Author Topic: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?  (Read 2367 times)

nexus

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SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« on: November 03, 2016, 11:48:35 AM »
Just curious here. You don't have to answer them all. SO meaning someone you're committed to long term, whether married or not. I wanted to know the following with respect to your target nest egg amount:
 
A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board?
B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change?
C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same?
   ->I could see it staying the same or decreasing if your SO wasn't on board
D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages?
E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything?
F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate?
   -> If so, how were they resolved or what decision did you make?

Thanks for the input & happy Mustachianing!

2Birds1Stone

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 11:56:39 AM »
Just curious here. You don't have to answer them all. SO meaning someone you're committed to long term, whether married or not. I wanted to know the following with respect to your target nest egg amount:
 
A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board? Discovered FIRE while dating SO
B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change? n/a
C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same? Being in a relationship it will take longer for us to FIRE due to her lower income potential and resulting savings rate
   ->I could see it staying the same or decreasing if your SO wasn't on board
D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages? Dual incomes with no kids or mortgage is awesome
E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything? Separate finances as we are not married, but we have a joint FIRE # and we track our combined progress toward that #
F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate? She is more risk averse, no big issues as I just adjust my AA accordingly so our total combined AA is in line with our goals
   -> If so, how were they resolved or what decision did you make?

Thanks for the input & happy Mustachianing!

Answers in bold

Giro

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2016, 12:15:44 PM »

Just curious here. You don't have to answer them all. SO meaning someone you're committed to long term, whether married or not. I wanted to know the following with respect to your target nest egg amount:
 
A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board?  As soon as SO was on board, we were both instantly FI after running the numbers.
B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change? SO wanted (wants) to keep working.  We could FIRE at any time.  My timeline did not change at all.
C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same?  Same
   ->I could see it staying the same or decreasing if your SO wasn't on board
D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages? Biggest advantage is two 6 figure incomes and marrying an extremely frugal guy who had been saving for years just without goals. 
E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything?  We still have separate accounts but we both know everything that's in them so no secrets. 
F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate?  He wants rental properties and I do not.  We don't fight about it, but try to compromise.  We have 2 rentals and hope to sell them both this year.  They are not generating too much profit. 
   -> If so, how were they resolved or what decision did you make?

Thanks for the input & happy Mustachianing!

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 12:16:10 PM »
Just curious here. You don't have to answer them all. SO meaning someone you're committed to long term, whether married or not. I wanted to know the following with respect to your target nest egg amount:
 
A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board? I've always been the more FIRE-minded, but he's on board 100%.
B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change? It stayed the same, simply because while savings rate increased, the possibility of having children and thus more financial responsibilities appeared.
C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same? It greatly increased. My salary increased as well, but let's face it, living together helps with savings (don't need a 2-bedroom place, as opposed to a roomate situation, for example).
   ->I could see it staying the same or decreasing if your SO wasn't on board

D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages? Advantages (as above), setbacks... none so far. The setback would be if we ever separated and suddenly my savings rate would take a hit potentially. But it would simply go back to what it was before.
E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything? We have one joint account for joint purchases, but it has a bare minimum, and everything else is completely separate. However, we talk about EVERYTHING: from long-term investment strategies (it's become a healthy competition actually), to day-to-day banking.
F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate? We haven't purchased anything big together, but we share a car (bought by me) and are looking at buying a house (currently live in his condo). No issues on the "house-affordability and what we're looking for" end. No disagreements on those ends, but I'm more steady-as-she-goes-invest-in-index-funds kinds of girl, and he's invested in some buddies' companies and random stocks. We'll most likely keep our long-term investments separate for those reasons.
   -> If so, how were they resolved or what decision did you make? Keep a certain independence for many things, but with a combined long-term goal in place.

Thanks for the input & happy Mustachianing!

