Author Topic: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet  (Read 5888 times)

somers515

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 69
Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« on: November 22, 2016, 08:06:37 PM »
Let's say spouse #1 has been bitten by the MMM bug.  Spouse #1 tracks the household expenses for a year.  Spouse #1 is always proposing different ways to whittle it down.  Sometimes spouse #2 agrees, sometimes he/she does not - so progress is made spend wise but more is definitely laying out there on the table so to speak.

Let's also say that spouse #2 got a large raise about a year ago.  As a result spouse #1 could stop working and they would still have a savings rate over 40%.  Spouse #1 unhappy at work asks spouse #2, ok if I stop working and spouse #2 says sure.  Since they have teenagers and there will possibly still be sizable contributions being made to colleges to come, it will still take about 10-12 years till FI at their current spending.

Anyone see any potential issues with this plan?  Not a trick question - just curious for the forum's ideas on this type of scenario.  Thanks!

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9905
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2016, 08:20:49 PM »
I think you need to be more specific that your intention is to quit work FOR GOOD if that is really your plan.   And have a backup plan if things go south and you are not able to rely on spouse #2's income in the future for some reason -- due to job loss, illness, divorce, etc.

Also I personally would not quit until the college fund is there.  My quitting coincided with us moving back to home state, where the roughly 80k/kid we currently have should be enough to cover in-state tuition, room and board for each of them. 

With This Herring

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1208
  • Location: New York STATE, not city
  • TANSTAAFL!
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2016, 11:00:36 PM »
+1 to lhamo's request that the situation be clarified to Spouse #2.

In addition to lhamo's concerns, it would be better to hash out ahead of time what Spouse #2 how sees Spouse #1's responsibilities while #2 works and #1 doesn't.  Will 2 expect 1 to do ALL cooking, cleaning, running kids to activities, and home maintenance?  Will 2 expect to help out 1 on weekends or not at all?  Will 2 expect that 1 will still carry all responsibilities alone after 2 eventually retires, as it has been set as the status quo?  Will 2 be upset to get home and find that 1 has had a relaxing day reading, sipping tea, and pottering around while 2 had five long meetings and had to sweet-talk a client down from severing the business relationship?

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3065
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2016, 11:15:01 PM »
Let's say spouse #1 has been bitten by the MMM bug.  Spouse #1 tracks the household expenses for a year.  Spouse #1 is always proposing different ways to whittle it down.  Sometimes spouse #2 agrees, sometimes he/she does not - so progress is made spend wise but more is definitely laying out there on the table so to speak.

Let's also say that spouse #2 got a large raise about a year ago.  As a result spouse #1 could stop working and they would still have a savings rate over 40%.  Spouse #1 unhappy at work asks spouse #2, ok if I stop working and spouse #2 says sure.  Since they have teenagers and there will possibly still be sizable contributions being made to colleges to come, it will still take about 10-12 years till FI at their current spending.

Anyone see any potential issues with this plan?  Not a trick question - just curious for the forum's ideas on this type of scenario.  Thanks!

I agree with the other responders that you two need to have a conversation about expectations and details. Does this mean quitting forever?  No sidle hustle or anything?  Will #2 expect #1 to pick up more household chores, and is 1 okay with that?  What chores, exactly? Will there be other added expectations of 1, like that s/he cook more from scratch, be in charge of all kid activities and homework, or whatever?  Is 1 planning on doing things to further cut the budget, and if so are 1 and 2 on the same page about that?  What's the plan for 2's retirement?

That last question would probably be the biggest issue for me if I was person 2.  #1 leaving the workforce extends the amount of time 2 would have to work, and I'd probably struggle a bit with that.  So I'd want a clear plan about when I got to retire and what ways my spouse was planning on using his retirement to cut costs so that the amount of time my work-life was extended was minimized as much as possible.  If spouse made 50k but planned to use additional time to cut the budget by $15k, then I'd only be looking at $35k/y more needed.  It would be tough for me not to resent spouse just leaving the workforce and putting the burden 100% on my to finish funding the college funds and building the stache, so I'd need to see some sort of acknowledgement of that and an attempt on the part of the ER-ing spouse to offset as much of that as possible.  YMMV.

