates the idea. And all the work he does during the day-- shopping, errands, carpentry, yard work, cooking-- makes a tremendous difference in quality of life for both of us.

Currently, I'm in a full-time career that I used to love, dwindled to like, and is now a split between enjoyable and tolerable, depending on the day. I admit that I get jealous of my husband's unstructured days sometimes. And, I was raised in a family where the man was expected to be the primary breadwinner, and have spent years trying to mentally undo that conditioning. To cope with those times when I feel envy, I remind myself of how much he's done for us, including paying off the house and doing most of the repairs himself. He keeps me happy and well-fed with nutritious, home-cooked meals. We're not trying to keep up with the Joneses but feel rich most days. Together we're a great team, and it's important not to lose sight of that.

Plus, I keep reminding myself of this little tidbit:  if I keep this job another seven years, we can probably FIRE with the help of a side gig or three. If I were to get laid off or decided to take a break from the office grind before then, I could swing at least a year on savings before one of us would have to pick up a full-time job again.

Best of luck on working out an agreeable compromise, OP!

Cassie

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2017, 02:36:20 PM »
Marriage is about compromise so I would work to find a middle ground. People do not have to fire at the same time. Find what works for your situation.

Cranky

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #79 on: April 13, 2017, 03:11:04 PM »
That's tough. I can't really give you any advice, but I don't understand why people WOULDN'T want to retire early? Takes all of your stresses, and just throws them away. I've seen it save failing marriages, as the couples started doing more things together, and not letting their stress from work cause fights.

I guess it depends on what you want to do after retirement - are you retiring "to" something, or just "away from" something? Not everybody's work is full of stress, for one thing.

But the idea of retiring in a studio apartment with my dh sounds pretty darned stressful, to me.

Lagom

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #80 on: April 13, 2017, 10:46:15 PM »
I increasingly don't get these threads. If you truly love each other and truly want to stay together til death do you part, talk openly and regularly, empathize liberally, and compromise happily. Feel free to slowly jedi mindtrick your SO into embracing FIRE more and more, but don't resent their pace of doing so. If it's nothing but a struggle month after month, year after year, you have to question whether your values are too different for the marriage to continue. Not all of them are meant to. My first wasn't. My second (and unequivocally final) reinforces that assessment every day.

You guys do realize that talking about things like your SO "forcing" you to support "their" lifestyle is toxic, right? If those feelings are creeping in, counseling is my advice.

Luckyvik

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #81 on: April 14, 2017, 04:22:21 AM »
Hey Overlord

Is her wanting to 'spend more' just about the apartment size ie. moving from a studio to a 1bdr?

Although I'm all for a no-frills FI, I can understand that she might not want to live in a studio forever, especially if you are both not working and home in FI.

Could you maybe think about moving to a lower cost of living area in FI since you won't need to be in New York City for work anymore? I'm guessing if you sell the studio in NYC you would be able to afford a bigger place elsewhere.

Also have you talked about not having/having children? Maybe she wants children and it wouldn't be very practical living in a studio.


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chasesfish

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #82 on: April 15, 2017, 07:16:41 PM »
My wife ERed a few years ago, I moved jobs, she spent more time renovating the last house and didn't want to look hard.  Move for work again and and we just decided the stress/time really wasn't worth what she cleared after taxes, especially since its a second income to the family.

Its been wonderful at home, she plays great defense with money, takes care of the yard and house, and I have minimal stress outside of the job.  I do think she misses the social interaction and fulfillment esepcially since I'm not here.

The feelings/concerns you have are real, its up to you and your wife to determine how much it'll bother the each of you.

overlord34

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #83 on: April 16, 2017, 08:17:54 AM »
But if the reason his wife doesn't want anyone to retire early is that she wants to spend all of their money on luxuries, then that's not fair to him. There's always a better apartment to spend more money on, and a better parking situation, and a better dinner, and a better everything.

This is pretty close to describing the problem.  I should also emphasize that it's not that she has expensive tastes, but rather that she prefers much more convenience and comfort in her lifestyle than I do.  So she'll be much more inclined to eat out for lunches during the work week, buy new clothing, not shop for a deal when buying something because it's too much of a headache.   The biggest difference right now is our housing situation, where she really wants to move to a 1br.  Earlier in this thread I estimated the cost of moving to a 1br in her preferred neighborhoods at a difference of an extra $12-$15000 per year over what we're currently paying.  But even in less preferred neighborhoods it would still probably be an extra $7000 per year for housing.

