Author Topic: Having THE TALK with a current partner  (Read 6938 times)

Laura33

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2019, 02:06:38 PM »
I would think that if someone is being shut down on an important issue, the first step is to talk about how there's a communication problem in the relationship and take responsibility for their role in that problem.

I think we are all biased by our own experiences!!

In my experience, communication breakdown's like that, in a long-standing relationship comes with a *lot* of negative, self-reinforcing inertia. Softer methods like "taking responsibility" etc will be unlikely to make a single iota of difference.

I view a family is a team. In management speak, teams are said to go through 4 stages: forming-storming-norming-performing. After 10 years, this "team" has done their share of "norming" to the status quo and are "performing" to their own level of efficiency.

If you want any of that status quo to change - you need to regress back to the "storming" stage. The only way teams do that is via disruptive changes. That is fairly certainly going to involve adversarial conflict with a chance for the family itself to break up.
 
OP's wife feels her familiar, comfortable, "stay at home" retirement plan is for hers to take for granted. You don't threaten that without pretty strong fight-back!!

Wow, you sure read a different post than I did.  You marry someone with the express agreement that you will work and she will take care of the home and kids.  You then spend years where the only time you discuss finances is when you blow up at your wife out of frustration.  And then you're surprised when she doesn't want to open a conversation about finances?  Dude, you've trained her to avoid that topic like the plague.  You reap what you sow.

The reality is that you are the only one your control.  So if you want to change a bad conversational pattern, the only way to do that effectively is to be brutally honest about your own contributions to the pattern and change your approach.  It's the first rule of holes:  when you're in one, stop digging.  You want your wife to open up about finances, don't be angry, frustrated, and condescending when you talk about it.  Try a more conciliatory, open approach yourself, and see if your wife follows suit.  And yeah, it's gonna take time -- if you blew up at her more than once, you're going to need to follow through with your different approach more than once to persuade her that she can trust the change.

And if my DH ever approached a conversation by "storming," he'd be storming his ass right back out the door.  I am not his flunky to be ordered around, and I am also a mom and thus immune to tantrums.  I am an equal partner in this relationship, and I damn well deserve to be treated as such.

Malkynn

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2019, 02:20:24 PM »
I would think that if someone is being shut down on an important issue, the first step is to talk about how there's a communication problem in the relationship and take responsibility for their role in that problem.

I think we are all biased by our own experiences!!

In my experience, communication breakdown's like that, in a long-standing relationship comes with a *lot* of negative, self-reinforcing inertia. Softer methods like "taking responsibility" etc will be unlikely to make a single iota of difference.

I view a family is a team. In management speak, teams are said to go through 4 stages: forming-storming-norming-performing. After 10 years, this "team" has done their share of "norming" to the status quo and are "performing" to their own level of efficiency.

If you want any of that status quo to change - you need to regress back to the "storming" stage. The only way teams do that is via disruptive changes. That is fairly certainly going to involve adversarial conflict with a chance for the family itself to break up.
 
OP's wife feels her familiar, comfortable, "stay at home" retirement plan is for hers to take for granted. You don't threaten that without pretty strong fight-back!!

Where did I say that taking responsibility would solve a communication problem? I said that that would be a first step.

I'm not sure what point you are actually trying to make?
That constructive conflict isn't possible here?
That the wife is fundamentally the problem?
...I'm really not certain.

Your responses do imply a significant degree of frustration/agitation with the subject matter, although that could be your use of multiple exclamation points. I tend to read them as yelling.

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #52 on: October 03, 2019, 02:35:52 PM »
Your responses do imply a significant degree of frustration/agitation with the subject matter, although that could be your use of multiple exclamation points. I tend to read them as yelling.

Sorry, I did not intend multiple exclamation points as yelling and did not realize they can be taken that way. I thought of them as just being dramatic, perhaps in a semi-comical way.

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2019, 02:49:50 PM »
I'm not sure what point you are actually trying to make?
That constructive conflict isn't possible here?
That the wife is fundamentally the problem?
...I'm really not certain.

>> That constructive conflict isn't possible here?
True. I don't think constructive conflict is possible in a 10yr old relationship that has not already developed it and communication channels have frayed.

>>That the wife is fundamentally the problem?
No. Usually both sides contribute.