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6535
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 12:31:39 AM »
Let's say spouse #1 has been bitten by the MMM bug.  Spouse #1 tracks the household expenses for a year.  Spouse #1 is always proposing different ways to whittle it down.  Sometimes spouse #2 agrees, sometimes he/she does not - so progress is made spend wise but more is definitely laying out there on the table so to speak.

Let's also say that spouse #2 got a large raise about a year ago.  As a result spouse #1 could stop working and they would still have a savings rate over 40%.  Spouse #1 unhappy at work asks spouse #2, ok if I stop working and spouse #2 says sure.  Since they have teenagers and there will possibly still be sizable contributions being made to colleges to come, it will still take about 10-12 years till FI at their current spending.

Anyone see any potential issues with this plan?  Not a trick question - just curious for the forum's ideas on this type of scenario.  Thanks!

Am I right to assume you are spouse 1? You mentioned in an earlier post of yours that you are the one who is "working on your wife" to try and get her to become a better saver.

It's not really a plan. And I agree with others that there's much potential for resentment. How do you think your wife would feel a decade from now when she is still working to support the both of you while you do...what exactly? Track your budgets?

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5896
  • Location: Norway
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 01:22:51 AM »
The suggestion is to let one spouse work to sponsor the other spouses early retirement. And with that delaying his/her own retirement. Does not sound really reasonable to me.
It would be something else if the retiring spouse would solve a family problem, like raising small children and running the household. More like traditional house wives did in the past. But in modern families it it sounds a bit unreasonable to let one spouse work while the other spouse just has fun.

I remember that when my husband was on 70% sick leave over a longer period of time, I did not really like to see him sleeping out while I had to go to work early. Even though I realized he was not to blame and he was in that situation because he had a lot of pain.

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8949
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 01:32:00 AM »
There are several people on the forum who had one person retire before the other, but they were already FI, and one wanted to keep on working, while the other didn't, so they didn't need the money. Retiring early by cadging off your PARTNER who doesn't even understand ER, sounds to me like a sure fire recipe for divorce.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4686
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2016, 02:31:51 AM »
Going just by the rather short initial post the motivating factor for spouse 1 seems to be more about being unhappy at work than about specifically having an interest in RE.  If I'm right about that, the answer is to stop being unhappy at work rather than giving it up altogether.  Easier said than done, of course, but some answers are 1) a change of attitude to the job you have (mainly, take the emotion out of it) 2) go part time 3) find another job.

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1731
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2016, 11:44:38 AM »
I agree with others that spouses need to clarify what this all means.

Several people in the ER community have had one spouse retire while the other continues to work for varying periods of time.  MMM, Retire by 40, and Root of Good blogs come to mind.  Interestingly when the non-employed spouse is male, he's deemed "retired" but when it's the female she's a "SAHM".

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2615
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2016, 01:29:39 PM »
I'm interested in how this works out, because this could be me in the future.

I work because they pay me. Sometimes the work is interesting and sometimes it sucks the life out of me, but I do it for the money. That is all. Spouse has a real calling wrt work - did it for free before getting a paid position and would still do it if money was no object (if we won the lottery).

We are fairly similar in terms of spendiness; I'm slightly more savey, but pretty close. At some point we may be FI and my partner will choose to work. I will not.

@somers515
From your OP it seems like Spouse 2 is spendier compared to Spouse 1. It could be an awkward dynamic if Spouse 1 is saying they need to cut down on spending will Spouse 2 is wanting to spend more and doing all the earning. You know your partner better than us as to whether that could be a problem for you.

On the other hand; Spouse 2 may be very happy to hand control of finances and decision making over to Spouse 1, on the understanding that Spouse 1 will either make it work on Spouse 2's wages or earn the money to bridge the gap. Would that work for you?

From an efficiency point of view, Spouse 2's higher wages (if considerably higher) may also influence this. If Spouse 2 is earning ten times more per hour than Spouse 1, does it really make sense for Spouse 1 to work ten days to earn the same as Spouse 2 makes in one day? Or would Spouse 1's time be better spent taking household chores off Spouse 2 so that they can focus more on work?