Roboturner

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 12:35:13 PM »
A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board?
SO was the one that got me into being frugal - the slope change was insane

B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change?
Her individual FIRE number went from 600k to 1MM with me involved, currently at 650k :) - should approach 1MM in about a two years. Prior to seeing the light, I assumed I'd just work and be a consumer sukka, retiring "early" at 50 or so, that timeline dropped 20 years, thank god.

C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same?
went up considerably, especially for me which was 0%-20% to 70%+, also coincided with a substantial pay increase for me (getting out of research/grad school and into private biz). Her salary was much, much larger than mine when we first got together, now they're equal, so we are in great shape as DINKS

D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages?
Took me a while to break habits of going out to lunch and beers and frivolous things, then swung to almost obsessive frugality, which has it's own drawbacks. Like a pendulum, we are both now settling into a nice, sustainable routine where we are smart about our purchases and don't feel deprived of 'fun'

E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything?
We were separate for the first few years, combined mint accounts last year

F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate?
The only disagreements really come from investing consistently, my SO can fall into the trap of being scared that the market is up or down etc - getting better though. There is also a minor disagreement about continuing to work past FIRE for a bigger house - I'm not sold on the idea, but we have some time to figure it out.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 12:43:11 PM by Roboturner »

mskyle

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2016, 03:28:53 PM »
A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board?
B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change?


I moved, switched careers, got involved with my fiance, and got serious about retiring early all within a six-month or so period, so I'm just going to skip the first two questions because they don't really apply.

C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same?
   ->I could see it staying the same or decreasing if your SO wasn't on board

I suspect my rate of savings would be about the same if I were single - I would probably end up paying more for housing and travel (i.e. things where sharing a bed saves you money), but less for food and household/entertainment stuff. My savings rate has gone way up while I've been with him (from ~10-15% to ~50-60%), but most of that is due to increases in my income rather than SO-related economy.

D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages?
Financially I think having another gainfully employed adult in my family is great! He does eat a lot more than me (I get free food at work, too, so my grocery bill was approaching zero before he moved in), so my food budget is bigger with him in my life. Probably the only really major financial drawback is that it's harder to say "no" to him than it is to say "no" to myself (especially when it's something that I want too!). Another nice plus is that we share things that I probably would not share with a housemate, like our one car.

E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything?
We mostly keep things separate/relatively private, but that's starting to get annoying as the "our expenses" category gets bigger and the "his expenses" and "my expenses" categories shrink. I can see us combining more in the next year or two. I guess we should talk about that! I think we'll most likely keep track of our own separate stashes, though - he's frugal but I'm more interested in retiring early and more tolerant of risk than he is; I will probably retire many years before him, and I want to have enough of a stash that I can keep contributing financially to the household.

F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate?
   -> If so, how were they resolved or what decision did you make?

So far, no big disagreements. Like I said, we keep our investments separate, so that's not an issue. We will probably buy a place to live in the next few years, which will be interesting. And we're getting started planning our wedding (not a huge blowout, but not a strictly Mustachian affair either), which I think will involve some negotiations and compromises on both of our parts.

nexus

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2016, 04:04:18 PM »
Thanks for all the comments so far. These have been really insightful to me as well as some other readers, I'm sure! It's nice to get a general idea of what works and doesn't work based on the general consistency of folk's responses. I've still got my fingers crossed that someone here has some not so positive outcomes that we can learn from too.

Zikoris

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2016, 05:43:33 PM »
A. He wants to have a slightly larger safety net than I would require, but that's fine with me. We discovered FIRE together shortly after we started dating, though I had a vague idea of the concept previously.

B. Our FIRE progress sped up greatly once we started working together on it. It took a bit of time to really get started because we met when we were very young - 21 and 22, with him still in school, and both of us working extremely low paying jobs.

C. Our savings rate skyrocketed once we both started working "real" jobs, because we never changed our lifestyle from our borderline-poverty days. We still haven't, four years later.