Think of my point this way. The wife has to make 90% of the changes (lifestyle, home budget), and 90% of the benefits would accrue to the OP (he gets to retire earlier). At least that is how it would appear to anyone who is not already familiar with FIRE philosophy. If that point is made in a certain way - that may make the wife sound like "the problem". That's not the intent, however!!

Overarching it all, I'm just cautioning the OP of the mountain of issues he will shake up if he tries to push it.

Perhaps he can do more gradual things like the half and half approach. Let wifey spend and budget however she wants with (income - common expenses)/2, and he does it the FIRE way with the other (income - common expenses)/2. Or something more gradual (like retire by 60, instead of 50 + sufficient in kid's 529 plans for college etc.)

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2019, 03:00:02 PM »
I am an equal partner in this relationship, and I damn well deserve to be treated as such.

Shutting down communication on a topic important to the partner is definitely not acting like an equal partner.

Equal blame for communication breakdown usually goes to both "equal" partners - so is not a good enough excuse.

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2019, 07:48:36 AM »
Yes, definitely some ways to go on both communication and engagement on FIRE.  Probably right that I am not that convincing because I am not consistently communicating FIRE in a coherent way [that said, I find it a lot easier to pitch in a professional situation; whereas here it is with family, and I find that a lot harder.]

There is a good point on cutback impact made by Ctuser... to change our life style, she has a lot more to lose than I do.  [I was too embarassed to admit on this MMM badass forum... but we even have a full time live-in helper to help with housework... although agaist local norms as an expat, almost all of her friends have helpers]... Despite that I still volunteered to help with housework and was told the quality of my housework is worse than my wife / helper, so no need...

Also, I realize it is hard to convey tone on a written forum like this... When earlier I shared that she didn't want to talk about a 'perfect life', she was not being dismissive... she was sincere in saying that we only have so much peaceful time together, let's just enjoy our time and not venture into a topic that may cause us to fight... and as insights shared on the forum, that is also good to improve communication so that we can discuss FIRE another day...


But one thing is clear... a long path to go to get onboard together, then a long path to realise FIRE...

At least we have zero debt, partly thanks to my side of low cost life style...


« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 08:58:01 AM by fire100xz »

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2019, 07:52:49 AM »
On a side note, I want to do more research and reading on low cost / nice areas to move to for FIRE... for people like us, or living in High Cost Locations to use as a backup in an FIRE scenario that requires moving to a Low Cost location...

I think I saw some discussions on this already...

Shifting to FIRE with expat benefits and costs is difficult... but estimating whether we reached FIRE is harder to determine...

former player

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2019, 08:51:44 AM »
Would a starting point be to avoid any further lifestyle inflation?  Any rises go straight into retirement funds etc rather than the household budget?  It might be easier instead of saying "I want you to spend less" to say "I'm getting a bonus of X, I think I'd like to put Y aside for [any planned future capital expenditure/ kids college] and put the rest into our 401k.  What do you think?"

slappy

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2019, 08:57:22 AM »
Has anyone considered that this may be a cultural thing? If it is, I really have no idea how to proceed, but maybe someone has more experience.

My brother was married to a woman from another country and the way he explained it was that in that country, it was expected that the men would provide, women would always have nice things, etc. His wife said that he would be an embarrassment to her based on the cultural expectations of her country.  Another example is that in her country, only thugs and "lower class people" would get tattoos. I can only imagine what she thought of my husband. Haha. My brother got a huge tattoo as soon as they were separated.  That was his version, so I'm sure there is more to the story, but this post kind of reminded me of that story, especially the OP with no further clarification. That story ends in divorce, which is why I said I have idea how to proceed if its a cultural issue.

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2019, 09:02:24 AM »
Yes, definitely want to avoid further life style inflation.  I would really like to trim back on some expenditures though, because that helps add to the assets and reduce the ongoing expenses required to reach FIRE

I am thinking of trying the half half approach mentioned by Ctuser...

The upside is, if we can get our focus right there is a lot of upside from cutting spending.  Our life style is an exploding volcanoe of middle class wastefulness. 


Would a starting point be to avoid any further lifestyle inflation?  Any rises go straight into retirement funds etc rather than the household budget?  It might be easier instead of saying "I want you to spend less" to say "I'm getting a bonus of X, I think I'd like to put Y aside for [any planned future capital expenditure/ kids college] and put the rest into our 401k.  What do you think?"

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #60 on: October 04, 2019, 09:03:39 AM »
My personal read that in this globalized world, consumption is everywhere now...