Luckyvik -  I agree that if we weren't living in NYC, moving to a 1br is a totally reasonable thing to want.  I also fully acknowledge that I'm on the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to not spending money.  Not because it's a sacrifice for me; I just really have very few wants and am happy with less.  For example, I like living in a studio with my wife.  It means we see each other more, get to spend more time together rather than retreating to a separate room.  So it's been hard to figure out how to balance her desire for more spending with my desire for FIRE. 

Some have suggested moving out of NYC which is well taken but not really an option right now since we both work here.  I'd be willing to leave the city for FIRE but would prefer to stay within 1-2 hours because of family and friends here.

Maybe the solution is to adopt a compromise version of what she wants while we are in the accumulation stage.  So move to a 1br but not in her ideal neighborhood, and build a compromise amount into the monthly budget for conveniences that she wants, even if it takes our expenses 10k or 12k higher per year. And just accept that as what's necessary for her to be happy during this time.   Then once we reach a FIRE number for our necessities, we can find a place with more space outside of NYC.  And as other posters have suggested, if she prefers a higher level of convenience spending at that time, she can find part time or full time work.

Thanks again to everyone who's given me input and advice!
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overlord34

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #84 on: April 16, 2017, 08:33:06 AM »
Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?
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LadyStache in Baja

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #85 on: April 16, 2017, 12:09:05 PM »
The thing is that they're not REALLY separate. They're separate in name only. Why? Because if my hubby goes out and buys a truck with "his" money, and down the line, we want to invest together in a rental home, he'll have less money to invest in that rental home and I'll have to either wait longer to save up or cover a bigger portion than I would have if we had the truck money to throw at it.

Or let's say I'm a big spender and never save. And then all of a sudden the mortgage is due, and oops! I can't cover "my share". My husband is not going to kick me out and find a more responsible roommate; he will have to cover my share.

Our spending decisions will eventually affect each other, whether or not we admit it, whether or not our finances are "separate".
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LadyStache in Baja

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #86 on: April 16, 2017, 12:09:55 PM »
Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

But I didn't answer your question. So what we do is talk and talk and talk about it until we have consensus.
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zinnie

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #87 on: April 16, 2017, 12:26:38 PM »
Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

Compromise, and reaching a mutual agreement. It's usually going to be somewhere in the middle of what we both want, but always something we both agree to. I have hard time understanding how you can live with someone if you can't compromise on things like home renovations and cars.

On your situation in general, you need a plan you both agree to that suits both of you. It doesn't mean you have to both retire or both work, but it needs to be a plan that takes both of you into account. If she plans to work longer than you, factor that extra income into the FI plans, but you can't only be planning for yourself in a marriage.

MidWestLove

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #88 on: April 16, 2017, 12:45:46 PM »
talk to her. talk to her. talk to her.

also, ultimately you have to put your own oxygen mask first - you cant help someone if you are not helping yourself first. if you are miserable working, it is beyond "selfish" for emotional vampire to threaten "resentment". she is a grown up, makes choices, and decisions. don't live a life if misery in attempt to keep another person happy, never worth it.

having said all of the above, I don't understand his/her/ours part  as for us it was always everything ours , didn't matter who worked and did not worked, what were the earnings ,etc. when I had corporate job with income 10x of hers, it is still ours, when she was mommy to our newborn children and had no income whatsoever, everything was ours, now I am semi-retired, it is still ours. what matters is understanding what each person wants and enabling that. for my wife , what was important was part time job (adult interaction, ability to use extensive education and training) for causes she believes in. she called it "hobby job".  If she decides to stop completely , I will 100% support her. if she decides that is more happy going full time, I will support her as well. if I decide to find another opportunity (which I am likely to do as I cant do 'nothing'), she is fully supporting. it is us, not you and me. and never ever either one of us try to use emotional blackmail on each other. our marriage is friendship and partnership, and we both hope to follow our parents good example (who are celebrating their 50 year anniversary of marriage this year)..