D. Our only real setback was that neither of us pursued any kind of useful education or training that leads to high income. We both struggled to get established in decent paying jobs, though we're good now. Our advantages are that we're extremely compatible as a couple, and he's very happy to go along with whatever systems I come up with. I pick an apartment that's walking distance to work, he'll walk to work. I have tupperwares of food ready to go, and he'll take them with him and not eat out. I don't get any pushback if I want to implement some new thing to save money.

E. We've always kept everything financial separate.

F. No disagreements on housing or investing, he just goes along with whatever I want. We both strongly prefer it that way. I'm the hyper-planner-organizer-nerd, and he's the chill-anything-goes one.

frugaldrummer

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2016, 06:08:39 PM »
Interesting questions.  I'll briefly sketch out my situation then reply:
I'm 60 and divorced. Have assets from my divorce (IRA, will get a third of my ex's pension, have $300 k equity in my $500 k home).  Still getting some of my kids through college and have my own business.  Receive alimony which will stop in 2 years.

BF of 3+ years - a wonderful man who sadly lost a big chunk of his adulthood to addiction.  He's 6 years sober now and doing great.  However he started with NOTHING when I met him.   I made it clear that while I had enough to fund MY retirement, I couldn't carry him too and he needed to get his financial act together to be able to contribute (he's 7 years younger btw.)  He doesn't live with me, but he has also started his own business, supports himself, and in the last 3 1/2 years has acquired all the NICE furnishings for his very nice rented apartment nearby, a huge TV (and a almost-as-huge one that he handed down to me lol), a used BMW wagon which he has fixed up, tons of clothes, fishing rods and reels, other toys, and $5,000 in savings.

A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board?
I expect his retirement to only be able to fund his basic living expenses, so I have to think of the house etc as all on me.  However, it would also have been on me if I was single.

B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change?

I'm a little late to be retiring early, but the truth is, I COULD retire today if I did not have so many people depending on me (adult kids in college, elderly mom living with me, etc.)  BF doesn't affect that equation much, except that in the future, it might lead me to one more year syndrome if his savings isn't looking good enough

C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same?

   Since we do not currently share living expenses, he doesn't affect my savings rate by that much.  I saved a little less the first year we were together as I helped him to get on his feet, but I save more now because he helps me with household maintenance chores.  I have also ramped up my savings more in anticipation of the fact that I am solely responsible for my retirement and might have to help him too

D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages?

He knew nothing about being a financially responsible adult and I have had to teach him.  He still shops way too much and buys too much stuff but he has improved dramatically over the years. He is not in debt and he is starting to save and get out of his scarcity mindset.  Advantages are having a loving partner who totally has my back if I need help with anything, like taking my mom to the doctor etc.

E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything?

Since we don't live together we keep things separate.  I know all about HIS finances but he doesn't know all the details about mine - I'm reluctant to share actual figures with him because I don't want him to think "Oh, she has plenty of money, she can help me" when actually it's just enough for a reasonably comfortable retirement for one.  Don't get me wrong - I would help him if needed, but what he really needs right now is the lessons of financial independence and self-sufficiency.

F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate?

Most disagreements have been about his spendy ways.  Since he's spending his own money I really have limited room to complain, but I try to help him see that the goal is for him to be able to save enough to retire with me someday.  I lead by example. He's actually improved dramatically in this regard, he's just having to learn lessons about responsible adult finances that most of us learned in our 20's.  I expect in the future, when we finally DO live together, there will be more potential for discord as we are both strong-willed people.  I anticipate keeping our finances separate even then to minimize the stress. I will probably pay all the housing costs and utilities that I do now anyway, but expect him to continue to pay for his own car, insurance, clothes, medical etc. Since he is younger he can work for several more years to build up assets, and without having to pay for housing, his social security will cover a lot of his expenses in the future.
   

deborah

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2016, 10:20:46 PM »
A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board?
B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change?