Has anyone considered that this may be a cultural thing? If it is, I really have no idea how to proceed, but maybe someone has more experience.

My brother was married to a woman from another country and the way he explained it was that in that country, it was expected that the men would provide, women would always have nice things, etc. His wife said that he would be an embarrassment to her based on the cultural expectations of her country.  Another example is that in her country, only thugs and "lower class people" would get tattoos. I can only imagine what she thought of my husband. Haha. My brother got a huge tattoo as soon as they were separated.  That was his version, so I'm sure there is more to the story, but this post kind of reminded me of that story, especially the OP with no further clarification. That story ends in divorce, which is why I said I have idea how to proceed if its a cultural issue.

Mellow Mallow

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #61 on: October 07, 2019, 07:22:00 PM »
This is a very interesting thread and I'm learning a lot from it.

OP, have you heard of "the five love languages"? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Love_Languages

The name is a bit cheesy, but I've found it a really useful construct for understanding my husband and his view of what's important in a relationship.

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2019, 06:21:25 AM »
We are going to set saving rate targets and start tracking progress.  I think monthly, but have not figured out details of tracking & saving rate target yet.  As a first step, it will be short term items like groceries etc, and items like rent, tuition to be discussed later.

More updates to follow.  Thank you to everyone for ideas and thoughts.

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2019, 06:23:36 AM »
Hi Mellow,
I had not heard, but seems like interesting concept to pay attention to the partner, including how the partner expresses affection.


This is a very interesting thread and I'm learning a lot from it.

OP, have you heard of "the five love languages"? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Love_Languages

The name is a bit cheesy, but I've found it a really useful construct for understanding my husband and his view of what's important in a relationship.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2019, 06:45:07 AM »
The "tactic" I used for "the talk" was not to frame it as an "I want to retire earlier" thing. It was more about adjusting down consumption for other reasons that were more appealing. Like environmental reasons (less consumption, buying more 2nd hand stuff) which has greater appeal to my partner. Then what do we want the kids to grow up used to? That someone else cleans their rooms? (out went the housekeeper). Would you like to have more spare time to use on hobbies/interests?

For me it was a rather easy sell as it only required some very minor tweaking and we neither of us were spendypants to start with and we both have good incomes so we still have a very comfy lifestyle. But the point is that it is probably wiser to approach the issue from some common ground or at least some angle that is more likely to click with the partner - not as a selfish thing.

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #65 on: October 16, 2019, 10:56:48 AM »
...working towards 20% saving rate... an improvement from negligible levels previously...


We are going to set saving rate targets and start tracking progress.  I think monthly, but have not figured out details of tracking & saving rate target yet.  As a first step, it will be short term items like groceries etc, and items like rent, tuition to be discussed later.

More updates to follow.  Thank you to everyone for ideas and thoughts.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #66 on: October 16, 2019, 07:15:38 PM »
...working towards 20% saving rate... an improvement from negligible levels previously...

Hot damn! Great job, that's some solid progress.

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #67 on: October 17, 2019, 09:09:48 AM »
It IS indeed a good progress.

My suggestion is that you may want to focus for a year or so making sure this is enforced and ingrained into your and your SO's habits, before demanding anything else.

I personally take the approach (and my SO is fully onboard here - which may or may not be the case for you) is that I set aside money for all long term goals first and then whatever is left is what can be used for expenses!!

This creates artificial scarcity! I find it effective!

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #68 on: October 17, 2019, 11:12:07 AM »
Like forced savings by having a 15 year mortgage rather than a 30 year one?

We tried sweeping a chunk of salary to a brokerage account, but then the spending didn't come down so we just created a liquidity issue for ourselves!  But that was before these efforts to get her onboard.

Hope we can get to 20 percent, then step up from there.  Will report back on progress in a month or so...

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #69 on: October 17, 2019, 12:13:23 PM »
Like forced savings by having a 15 year mortgage rather than a 30 year one?
Yes! I did that. My criteria was "15 or less years mortgage on a single income" when purchasing a home. That's a "tough" thing to do when you work in Manhattan and need a reasonably good school district - but we managed by me commuting a long distance.
I wanted to go 10-year mortgage, but wifey said no! She was right - that would have caused some more liquidity issues than I would have liked.


We tried sweeping a chunk of salary to a brokerage account, but then the spending didn't come down so we just created a liquidity issue for ourselves!

