Author Topic: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!  (Read 6593 times)

Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« on: July 25, 2015, 02:58:48 PM »
I'm looking for advice that you experienced Mustachians have for my situation.

A bit of background:
I make a very good living (it varies, but usually around the 110K mark), and after learning about this way of life a little over a year ago I managed to invest about 60% of my net income last year, which sounds great but really is just puny because my husband takes care of all the household expenses except the groceries, clothing, and daycare... so I've been doing lots of reading the past few months about changing my mindset and living more frugally. That being said, I'm also decreasing my workload starting in January to spend more time with my son so next year my pay will be about halved.

Some numbers:
Age: 36
$187000 in RRSP
$ 53000 in TFSA
$ 92000 in non-registered index funds.

I think I'm starting from a good place (you tell me!), and want to retire by 45. At current rates, I'll be able to save $30000/yr even with reduced workload. (Hopefully more as I build my frugality muscles!)

My challenge is my husband. He has the heart of a mustachian. He HATES spending money (he ate a can of beans for lunch for a YEAR. Before we married he kept the thermostat at 10 degrees C - 50F - in the winter to save money! Needless to say, he paid off the house when we married 8 years ago). He also doesn't love his job (he also works part time now to spend more time with boy). So I know that early retirement for us is TOTALLY doable! But he will not make any plans with me. I want to be able to say: "X is our goal" and work together towards it then quit and enjoy FIRE together, but he just shrugs it off. I know very little about his finances except that he keeps a lot in the bank (about $300k?)- he has analysis paralysis and can't decide where to put it, despite both my and my financial adviser's attempts to persuade him to invest it. 
I did suggest a few weeks ago that based upon what I had invested and what he had saved I thought we could retire within 5 years (but this was really a wild guess since I don't know how much the bills are that he pays), but he just said that it is good to have an income and one never knows what's going to happen... ARGH!!!

I guess I'm just ranting now, so I'll ask some concrete questions:
1) Advice for retirement planning without spouse's information.

...I guess that's it. I can't ask how to change my husband because I've gone in circles on that front!!

---- the only other thought I've had is that somehow my frustration is my own problem (a la Jack Sparrow: "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem."). Thoughts on this front would be appreciated too!

Zx

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 03:18:30 PM »
Don't be frustrated...pretend that yesterday you were like me with 150k in debt at age 50, and now today you have what you have! What progress in only 24 hours!

That's interesting how your husband has that kind of cash just sitting in the bank, basically losing money if you compare his total to what it would be if he invested it. I can sympathize with you about your husband not getting excited and wanting to dive in with you.

My wife didn't want anything to do with this after some MMM forum people advised us on our situation rather brutally, from her perspective. And yes there are some trolls on here who will give you the obvious but pretend it's keen economic insight that you don't grasp like they do, but as far as relationship advice you would do better in the Journals section.

I think you are doing wonderfully well and are sitting pretty. The excitement just continues to build, I think, as you are transformed in your thinking and break free of the consumer mentality. I'm just trying to get out off the red mountain and start up the black mountain, but seeing it happen is worth the efforts and deprivations.

I work 2 jobs, 7 days per week. Can't remember when I've had a day off. Sometimes I think I'm going crazy, but it's worth it. I'll be free in the end. You, too, will be and you are doing GREAT! Someone told me to just live it and that my wife would come around eventually. Since your husband holds his cards close to the vest, maybe that's your only option: love him and kept right on keeping on!

KMMK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1472
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    • Meena Kestirke Insurance
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2015, 03:53:40 PM »
That's kind of unusual that you don't know his bills or total money. IMO total disclosure is really important, especially with separate finances.

As far as investing I had the exact same problem with my (now ex) husband. He refused to invest, so inflation was eating away at his money.

Basically you have to figure out FI just for yourself. What are your expenses? How much money do you need to cover those expenses indefinitely, and when you have that much, quit working. He can do whatever he wants. However, for safety I'd also calculate how much you'd need to support yourself, independent of your husband, and have a plan for getting that amount. It might end up being close to the same number - for example, it's much cheaper for me to be single, as I went car-free and am fine with cheaper housing options.