 

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #89 on: April 16, 2017, 01:21:46 PM »
Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

We have separate finances but you need to talk about any of those decisions of that magnitude and you both should agree.
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Laura33

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #90 on: April 16, 2017, 04:13:45 PM »
I also fully acknowledge that I'm on the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to not spending money.  Not because it's a sacrifice for me; I just really have very few wants and am happy with less.  For example, I like living in a studio with my wife.  It means we see each other more, get to spend more time together rather than retreating to a separate room.  So it's been hard to figure out how to balance her desire for more spending with my desire for FIRE. 

Is your wife an introvert?  If so, what you described as your fantastic current life could be a small version of hell to her.  I love DH more than anything, but my God, if I had to live in a single room with him for the rest of my natural life, we would be divorced within a year.  I am not a nice person when I don't have sufficient time by myself.  It literally makes me shudder even to think of it.  I am trying to think of enticements that would make "living in one room forever with DH" worth it to me -- Powerball?  George Clooney? -- and, well, no.  Can't think of a one.  Maybe world peace.  But, damn, y'all would seriously owe me.

The larger point is that you are doing what comes naturally to you, just as she is doing what comes naturally to her.  For you, working longer to buy more living space and convenience is a sacrifice, just as for her, giving up more living space and convenience to work less is a sacrifice.  You are on the MMM boards, so of course the natural inclination here is to confirm that you are "right" and she is a spoiled consumer sucka who values stuff more than people and freedom.  Of course, to another audience, you'd be the crazy cheap miser who wants to deprive her of all of the things that make life worth living just so you can be a lazy bum and sit around doing nothing.  ;-).

In the end, this comes down to the classic question: do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?  If you'd prefer the latter, the place to start is by assuming that her needs and desires are just as worthy as yours, and figuring out between the two of you how much each of you can give to make sure the other has enough of what s/he needs.  I think your posts show that you see that, and it sounds like you have some good ideas to open the conversation.  So go talk!
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Laura33

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #91 on: April 16, 2017, 04:18:30 PM »
Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

Same way you do it when finances are joint -- you talk about it until you reach a compromise.

A spouse who drops $50k on something without the other spouse's agreement is a doink.  Doesn't really matter if the check comes out of a solo or joint account.
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Evgenia

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #92 on: April 16, 2017, 04:20:25 PM »
My husband left his job to enter FIRE before me, though I brought the formal FIRE concept into our marriage. We had, however, both lived according to what are now known as MMM principles for most of our adult lives, so FIRE was logical. But, living as if FIRE were in our future and actually making the leap when the time came were two very different things.

Paying off our home (surprise!) made it very difficult for us to continue working as we had been. There was, quite literally, no reason or any urgency for paid work anymore. Suddenly, the FIRE leap came a lot more easily, but still freaked us out a bit. So. The plan was my husband would FIRE first (he being the more miserable in his job of the two of us, with the super soul-killing commute) and I would follow in a year, maintaining health insurance for both of us in the meantime.

Well, that lasted one whole month. Newly FIRE husband wanted to do things like take road trips I wouldn't be able to go on with my limited vacation time, and do other fun things like play frisbee at the beach and hike. We completely work as a household and had a shared plan, and I was STILL envious of him. Envious enough to join him in FIRE ahead of schedule. We have no regrets about ANY of it. If anything were to happen to him, as it eventually will to one of us, we will be so, so happy to have had this incredible time together.

I am not a person to judge anyone's marriage or give unsolicited advice but, in general, adopting the concept of a household has been a transformative one for me, not just in regard to marriage but in regard to our entire lives. Wendell Berry has written beautifully on this subject, to name just one, and the Allan Savory concept of holistic management (which is for land, grazing, and soil health) applies very cleanly to life in general.

Changing my cognitive frame to "household" from "job/worker" was so necessary and helpful to FIRE. Until the possibility of FIRE was REALLY real, even I did not realize the extent to which I had been brainwashed by an industrial, job-centric mindset, i.e. "Work comes first, choices are always made around a job and not a life, work is something that happens totally apart from the home," etc. It's also a very individualistic way of being: We choose the best jobs for ourselves, usually, not others; work happens totally apart from our families; life is segregated into spheres; etc. If you think about household, and holistic household health FIRST, a lot of other things also change.
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Tiger Stache

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #93 on: April 17, 2017, 12:00:28 PM »
Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

communication.