That *IS* the point.

2018 was a little difficult for liquidity issues for us because I ratcheted up savings higher for daughter's 529. This predictably resulted in "falling behind" on credit card. My definition of "falling behind" is if my Checking Account Balance < Credit Card balance at any given time!! Right now, I am $400 "behind", by this definition, even though statement close + payment due date gives me almost 7 more weeks of float, and have a few orders of magnitude higher than that amount sitting in various types of brokerage/retirement etc accounts!! Result - no more discretionary grocery this weekend (only milk, bread and produce based on a predefined list) and we make do the next week with whatever we have in the pantry.

We have a rule of "no want's on borrowed money". As soon as credit card balance crosses checking account balance - all discretionary spending freezes!!

It acts like "training exercise" for everyone in my family. All these might seem like "silly mental accounting" to someone with more self-control than I. But it works for us. :-). After diving into this forum I am constantly reminded of our spendypants ways - and I fully expect to do a few more rounds of such pant-tightening in the next couple of years.


 

« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 12:16:08 PM by ctuser1 »

Cannot Wait!

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #70 on: October 17, 2019, 02:32:54 PM »
Wow, you have a live in housekeeper?  So basically your wife is already living a fired life.  I can see why she thinks it'll start a fight if she answers what her dream life would be - she's already living it!

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #71 on: October 18, 2019, 11:55:24 AM »
Yes, it sucks for me right now.  But then looking at the bright side, more areas to cut and get frugal... and save money towards FI!

Wow, you have a live in housekeeper?  So basically your wife is already living a fired life.  I can see why she thinks it'll start a fight if she answers what her dream life would be - she's already living it!

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #72 on: October 21, 2019, 06:14:12 AM »
So far 24 percent saving rate over the last week

Need to stay watchful for "one offs" that somehow manage to recur each month, and find more ways to cut costs...

Car Jack

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #73 on: October 21, 2019, 08:39:42 AM »
Here comes the face punch.  You won't FIRE.  Set your sights on calling it quits at 65.  You're saving "some" money with your wife at home with the kids.  You're likely saving less vs her working and day care than you think.  Been there, done that, did lots of furious calculations before hand and they were all were wrong. 

Your biggest costs are ahead of you.  You're going to have unexpected medical bills.  College will cost you more than you're planning for.  If some legal problem comes up, lawyers are very expensive.  Life happens and sometimes it kicks you in the nuts before stamping on your head.  Every single thing I just mentioned happened to our family.  I see whining parents talk about their day care costs and just laugh at them.  Mouse nuts, man.  Mouse nuts. 


fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #74 on: October 21, 2019, 08:55:00 AM »
Yes, a lot more middle class volcano of wastefulness to tackle!  I know I won't get there with a 20 percent savings rate, and I need to step it up


Here comes the face punch.  You won't FIRE.  Set your sights on calling it quits at 65.  You're saving "some" money with your wife at home with the kids.  You're likely saving less vs her working and day care than you think.  Been there, done that, did lots of furious calculations before hand and they were all were wrong. 

Your biggest costs are ahead of you.  You're going to have unexpected medical bills.  College will cost you more than you're planning for.  If some legal problem comes up, lawyers are very expensive.  Life happens and sometimes it kicks you in the nuts before stamping on your head.  Every single thing I just mentioned happened to our family.  I see whining parents talk about their day care costs and just laugh at them.  Mouse nuts, man.  Mouse nuts.

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #75 on: October 21, 2019, 10:30:32 AM »
Here comes the face punch.  You won't FIRE.  Set your sights on calling it quits at 65.  You're saving "some" money with your wife at home with the kids.  You're likely saving less vs her working and day care than you think.  Been there, done that, did lots of furious calculations before hand and they were all were wrong. 

Your biggest costs are ahead of you.  You're going to have unexpected medical bills.  College will cost you more than you're planning for.  If some legal problem comes up, lawyers are very expensive.  Life happens and sometimes it kicks you in the nuts before stamping on your head.  Every single thing I just mentioned happened to our family.  I see whining parents talk about their day care costs and just laugh at them.  Mouse nuts, man.  Mouse nuts.

He, and his wife, can absolutely change!

I cite ourselves as examples. I was supremely wasteful for a few years after starting to work. And you can be REALLY wasteful @ a software dev's salary. Our wastage was mostly on travel and experiences, and comparatively less on stuff (although that was there too) - but they were truly egregious!!