@Mary W, I like the notion of a 'house-spouse' for someone who is not FI and not a parent. I would be tempted to set the Internet Retirement Police on someone who called themselves retired while they needed their spouse to work. Is the phrase 'kept' used outside of the UK (meaning financed by your (working) partner).

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2016, 01:34:06 PM »
i dont consider it early retirement if one spouse quits working and the other is supporting the family ... thats called being a stay at home parent when you have kids.  not sure what its called when you dont.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2016, 01:44:20 PM »
I'm (sort of) in this situation and agree it's rife with potential problems.  My DH is the RE one and he brings in about 1/3 of our HH income (pension).  I'd say he takes no more responsibility/activity than I do in running the HH although he does handle a number of time-specific workweek tasks (mostly involving childcare) and is the on-call go-to parent for e.g. sick days (I definitely manage some of these, though, but I have flexibility in saying whether I can/cannot).  He's noticeably older than me, so seen over a life course perspective he did not retire earlier than I expect to nor based on available information would an actuary tell you he'll have more years in retirement than I would, and I remind myself of this when I feel like biting his head off which doesn't happen THAT often, but definitely happens.  As far as he is concerned (I am oversimplifying here), he is retired, and annoyed that he has HH responsibilities at all.  As far as I am concerned, I am working FT and OMG man, would you please step up to the plate to keep our lives running more smoothly?

That is an overstatement (truly).  There is lots of good stuff about our situation and my DH and I am glad he is home and available "on call" even if sometimes grumpy about it.

But if he'd just quit his job and weren't bringing in a pension and were the same age as me and wasn't playing the role of household manager (a lot more than he in fact does), I'd probably strangle him.  Just sayin'.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2016, 02:38:34 PM »
i dont consider it early retirement if one spouse quits working and the other is supporting the family ... thats called being a stay at home parent when you have kids.  not sure what its called when you dont.

re·tire·ment
rəˈtī(ə)rmənt/
noun
1.
the action or fact of leaving one's job and ceasing to work.
"a man nearing retirement"

Every definition of retirement I've seen is similar to above. I have yet to see a definition where retirement depends on a spouses employment or where kids are currently living.

Can someone retire if a spouse only works part time? How about if the spouse volunteers? If you are married to someone who never wants to retire, does that mean you can never retire by your definition? Are you still a stay at home parent if your child is in their 30's or 40's and living with you?

With This Herring

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1208
  • Location: New York STATE, not city
  • TANSTAAFL!
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2016, 03:26:01 PM »
*snip*
@Mary W, I like the notion of a 'house-spouse' for someone who is not FI and not a parent. I would be tempted to set the Internet Retirement Police on someone who called themselves retired while they needed their spouse to work. Is the phrase 'kept' used outside of the UK (meaning financed by your (working) partner).

This term is used in the US ("a kept woman" or "a kept man").  I've never heard it with names, just those specific phrases.  It is a bit of a negative, connoting (usually) a mistress (or the male version, what is that called?) who is kept in addition to one's spouse.  Less commonly, it might be sometimes be used for a trophy wife/husband.  I would not use it regarding anyone with whom I wanted to remain friendly...

Is this a positive or at least neutral phrase in the UK?

cats

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1155
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2016, 04:03:06 PM »
My one thought (beyond what's been said here) is that spouse #1 should really evaluate whether their thoughts on spouse #2's job satisfaction/happiness to work are accurate.  My mom was a bit like spouse #1 (hated her job), then quit to be a SAHM.  She always used to tell us that my dad was so lucky that he liked his work.  Looking back, I think my dad had a higher than average level of job satisfaction, but I'm not sure he was *quite* as gung-ho on working as my mom would have had us believe.  It might have been nice for him to have had the option to retire at, say, 60, instead of 65.


I also am wary of quitting work completely as the solution to a bad job situation.  Has spouse #2 made an effort to find a different job or make current job more palatable?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 09:17:59 PM by cats »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2016, 05:24:40 PM »
i dont consider it early retirement if one spouse quits working and the other is supporting the family ... thats called being a stay at home parent when you have kids.  not sure what its called when you dont.

re·tire·ment
rəˈtī(ə)rmənt/
noun
1.
the action or fact of leaving one's job and ceasing to work.
"a man nearing retirement"

Every definition of retirement I've seen is similar to above. I have yet to see a definition where retirement depends on a spouses employment or where kids are currently living.