There's nothing wrong with doing calculations independently for FI. That's what I did (I tracked all our money; I just didn't control his) - my networth, his networth, joint networth. And I was forced to plan for my own FI independently as our situations with investments and pensions were so different.

wordnerd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2015, 04:03:05 PM »
My challenge is my husband. He has the heart of a mustachian. He HATES spending money (he ate a can of beans for lunch for a YEAR. Before we married he kept the thermostat at 10 degrees C - 50F - in the winter to save money! Needless to say, he paid off the house when we married 8 years ago). He also doesn't love his job (he also works part time now to spend more time with boy). So I know that early retirement for us is TOTALLY doable! But he will not make any plans with me. I want to be able to say: "X is our goal" and work together towards it then quit and enjoy FIRE together, but he just shrugs it off. I know very little about his finances except that he keeps a lot in the bank (about $300k?)- he has analysis paralysis and can't decide where to put it, despite both my and my financial adviser's attempts to persuade him to invest it. 

This strikes me as problematic. Separate finances work for a lot of people. And, a lot of spouses take some time to come around to the idea of FIRE being possible (I did). But your phrasing here suggests that he's unwilling to work toward any common goals with you, which I have trouble understanding. If I'm misinterpreting, I would continue to talk to him about FIRE, the math of it, explain the changes you're making, and see if he warms up to it. If he really is against making plans with you, then your only choice seems to be plan for FIRE on your own, and it looks like you're on a good path.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7396
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 05:23:09 PM »
Sometimes people have paradigm paralysis. Maybe start selling him on the dream of getting to retire early. What are all the great things he'd like to do if he didn't have to work? Maybe send him some good pages from MMM's blog. Maybe show him some good forum threads. It might take time. But the good news is that it sounds like you won't have to change his spending habits :)

MDM

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9406
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2015, 05:40:26 PM »
I know very little about his finances

1) Advice for retirement planning without spouse's information.
Well, that certainly is a problem. 
Are you planning to retire together or go your separate ways?
Do you file your taxes jointly or separately?


Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2015, 06:08:37 PM »

Basically you have to figure out FI just for yourself.
...
 However, for safety I'd also calculate how much you'd need to support yourself, independent of your husband, and have a plan for getting that amount.

This seems like a good idea. I guess I was hoping to retire earlier (relying on his contribution to retirement), but maybe if I plan for the worst while continuing to extol the virtues of FIRE, he will come around and I won't have to work that long...

Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2015, 06:10:15 PM »
Don't be frustrated...pretend that yesterday you were like me with 150k in debt at age 50, and now today you have what you have! What progress in only 24 hours!

...
Someone told me to just live it and that my wife would come around eventually. Since your husband holds his cards close to the vest, maybe that's your only option: love him and kept right on keeping on!

Thanks for the positive thoughts!

Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2015, 06:14:43 PM »
. It might take time. But the good news is that it sounds like you won't have to change his spending habits :)
Thanks for the tips. I am so glad that he has a frugal mindset. In reality, my "problems" with him are not as bad as some challenges spouses have with their SO! (In fact, he is more frugal than I am, strictly speaking about spending)

Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2015, 06:24:29 PM »
I know very little about his finances

1) Advice for retirement planning without spouse's information.
Well, that certainly is a problem. 
Are you planning to retire together or go your separate ways?
Do you file your taxes jointly or separately?

I assume retire together... When we married, we discussed a prenuptial agreement, and he said that he didn't feel the need for one, because if our marriage failed he would consider that so great a loss that the loss of his money would be nothing. (I had negative net worth at that point and he had positive, paid off house etc. So I didn't have much to lose without a prenup). I take that and all of his other actions since except this refusal to plan retirement as proof that he intends to stay with me (and I certainly do with him).

This year was the first that we filed together.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8291
  • Age: 62
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2015, 06:34:20 PM »
Yes, but you are not communicating. Counseling? For just you, if he won't go, but better the two of you together. You need to be working as a team, and you are not.