For me, the turning point was when I started to plan for the soon-to-be-born kid's college fund and got a sticker shock at the $60k/year numbers.

Wifey turned around 2-3 years later, after she saw the real issues we were going through trying to cash-flow her MS degree. At this point we were dedicated bogleheads with a LBYM mindset.

As of now, we are $1MM+ in networth if I include home equity of ~$100k (<$1MM without it), thanks to the bogleheads lifestyle of LBYM. I am hoping to crank it up further to Mustachian levels to be lean-FI ASAP, which I define as $2MM liquid networth.

It has been a journey. And it is possible! I (and my DW) am a - still work in progress - proof!


slappy

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #76 on: October 21, 2019, 12:41:57 PM »
Here comes the face punch.  You won't FIRE.  Set your sights on calling it quits at 65.  You're saving "some" money with your wife at home with the kids.  You're likely saving less vs her working and day care than you think.  Been there, done that, did lots of furious calculations before hand and they were all were wrong. 

Your biggest costs are ahead of you.  You're going to have unexpected medical bills.  College will cost you more than you're planning for.  If some legal problem comes up, lawyers are very expensive.  Life happens and sometimes it kicks you in the nuts before stamping on your head.  Every single thing I just mentioned happened to our family.  I see whining parents talk about their day care costs and just laugh at them.  Mouse nuts, man.  Mouse nuts.

He, and his wife, can absolutely change!

I cite ourselves as examples. I was supremely wasteful for a few years after starting to work. And you can be REALLY wasteful @ a software dev's salary. Our wastage was mostly on travel and experiences, and comparatively less on stuff (although that was there too) - but they were truly egregious!!

For me, the turning point was when I started to plan for the soon-to-be-born kid's college fund and got a sticker shock at the $60k/year numbers.

Wifey turned around 2-3 years later, after she saw the real issues we were going through trying to cash-flow her MS degree. At this point we were dedicated bogleheads with a LBYM mindset.

As of now, we are $1MM+ in networth if I include home equity of ~$100k (<$1MM without it), thanks to the bogleheads lifestyle of LBYM. I am hoping to crank it up further to Mustachian levels to be lean-FI ASAP, which I define as $2MM liquid networth.

It has been a journey. And it is possible! I (and my DW) am a - still work in progress - proof!

Is the bogleheads lifestyle of LBYM different that just LBYM in general? (Honest question, no snark) I assume LBYM=live below your means. It doesn't seem like that would be specific to bogleheads, but I'm not really familiar with that group.

Cannot Wait!

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #77 on: October 21, 2019, 12:44:54 PM »
@slappy  they are high end MMMers.  ERE (Early Retirement Extreme) are low end MMMers.

Malkynn

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #78 on: October 21, 2019, 12:53:56 PM »
@slappy  they are high spend MMMers.  ERE (Early Retirement Extreme) are low spend MMMers.

FTFY

Cannot Wait!

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #79 on: October 21, 2019, 12:57:19 PM »
Aha @Malkynn  good catch, thank you.  ;)

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #80 on: October 21, 2019, 01:01:19 PM »
@slappy  they are high end MMMers.  ERE (Early Retirement Extreme) are low end MMMers.

Ditto.

Bogleheads earn a lot, save a lot, and spend a lot. A typical boglehead would be considered very spendypqnts by the folks here.

There was a recent thread in bogleheads where a So-cal teacher explained how he spends ~$60k/year and saves a lot on a single earning teacherís salary in so-cal.

I got the impression that most folks in that forum were in awed silence over there (may just be my imagination). That would be decidedly average here.

FYI, Iím an aspiring mustachian. I still havenít reached the level of frugality necessary to call myself a true mustache an yet!

<Edited to add>Agree to Malkynn's post above. Yes, it's high-spend, not high-end.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 01:15:30 PM by ctuser1 »

slappy

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #81 on: October 21, 2019, 03:05:46 PM »
@slappy  they are high end MMMers.  ERE (Early Retirement Extreme) are low end MMMers.

Ditto.

Bogleheads earn a lot, save a lot, and spend a lot. A typical boglehead would be considered very spendypqnts by the folks here.

There was a recent thread in bogleheads where a So-cal teacher explained how he spends ~$60k/year and saves a lot on a single earning teacherís salary in so-cal.