Can someone retire if a spouse only works part time? How about if the spouse volunteers? If you are married to someone who never wants to retire, does that mean you can never retire by your definition? Are you still a stay at home parent if your child is in their 30's or 40's and living with you?


Yep you're right it's just not being financially independent so I guess you can call it whatever you want then. When I quit my hs job and went to college I guess I retired. We should start using that term for everything like that.

The mindset of I want to stay home when not financially independent and letting your spouse keep working means every trophy spouse is retired etc. call it what you want but in the context of this site I don think it fits. 

More over the op and their so need to get on the same page.

somers515

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 69
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2016, 05:49:11 PM »
"The mindset of I want to stay home when not financially independent and letting your spouse keep working means every trophy spouse is retired etc. call it what you want but in the context of this site I don think it fits. 

More over the op and their so need to get on the same page."


I'm the OP.  I posed a hypothetical.  Everyone's responses so far have been really interesting - thank you all.

However, I'd just like to point out in the hypothetical spouse #1 didn't call themselves "retired" or "financially independent", spouse #1 and spouse #2 are on the same page, and spouse #1 didn't not offer to do more housework (sorry to use a double negative).  These are all things people are reading into the hypothetical.

I'll say again, thank you for the responses - I've found a lot of this insightful.  Perhaps my hypothetical could have been cleaner though.  I'm a little worried this perhaps deserves a new post but maybe this could paint a clearer picture.

Trying a different way:
Let's say spouse #1 and spouse #2 have investments of 1,000,000.
Spouse #1 would prefer to be FIRE and spend $40,000 a year.
Spouse #2 would prefer to keep working and spend $70,000 a year.  Not because he/she doesn't understand FIRE but because that's their choice.
Is Spouse #1 wrong to stop working after discussion with Spouse #2?

I'm hearing that the forum feels Spouse #1 better be VERY clear that Spouse #2 is 100% on the same page and that Spouse #1 better not just lie around all day and should be doing LOTS if not all of the housework and be ready to earn side-hustle income if Spouse #2 changes his/her mind about any of this.  And finally Spouse #1 better be prepared for a negative perception by others outside their marriage.  Fair summary?  Anyone feel differently?  Thanks again!


« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 06:11:52 PM by somers515 »

With This Herring

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1208
  • Location: New York STATE, not city
  • TANSTAAFL!
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2016, 06:42:33 PM »
*snip*

I'm hearing that the forum feels Spouse #1 better be VERY clear that Spouse #2 is 100% on the same page and that Spouse #1 better not just lie around all day and should be doing LOTS if not all of the housework and be ready to earn side-hustle income if Spouse #2 changes his/her mind about any of this.  And finally Spouse #1 better be prepared for a negative perception by others outside their marriage.  Fair summary?  Anyone feel differently?  Thanks again!

People on this forum aren't trying to dictate what #1 and #2 do.  #1 and #2 could agree to split the housework evenly or agree that #1 will do 80% or 100% of the housework or whatnot.  We're just pointing out that what may sound good on paper to #2 may cause resentment once it's actually happening, so that kind of thing should be discussed ahead of time.

I'm not sure what happens if #2 changes his/her mind.  That would probably be something to hash out ahead of time, or maybe have a one-month to six-month trial run of the arrangement.

Yes, #1 is probably going to get judged unless the couple is explicitly telling the world "#1 is a SAH parent" or "#1 works from home."  But, people are judged whatever they do, so don't base your decision on that.

Ynari

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 543
  • Age: 27
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2016, 07:03:57 PM »
I think perspective matters a lot. In a certain way, this is similar to having a SAHP, as mentioned above, or supporting a spouse through grad school or other life phase. Any of these situations can either be natural consequences of the relationship and financial/life circumstances, or go all the way to a divisive disaster. What matters is that one partner values the other partner's choices (on an "I respect your decisions" and an "I think your goal is a worthy one" level) and doesn't perceive a disproportional cost to themselves because of it. E.g. my partner doesn't mind "subsidizing" my grad school, but many people might find that a point of conflict if they have to sacrifice quality of life and don't see it as being that important.