MDM

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9406
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2015, 06:36:04 PM »
I assume retire together... When we married, we discussed a prenuptial agreement, and he said that he didn't feel the need for one, because if our marriage failed he would consider that so great a loss that the loss of his money would be nothing. (I had negative net worth at that point and he had positive, paid off house etc. So I didn't have much to lose without a prenup). I take that and all of his other actions since except this refusal to plan retirement as proof that he intends to stay with me (and I certainly do with him).
Ok, looks good - best wishes for the same or better going forward.

Quote
This year was the first that we filed together.
That's a start.  Any surprises (e.g., interest from an unknown back account, amount of income, etc.)?

Have you considered using Quicken (or any other tool with similar functions) to consolidate all your combined assets, liabilities, spending, and projections in one place?  If at all possible, planning together would be better than planning separately.

Dee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
  • Location: Ottawa, Canada
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2015, 08:57:55 PM »
Maybe a way to get more disclosure from him about all his assets and the nuts and bolts of his personal finances would be to appeal to him about how you would manage if he were incapacitated or deceased? Have you both got wills and Powers of Attorney in place? They would be prudent things to have in any case but in your situation may have the added benefit of letting you see his financial picture. If he ever became unable to pay his portion of the bills, it may not be an actual problem if you don't know how much the bills he pays are, but you need to at least know which bills need paying and where to pay them from (and have authority to do so, based on a power of attorney or joint account).

Since he is so clear that he is committed to your marriage, long-term, it seems odd that he doesn't want to plan for a common future... maybe have more general discussions with him about what he'd like in the future and whether he has implicit expectations about what you'll be doing or is more open to you doing whatever you like...

Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2015, 07:31:16 AM »
... maybe have more general discussions with him about what he'd like in the future and whether he has implicit expectations about what you'll be doing or is more open to you doing whatever you like...

Thanks for the idea... I think maybe trying to understanding his motivation will help a lot.

We do have a will and power of attorney in place, so we're covered there.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2015, 10:31:07 AM »
What was your rationale for not combining finances in the first place? Is it time to revisit that?

Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2015, 10:43:25 AM »
So the good news is he has money in the bank!

Could you and your financial advisor maybe go for coffee with him, and just show him the math on what he is losing?

We have done this already.... I wonder if he is so risk-averse that he can't invest for fear of losing?

Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2015, 10:49:07 AM »
What was your rationale for not combining finances in the first place? Is it time to revisit that?

Yeah, this is a good idea. When we married, we lived in two locations, and it was a few years until a job came available so we could live and work in the same area. So since we had two sets of expenses (I know, so anti-mustachian!) I continued to pay for "my" apartment and car and living expenses, and he continued to pay for "his" house, car and living expenses...  We never revisited that when we combined households.


Nangirl17

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2015, 09:59:04 AM »
Thanks everyone, for your help!  Our financial relationship has taken steps in the right direction!

We had some very productive conversations, he agreed to full disclosure of his finances (he was never against that, just didn't see the need for taking the time to go through it all together!), and even met with the financial planner with me - twice! The CFP put together our financial statements and made a plan for us to retire at 49/55 (me/DH respectively - in 13 years! lol). I know from being on this forum that we could be FIRE, but she isn't a MMM fan... :-)  and neither of us are ready to stop working anyway, so there is no conflict.

DH hasn't decided yet what to do with his cash, (the CFP gave him a bunch of options), but he does see the need for doing something other than keeping it in a savings account. He just has to weigh his options, and decide.

Even though we aren't ready to FIRE, I feel better knowing where we stand. I'll keep working on building my frugality muscles, and then we'll (DV) be sitting pretty when we do take the plunge!

Thanks again!

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7826
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Beginner, but SOOO frustrated!!
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2015, 10:28:03 AM »
That's great! He can always put his money heavily into bonds if he's risk averse. Not as great earnings of course, but better than cash, and might feel better psychologically to him. You could then put 100% of your money into stocks, REITs, whatever other aggressive investments you prefer to balance his caution out.