I got the impression that most folks in that forum were in awed silence over there (may just be my imagination). That would be decidedly average here.

FYI, Iím an aspiring mustachian. I still havenít reached the level of frugality necessary to call myself a true mustache an yet!

<Edited to add>Agree to Malkynn's post above. Yes, it's high-spend, not high-end.

 So spending a lot, but still below their means. Thank you, that makes sense.

Chris Pascale

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #82 on: October 22, 2019, 05:08:11 AM »

How do I flip the magic switch?

Please share what has worked...


I did it on accident - https://oldpodcast.com/wife-on-f-i-r-e/

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #83 on: October 24, 2019, 06:01:44 AM »
I know I will not get to 70% to 80% saving rate like some on this forum

But I am in a High cost location.  I am hoping to get to FIRE via a 40% to 50% savings rate, plus moving to a medium cost location where cost of living is about half of where I am now.

Is there a FIRE calculator that adjusts for a retirement move to a lower cost location?



@slappy  they are high end MMMers.  ERE (Early Retirement Extreme) are low end MMMers.

Ditto.

Bogleheads earn a lot, save a lot, and spend a lot. A typical boglehead would be considered very spendypqnts by the folks here.

There was a recent thread in bogleheads where a So-cal teacher explained how he spends ~$60k/year and saves a lot on a single earning teacherís salary in so-cal.

I got the impression that most folks in that forum were in awed silence over there (may just be my imagination). That would be decidedly average here.

FYI, Iím an aspiring mustachian. I still havenít reached the level of frugality necessary to call myself a true mustache an yet!

<Edited to add>Agree to Malkynn's post above. Yes, it's high-spend, not high-end.

 So spending a lot, but still below their means. Thank you, that makes sense.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #84 on: October 24, 2019, 06:12:39 AM »
Is there a FIRE calculator that adjusts for a retirement move to a lower cost location?

That should be a simple adjustment of spending to reflect lower cost level and if relevant a one-off infusion of funds if say selling a home in a HCOL area and buying something significantly cheaper elsehwere.

The market does what the market does regardless of where you live.

The issue with unlocking substantial housing equity is that the future value is unknown AND when you do it, it's all or nothing as you cannot sell part of your house or offload it over the course of a year or two. If getting out housing equity is a big part of the equation it's a bit risky - housing market recoveries can take a Very Long Time and might not even happen in a relevant timeframe.

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #85 on: October 24, 2019, 07:15:40 AM »
I, personally, find the whole "HCOL"/"LCOL" distinction and the obsession over it to be fairly meaningless.

I have traveled extensively across the country for work. From what I have seen, you have many more opportunities to save in the HCOL's and VHCOL's on the eastern seaboard than in the LCOL's in midwest, south, or non-metro northeast locations.

The *only* cost that are really lower in LCOL's is the housing. Everything else seems to cost higher in LCOL locations!! I can coupon and comparison shop the heck out of it where I live. There are 5 big grocery stores within a 1 mile radius of my home, and 3 CVS's, 3 Walgreens, 2 riteaid's, and a couple of holdover mom-and-pop drugstores from the nostalgic yesterdays. Something similar was true anywhere else within the NE Corridor I have lived in (including NJ, Phily).

If you are in NYC proper, then you got the Indian stores in Queens, or Chinese stores in both Chinatowns with amazing prices. You don't need coupons if you shop there for produce. Takeout food is also way cheaper than anywhere else. To top it, you don't need a car if you live in NYC proper. That is almost $3k/year saving right there per my calculations.

If you are creative, you also don't have to pay the cutthroat housing costs. I don't. I live a 90-minute commute from Grand Central, work from home a lot, and paid < $300k for a house with a reasonably good school district. The towns and cities are not so cash strapped like the midwest towns. It runs a budget surplus. There are frequent events organized on the town green - which are amazing free entertainment opportunities. I can (and have) petitioned the town to get budget allocated to something different - because there *is* headroom to allow it to do so. 

When people talk about saving money by moving to LCOL areas, I don't quite see how the math works out there.

Granted, I know nothing about Cali. Never lived there and only made some short trips there.

<edited> Corrections. I don't quite have 10 big grocery chain stores within 1 mile. I have to increase the radius to 3 miles to hit 10.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 07:24:11 AM by ctuser1 »

Nick_Miller

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #86 on: October 24, 2019, 07:46:07 AM »
I, personally, find the whole "HCOL"/"LCOL" distinction and the obsession over it to be fairly meaningless.