Same goes for RE - if Spouse 1 quits their job and Spouse 2 agrees it's a good decision and doesn't cost them any quality of life, I don't see why it would be a problem. It goes beyond being on the same page, to holding similar (or at least compatible) values about happiness, success, and life purpose.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3065
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2016, 09:33:27 PM »
If there is in fact enough stache to retire today into a reasonable lifestyle that spouse 1 would be 100% comfortable with, but with which spouse 2 would feel overly constrained, that does change things.

But since college savings were mentioned, unless spouse 2 if fine with not doing that (or with whatever has been put aside up until now),  it seems like that's not quite the case.

And even if it is the case, to me, marriage is about compromise.  I don't just get to quit when I'm comfortable, regardless of what DH about that.  I'd likely take my number and his and average them, and work until we were at a stache that would allow that amount If he wasn't willing to meet in the middle, then my proposal would be that I'd work until the middle and the rest would be on him.  So if I wanted 40k and he wanted 80k, I'd work until we got to a number that would allow us 60k in spending money and then quit.  Of course this would be a conversation and I'd be open to other options and to his input, but that's where I start. 

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2615
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2016, 12:54:40 AM »
Trying a different way:
Let's say spouse #1 and spouse #2 have investments of 1,000,000.
Spouse #1 would prefer to be FIRE and spend $40,000 a year.
Spouse #2 would prefer to keep working and spend $70,000 a year.  Not because he/she doesn't understand FIRE but because that's their choice.
Is Spouse #1 wrong to stop working after discussion with Spouse #2?

I'm hearing that the forum feels Spouse #1 better be VERY clear that Spouse #2 is 100% on the same page and that Spouse #1 better not just lie around all day and should be doing LOTS if not all of the housework and be ready to earn side-hustle income if Spouse #2 changes his/her mind about any of this.  And finally Spouse #1 better be prepared for a negative perception by others outside their marriage.  Fair summary?  Anyone feel differently?  Thanks again!

It's not a requirement that Spouse 1 does lots or all of the housework; I brought that up as an example of balancing effort, but it's not a necessity for me to pass my internet judgement on this and deem it to be acceptable. In my household then when one of us is having a busy time (either with caring or busy with work or stressing or grieving) then the other picks up a lot of the slack in the household chores. If one of us stopped working then the other would probably pick up more chores; but the key is that we do what works for us. I think it is worth a conversation between spouses.

There are some times when money and time are interchangeable. If Spouse 1 has budgeted $40k which excludes paying for  a gardening service; it would feel wrong to me if they expect Spouse 2 to do the gardening after work. I can't tell what you mean when you talk about a 40% savings rate if Spouse 1 isn't working - is this with the additional savings you've identified or spending at Spouse 2's level?

I'm interested in what the $30k difference in budget is (but it isn't any of my business if you don't want to share). If it's all things that you've agreed to differ on, I don't see a problem. I could see it getting awkward if Spouse 1 wanted to go on an exotic family holiday that wasn't in the $40k budget (say). If the $30k difference is predominantly benefiting Spouse 2 (expensive hobby) or is stuff that Spouse 1 would be perfectly happy without then I foresee fewer issues.

Spouse 1 will get judgement from people, but that doesn't mean the judgement is warranted. Our heroes MMM, Jacob, RoG and the GCCs get plenty of judgement; but so what. Go into it with your eyes wide open; decide what you're going to say when people ask what you do and find a happy place when people that don't get it judge you for stopping work. This is no different to if you were 'conventionally' FIREd.

As long as Spouses 1 and 2 are on the same page; I hereby approve this plan and bestow the blessings of an internet stranger upon you both.

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2615
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2016, 01:27:20 AM »
*snip*
@Mary W, I like the notion of a 'house-spouse' for someone who is not FI and not a parent. I would be tempted to set the Internet Retirement Police on someone who called themselves retired while they needed their spouse to work. Is the phrase 'kept' used outside of the UK (meaning financed by your (working) partner).