Getting a SO helped my FIRE tremendously. I tended to do-it-yourself, and he helped. Neither of us knew much at the beginning. I was a girl, and girls didn't learn woodwork... so he knew more than me, but I bought the house, which was in disrepair (but anything we did to it would improve it). I wanted to do stuff, and he was always there as another set of hands. I remember buying a circular saw and a belt sander. He said "you'll never use that" pointing to the sander. Three base plates later...

C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same?
   ->I could see it staying the same or decreasing if your SO wasn't on board

My savings rate increased with him around. He wasn't on board with being frugal, but we had separate finances for many years.He gradually came on board.

D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages?
It is a real advantage to have someone around as a sort of insurance policy when you get sacked, or hit by a bus, or have a chronic illness and have to be off work for six months. It turned out that I was able to cope with each of these disasters without his financial help, but having him around and willing to help financially, was really good.

E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything?
We keep things separate, but are always willing to lend money to each other. This means there have never been any disagreements about how to spend money (which is the major problem that causes break ups). If either of us had problems paying our share, we negotiated who paid what bills.

F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate?
   -> If so, how were they resolved or what decision did you make?

We have different risk profiles, and we just save differently to one another, but because our finances are separate, there are no arguments. We both recognise that the other's point of view is valid.

We have both been FIRE for a number of years, and we came upon the concept after we had retired. We never planned to retire early (and we didn't retire as early as many on this forum - we were only slightly early retirees), but we could have retired years before we did.

spicykissa

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Re: SO + FIRE Goals = ...?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2016, 01:55:01 AM »
A. If or how your FIRE numbers changed once your SO got on board?

We got together young and broke (I was 19, living with family, scrounging free stuff kind of broke!). We both mostly love our work now, so we're more aiming for FI than RE. I'm only just now in the black thanks to massive student loans, while he has a very nice ~$250,000 nest egg.

B. Similarly, once you went from single to 'not-single', did your FIRE number and/or timeline change?

Not really, see above. We've never been single as adults. 

C. Did your rate of savings increase, decrease, or stay the same?

Our saving rate has been directly correlated with my SO's income. The more he's made (from minimum wage to six figures over the last 8 years), the more we've saved. It's increasing exponentially with me finally starting to be able to save.

D. What were some of the biggest setbacks and advantages?

Biggest advantages are economies of scale. We got some help early on from his family that I will always appreciate (furniture, a free place to stay for a few months, car insurance). Also, I was able to go back to school to greatly increase my earning power and rely on him to pay our living expenses. This was also a temporary setback, as I had to take out more loans for tuition because he wasn't comfortable bankrolling that.
 
E. Did you keep things separate (and private), or combine and share everything?

We initially combined everything, and fought like crazy, over every cup of coffee. We were also very young and poor, which didn't help. We actually split our finances up, on purpose, before we got married to keep the peace. He paid the household bills and saved the rest of his income, and I focused on school and paid personal expenses with a part-time job. This arrangement has continued while I put all my full-time income to student loans for the past 2 years. I'm actually trying to figure out how best to proceed, since I paid those loans off last month! I think we may recombine somewhat, but keep our investments separate due to different philosophies/risk tolerances. We're aware of what the other has going on, but not as open as I would like.

F. Any major disagreements such as wanting to buy vs. rent, invest in the stock market vs. real estate? If so, how were they resolved or what decision did you make?

Major disagreements have included whether or not to invest in my husband's 401k--he refused for two years, preferring his taxable account, and only saw the light when we had a painful $10,000 tax bill last year. He even had a match that he left on the table. He's now maxing it out. Another (less contentious) disagreement was whether to get credit cards. I had a small amount of bad credit card debt that he paid off for me many years ago, and he has worried that it will be a problem again, plus he felt like it wasn't necessary if we had cash in the bank. He's coming around on that, having gotten a corporate card last year and liking the rewards. My diligence with the loan payoffs has also helped.