I have traveled extensively across the country for work. From what I have seen, you have many more opportunities to save in the HCOL's and VHCOL's on the eastern seaboard than in the LCOL's in midwest, south, or non-metro northeast locations.

The *only* cost that are really lower in LCOL's is the housing. Everything else seems to cost higher in LCOL locations!! I can coupon and comparison shop the heck out of it where I live. There are 5 big grocery stores within a 1 mile radius of my home, and 3 CVS's, 3 Walgreens, 2 riteaid's, and a couple of holdover mom-and-pop drugstores from the nostalgic yesterdays. Something similar was true anywhere else within the NE Corridor I have lived in (including NJ, Phily).

If you are in NYC proper, then you got the Indian stores in Queens, or Chinese stores in both Chinatowns with amazing prices. You don't need coupons if you shop there for produce. Takeout food is also way cheaper than anywhere else. To top it, you don't need a car if you live in NYC proper. That is almost $3k/year saving right there per my calculations.

If you are creative, you also don't have to pay the cutthroat housing costs. I don't. I live a 90-minute commute from Grand Central, work from home a lot, and paid < $300k for a house with a reasonably good school district. The towns and cities are not so cash strapped like the midwest towns. It runs a budget surplus. There are frequent events organized on the town green - which are amazing free entertainment opportunities. I can (and have) petitioned the town to get budget allocated to something different - because there *is* headroom to allow it to do so. 

When people talk about saving money by moving to LCOL areas, I don't quite see how the math works out there.

Granted, I know nothing about Cali. Never lived there and only made some short trips there.

<edited> Corrections. I don't quite have 10 big grocery chain stores within 1 mile. I have to increase the radius to 3 miles to hit 10.

I live in a MCOL midwestern city, and while housing here is pretty cheap (my $200k house is 4 bedroom/2.5 bath with a 2.5 car garage, on almost an acre in a nice little middle-class suburb), people here DRIVE EVERYWHERE, and that is money they are just p*ssing away. The east coast mentality of spending more on an asset (house) and less on transportation (not an asset) makes more sense to me, but I don't think most, MCOL, midwestern cities have the infrastructure (subways/trains) or condensed, walkable sizes. We surely don't

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #87 on: October 24, 2019, 07:51:06 AM »
Yes, I don't have a car!  That is one of the few things that I am doing right!

Malkynn

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #88 on: October 24, 2019, 07:52:56 AM »
I, personally, find the whole "HCOL"/"LCOL" distinction and the obsession over it to be fairly meaningless.

I have traveled extensively across the country for work. From what I have seen, you have many more opportunities to save in the HCOL's and VHCOL's on the eastern seaboard than in the LCOL's in midwest, south, or non-metro northeast locations.

The *only* cost that are really lower in LCOL's is the housing. Everything else seems to cost higher in LCOL locations!! I can coupon and comparison shop the heck out of it where I live. There are 5 big grocery stores within a 1 mile radius of my home, and 3 CVS's, 3 Walgreens, 2 riteaid's, and a couple of holdover mom-and-pop drugstores from the nostalgic yesterdays. Something similar was true anywhere else within the NE Corridor I have lived in (including NJ, Phily).

If you are in NYC proper, then you got the Indian stores in Queens, or Chinese stores in both Chinatowns with amazing prices. You don't need coupons if you shop there for produce. Takeout food is also way cheaper than anywhere else. To top it, you don't need a car if you live in NYC proper. That is almost $3k/year saving right there per my calculations.

If you are creative, you also don't have to pay the cutthroat housing costs. I don't. I live a 90-minute commute from Grand Central, work from home a lot, and paid < $300k for a house with a reasonably good school district. The towns and cities are not so cash strapped like the midwest towns. It runs a budget surplus. There are frequent events organized on the town green - which are amazing free entertainment opportunities. I can (and have) petitioned the town to get budget allocated to something different - because there *is* headroom to allow it to do so. 

When people talk about saving money by moving to LCOL areas, I don't quite see how the math works out there.

Granted, I know nothing about Cali. Never lived there and only made some short trips there.

<edited> Corrections. I don't quite have 10 big grocery chain stores within 1 mile. I have to increase the radius to 3 miles to hit 10.

It really depends on the location, but absolutely, a lot of costs in LCOL areas are actually much higher.