This term is used in the US ("a kept woman" or "a kept man").  I've never heard it with names, just those specific phrases.  It is a bit of a negative, connoting (usually) a mistress (or the male version, what is that called?) who is kept in addition to one's spouse.  Less commonly, it might be sometimes be used for a trophy wife/husband.  I would not use it regarding anyone with whom I wanted to remain friendly...

Is this a positive or at least neutral phrase in the UK?

We'd also say 'kept woman' or 'kept man'.  I've heard it used more frequently for a spouse who doesn't work rather than a mistress or man-candy-on-the-side; although the origins are for mistresses. If I read about it in C19th or earlier literature I'd assume it referred to a mistress or concubine.

Over here it's one of those words that people have taken ownership of (in the same way that some have reclaimed insults like queer, bitch or Paddy). So SOME people will happily refer to themselves as 'a kept woman' or 'a kept man'.

I wouldn't say the phrase is an insult, but I'd be careful of using it with a stranger due to the connotations of someone who doesn't work being lazy/a freeloader/a trophy spouse. [One of my neighbours asked me if I was a SAHM, I said no kids, they asked if I was a kept woman, I said I have a full time job but work from home most days, they were most embarrassed. The embarrassment was because they'd questioned my work ethic rather than the word used, laughs were had. If only they knew how thin my work ethic is.] I'd use it as a neutral term with someone that had previously used it about themselves. 'Kept man' is much more acceptable than 'trophy husband' or 'boy-toy' IME.

A difference is that it is easier in the UK to not work and to claim benefits forever; there is a real stigma about this in some circles (I think the stigma is similar to the US with foodstamps and maybe the ACA?). So some people who don't work are more concerned about people thinking that they are abusing benefits than people thinking their spouse is supporting them.

For clarity, I don't think any of this applies to the OP. Spouse 1 would be FI for their desired level of spending and may call themselves anything they like.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5896
  • Location: Norway
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2016, 01:56:00 AM »

A difference is that it is easier in the UK to not work and to claim benefits forever; there is a real stigma about this in some circles (I think the stigma is similar to the US with foodstamps and maybe the ACA?). So some people who don't work are more concerned about people thinking that they are abusing benefits than people thinking their spouse is supporting them.


And I think this might depend on where you live. I Norway there are regions where so many people are living on benefits, that it is hardly considered embarrassing in that region. Especially if your friends and neighbours are in the same situation.

By the way, I once knew a woman who was a kept woman and she was really proud of it: "My husband earns enough, so I don't need to work". I thought it was a bit weird that her husband accepted that he had to work full-time while she could have all the fun. And I also thought it was weird that she wanted to be so financially dependent on her husband, not building up her own pension. It is not a very modern way of living.

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2615
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2016, 02:10:33 AM »

A difference is that it is easier in the UK to not work and to claim benefits forever; there is a real stigma about this in some circles (I think the stigma is similar to the US with foodstamps and maybe the ACA?). So some people who don't work are more concerned about people thinking that they are abusing benefits than people thinking their spouse is supporting them.


And I think this might depend on where you live. I Norway there are regions where so many people are living on benefits, that it is hardly considered embarrassing in that region. Especially if your friends and neighbours are in the same situation.

By the way, I once knew a woman who was a kept woman and she was really proud of it: "My husband earns enough, so I don't need to work". I thought it was a bit weird that her husband accepted that he had to work full-time while she could have all the fun. And I also thought it was weird that she wanted to be so financially dependent on her husband, not building up her own pension. It is not a very modern way of living.

100% to all that.

Where I grew up the stigma of receiving benefits was different depending on which end of the street you lived on! It's isn't universal at all, but is very strong in places. Are people in Norway more enlightened in general or is it specific regions with high need/dependency on benefits? I brought up the idea because I found the comparison of different stigmas interesting, rather than to judge people who receive benefits. Attitudes seem very different in Europe compared to the US.

I'd also be really concerned about being so financially dependent on my spouse (as the kept woman you referenced). To not have any money in my own name or pension in case the relationship ended would scare me too much. Also if I had never worked or developed myself in a career I'd feel like a huge waste of talent.