BackyarBQ

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #94 on: April 17, 2017, 01:37:01 PM »
Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

communication.

rinse and repeat

TheAnonOne

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #95 on: April 17, 2017, 03:14:39 PM »


Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

communication.

rinse and repeat

It does SEEM like people who separate for 'fun money' end up doing it, subconsciously or otherwise, to just avoid x,y,z fights.

It SEEMS like it guarantees higher spending.

If a spouse wants to spend $10,000 on some hobby and it fits in some arbitrary separation in your income is it suddenly consequence free? These things have a 100% impact on both people, even with the 'line in the sand'

If FIRE is the goal for both people, the fastest route is a razor focus by both people. Using some separate financial math serves to only 'keep the peace' as far as I can tell.

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BackyarBQ

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #96 on: April 17, 2017, 04:25:22 PM »


Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

communication.

rinse and repeat

It does SEEM like people who separate for 'fun money' end up doing it, subconsciously or otherwise, to just avoid x,y,z fights.

It SEEMS like it guarantees higher spending.

If a spouse wants to spend $10,000 on some hobby and it fits in some arbitrary separation in your income is it suddenly consequence free? These things have a 100% impact on both people, even with the 'line in the sand'

If FIRE is the goal for both people, the fastest route is a razor focus by both people. Using some separate financial math serves to only 'keep the peace' as far as I can tell.

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Holy shit people! If my wife came to me a few months ago and said I want to take martial arts classes, here's the 2 places I like, this is how much it costs... and I said well you need a part time job or you have work longer to pay for that I'd fully expect her to punch me in the face.

Seems to me we're forgetting some basics...

FIRE isn't supposed to interrupt happiness... it's supposed to prioritize value and reduce waste.
AND It's not about deprivation.
- there's no point in FI, if it doesn't afford you the life you want.
- there's no point in the journey if you didn't enjoy it.

Therefore as long as both parties can state their desires and come to a compromise, there can be success. Plans are fluid, marriage is fluid, learning your spouse and sharing your life together is FLUID.

This is life, not a board game!
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 04:53:56 PM by BackyarBQ »

iris lily

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #97 on: April 17, 2017, 08:58:00 PM »
When I retired I pushed DH to retire also because I didn't want to hear complaints about me lazing about all day.

If I,hadn't pushed him, I don't know if he would have retired or he might have cut down to part time.

We have craploads of things to do and he is busy most of the time.

Jamese20

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #98 on: April 18, 2017, 09:04:43 AM »
so let me get this correct,

she will resent you achieving FIRE because she doesn't like the idea of you not working while she is basically but wants you to work more to fund her lifestyle (bigger house car etc) that she could not afford on her own anyway?? lol

sounds like you need a new wife to me as she expects you to provide the meal ticket for the over indulgent lifestyle that she wants whilst not earning the money herself to afford it in the first place? wow

manipulation 101 i for one am so relieved my partner does not even think down this road - i even asked her this very question just and looked at me like i was an alien and said she would be proud to achieve this so early!! she would happily work part time as she says so 4 days out of 7 is all for us and nobody else - sounds like heaven to me.




undercover

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #99 on: April 18, 2017, 09:38:29 AM »
Question to those who don't understand why couples wouldn't automatically join their finances - how do you navigate differences when it comes to major spending decisions when one spouse wants FIRE and one doesn't?  Such as a 50k home reno or if one spouse wanted to buy an expensive car or take up an expensive hobby?

That's easy? They don't navigate the differences since the difference in finances is already laid out. Each person does whatever the hell they want with their own money.

I don't understand why anyone would automatically join their finances. I wouldn't until years and years of knowing someone and feeling like we're on the same page (that certainly isn't an automatic process). So far I haven't met anyone that agrees 100% with my finances and I'm not going to work longer than I need to just to make up for all the spending and inefficiencies of the partner who isn't prudent enough with their money.

But I think the answer for OP is easy. If your finances are combined, yes I think you definitely need to be on the same page with your wants and needs financially and thus you should retire at about the same time. If your finances are separate, do whatever the hell you want. If she's working, it's not going to really matter where in the heck you are since she's stuck at work anyway.

Since it doesn't sound like you're on the same page with wants and needs financially (and it does sound like your finances are combined) - it seems to me like you either need to look into separating finances or seriously need to have a long talk and come to some sort of compromise.
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