What is universally true is that trying to live a "normal" middle class lifestyle is much much more expensive in HCOL areas simply because housing and driving are key aspects of that lifestyle.

For anyone willing to live even a little outside the box, whether LCOL, MCOL, or HCOL is most affordable totally depends on the ways in which the person is trying to save.

You're right though, no one should assume that LCOL areas are in any way more affordable beyond housing cost. Otherwise they might be in for a nasty surprise if they haven't done their research.

ctuser1

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #89 on: October 24, 2019, 10:55:57 AM »
What is universally true is that trying to live a "normal" middle class lifestyle is much much more expensive in HCOL areas simply because housing and driving are key aspects of that lifestyle.
It's possible that my definition of "normal" is not normal. :-D..

It seems to me that we live a pretty normal middle class life. 2 cars, house with backyard, end of cul-de-sac - basically the whole nine yards. Yes, I think I got the house about $50k cheaper than market. But nothing in my situation would materially change if I paid $370k (what it last sold for before us) vs. $270k (what I paid)!!

Move 15 miles (and 20 minutes, on Metro North) closer to NYC, and houses are $700k+. 20 miles, and median house price is $1.2M. Granted, schools are a little nicer, and cities have more money to provide better services, too!!

Our neighbors are a mixed group. A couple of white collar workers (other than us), a couple of nurses, and rest blue-collar business owners. No lawyears, doctors etc - that gang likes to live two streets over and pay $200k extra for houses. I don't quite understand why they do that. Their houses are nicer. But hey - $200k nicer? Their and my kids go to the same school. I don't know. To each his/her own I guess!!

Our city is not yet quite "walkable". There is a lot of work going on to spruce up sidewalks (again - there is budget headway to accommodate all this work, which is the good thing), and fix streets, to make it walkable. But as of now, we pretty much have to drive everywhere. But, in our case, the everywhere is not too far. I can get anything I want within a 5 mile radius.

The biggest adjustment I have is the commute distance to NYC. 90minutes to GCT is soul-suckingly long commute. But I have kinda gotten used to it now. I just read something on the train.

Malkynn

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #90 on: October 24, 2019, 11:54:56 AM »
What is universally true is that trying to live a "normal" middle class lifestyle is much much more expensive in HCOL areas simply because housing and driving are key aspects of that lifestyle.
It's possible that my definition of "normal" is not normal. :-D..

It seems to me that we live a pretty normal middle class life. 2 cars, house with backyard, end of cul-de-sac - basically the whole nine yards. Yes, I think I got the house about $50k cheaper than market. But nothing in my situation would materially change if I paid $370k (what it last sold for before us) vs. $270k (what I paid)!!

Move 15 miles (and 20 minutes, on Metro North) closer to NYC, and houses are $700k+. 20 miles, and median house price is $1.2M. Granted, schools are a little nicer, and cities have more money to provide better services, too!!

Our neighbors are a mixed group. A couple of white collar workers (other than us), a couple of nurses, and rest blue-collar business owners. No lawyears, doctors etc - that gang likes to live two streets over and pay $200k extra for houses. I don't quite understand why they do that. Their houses are nicer. But hey - $200k nicer? Their and my kids go to the same school. I don't know. To each his/her own I guess!!

Our city is not yet quite "walkable". There is a lot of work going on to spruce up sidewalks (again - there is budget headway to accommodate all this work, which is the good thing), and fix streets, to make it walkable. But as of now, we pretty much have to drive everywhere. But, in our case, the everywhere is not too far. I can get anything I want within a 5 mile radius.

The biggest adjustment I have is the commute distance to NYC. 90minutes to GCT is soul-suckingly long commute. But I have kinda gotten used to it now. I just read something on the train.

So...you live in a much lower cost community adjacent to a very HCOL area? Is that what you are saying?

Because yeah, all of those people who live nearby in more expensive areas will obviously have to spend a lot more to mimic your lifestyle...which was my point.

fire100xz

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #91 on: November 07, 2019, 11:51:06 PM »
So my October saving rate was 22%, excluding regular retirement contributions etc.  It is still far from where it needs to be, but making progress.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Having THE TALK with a current partner
« Reply #92 on: November 08, 2019, 12:24:45 AM »
So my October saving rate was 22%, excluding regular retirement contributions etc.  It is still far from where it needs to be, but making progress.

Retirement contributions and paying down principle on a mortgage can be included in your savings rate.