Again, not a slight to the OP, sorry if you feel this is getting too off-topic.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5896
  • Location: Norway
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2016, 02:21:58 AM »

Where I grew up the stigma of receiving benefits was different depending on which end of the street you lived on! It's isn't universal at all, but is very strong in places. Are people in Norway more enlightened in general or is it specific regions with high need/dependency on benefits?

I was thinking of specific regions where there ain't that many jobs available.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2016, 02:58:12 PM »
Trying a different way:
Let's say spouse #1 and spouse #2 have investments of 1,000,000.
Spouse #1 would prefer to be FIRE and spend $40,000 a year.
Spouse #2 would prefer to keep working and spend $70,000 a year.  Not because he/she doesn't understand FIRE but because that's their choice.
Is Spouse #1 wrong to stop working after discussion with Spouse #2?

My wife and I are just like your description but with bigger numbers inserted. I consider myself retired because I have no desire to work again for money. My wife continues to work because she enjoys her profession even if she doesn't need the money. It is essentially excess that will be inherited by our children someday. I get lots of people who say I can't be retired because my wife works which irks me. However, it always comes from someone who wishes they were in my shoes. Those few I have met that are in the same shoes as me, they completely understand.

I say if your spouse is supportive of you quitting/retiring/whatever you deem to call it, then by all means do it. You will have to learn how to deal with a bit of jealousy from others wishing they were in your shoes but I find that pretty easy to do with all the time I now have on my hands to do as I please.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5790
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2016, 05:14:10 PM »
Sometimes people think they will be ok with something but later on get resentful.  If a person is much older and wants to retire that is one thing because they only have so much time left. Likely by then they are bringing home a pension or SS. But to just quit without small kids at home personally I would not be happy.

somers515

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 69
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2017, 09:55:16 AM »
As long as Spouses 1 and 2 are on the same page; I hereby approve this plan and bestow the blessings of an internet stranger upon you both.

Just posting a little addendum to this thread.  Yes the hypothetical loosely tracks my life situation as others have guessed but I wasn't going to admit that before giving notice at work!  I recently handed in my notice and it has been very enlightening.  I don't use retirement or FI or any language of the sort, just say I'll be taking a break.  And I think that is really the truth.  I'm not sure what I'll do next.

Thank you to all who posted on this thread, you gave me a lot to think about but the quote above not only made me laugh but sums it all up the best.  Not sure about hypothetical spouse 1 and 2 but I can report that my wife and I are on the same page.  Thanks!

farmecologist

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2017, 10:03:33 AM »
I guess both of us struggle with what "ready" means.   Especially with the new administration and uncertainties with the ACA, two almost-college-age- kids, etc... Also, we are pretty much both in the 'prime earning' years at our jobs.  So for now we are sticking it out.


Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6728
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2017, 10:15:45 AM »
Spouse #1 unhappy at work asks spouse #2, ok if I stop working and spouse #2 says sure. 

If two married adults agree to a plan than I don't see what the issue would be. Nobody here knows your spouse better than you so we aren't going to know what to do better than you. You've got approval so go for it. Keep talking to them about it and see what happens.

It's not like you can't go back to work at a different job you like better if your spouse changes their mind.

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2615
Re: Curious for your thoughts, one spouse ready for ER, one not yet
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2017, 11:33:08 AM »
As long as Spouses 1 and 2 are on the same page; I hereby approve this plan and bestow the blessings of an internet stranger upon you both.

Just posting a little addendum to this thread.  Yes the hypothetical loosely tracks my life situation as others have guessed but I wasn't going to admit that before giving notice at work!  I recently handed in my notice and it has been very enlightening.  I don't use retirement or FI or any language of the sort, just say I'll be taking a break.  And I think that is really the truth.  I'm not sure what I'll do next.

Thank you to all who posted on this thread, you gave me a lot to think about but the quote above not only made me laugh but sums it all up the best.  Not sure about hypothetical spouse 1 and 2 but I can report that my wife and I are on the same page.  Thanks!

So pleased for you both.