Author Topic: Is it fair for me to retire early?  (Read 21328 times)

geekette

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2014, 05:09:18 PM »
I expect this thread would have gotten very different responses if the gender roles were reversed.  Whole generations of American men worked long hours at jobs they hated to support stay at home spouses, and nobody ever claimed that situation was unfair to the men.  Quite the opposite, in fact.
You seem to equate "stay at home" with "not working".  That's what bugs me about this whole conversation.

Emilyngh

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2014, 05:28:11 PM »
I loved having a sah partner. Loved it.
... but then when I stared coming home and my second "job" was already done it was AMAZING! A clean house with dishes and errands already done was great!!!  Maybe you can compromise by getting a part time job for a bit and show her that you're going to take over the home duties and then after a year or two you can quit the part time job and sah full time. Running a household takes a lot of work and is a job in and of itself I think

This.   DH is a SAHD and I was worried I might resent it or find things unfair, but I puffy heart love it!    He's pondering finding a side-gig when DD starts school in order to increase the stache.   But, even though my job only has PT hours, I hate the idea of him also going to work, even PT.    A SAH spouse can really make the whole household run more smoothly and life better for everyone.

beltim

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2014, 05:46:13 PM »
I expect this thread would have gotten very different responses if the gender roles were reversed.  Whole generations of American men worked long hours at jobs they hated to support stay at home spouses, and nobody ever claimed that situation was unfair to the men.  Quite the opposite, in fact.
You seem to equate "stay at home" with "not working".  That's what bugs me about this whole conversation.

Sol very clearly does not equate the two.  Whether the OP does or not depends on his idea of retirement.

Cinder

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2014, 08:34:25 PM »
I'm not sure why everyone is so hung up on "fair" in this situation.
...
Families aren't about what's fair, and any partnership that is threatened by unequal division of resources shouldn't have formed a partnership in the first place.  Families are about doing what is best for the cohesive unit, as a whole, not what is fair to any one party.  In truth, what is best for the unit is almost ALWAYS "unfair" to one party or another.  Wife needs to get over it, accept that she's the breadwinner in the family and that's not a position anybody chooses but someone always gets stuck with.

I expect this thread would have gotten very different responses if the gender roles were reversed.  Whole generations of American men worked long hours at jobs they hated to support stay at home spouses, and nobody ever claimed that situation was unfair to the men.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

QFT.

It shouldn't matter what each member of the family does, as long as it is jointly agreed upon roles for either member. 

mm1970

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2014, 09:28:17 PM »
Yeah, this is the tough one.  I see Sol's point about gender role reversal.

But more the point - it sounds like she'd like to be the one to stay at home, so she would probably really resent it if you quit work to stay at home.

I don't think there is anything wrong with you "retiring early", but your wife's resentment.

My husband wouldn't care if I quit work to stay at home.  I wouldn't care if he quit work to stay at home.  The deal would be, however, that the at home spouse takes care of the house, the cooking, the laundry, getting the oil changed, caring for the sick kids.  All things that we have to juggle.

HowMuchCanAKoalaBear

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2014, 10:26:53 PM »
I agree with Sol.

sol

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2014, 11:53:21 PM »
I agree with Sol...
I see Sol's point

Music to my shameless ears, folks.  I really only hang out to here to validate my low self esteem, so enabling my behavior by approving of my commentary is only feeding my addiction.  Careful, or I might ask for mod status.

Villanelle

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #57 on: January 24, 2014, 10:16:04 AM »
I think people focused on "fair" because that's what the OP asked.

And while some couples happily do one working partner and on SAH, it is "fair" for them because they presumably came to that decision together and were both on board.  If one partner simply said, "Hey, I'm dropping out of the workforce [or never joining it]" and I don't really care what your input is on that, then it would no longer be "fair".

So the situations you presented, Sol, are not really comparable to the OP's.  If he's have said he wanted to quit and his wife had said, "cool.  See you tomorrow after work", then that would be more akin to your grandpa's situation, and to the "whole generations of working men," who, in almost all cases, wanted that arrangement as much as their wives did, or at the very least agreed with it.  But that's not what happened in the OPs life.

So you can paint this to be about gender roles, but I don't think that's accurate.

DoubleDown

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #58 on: January 24, 2014, 09:30:32 PM »
Something's not adding up here for me.  How does the existence of a future pension allow you to retire 10 years prior to your wife? Perhaps some numbers could help, with a little explanation of how the funds break down. Is it because you'd be spending down savings in anticipation of the pension covering the majority of your future expenses (for example, you'd have something like a 12% SWR instead of a 4% SWR until your wife's pension starts)??? Is your wife is simply chained to work until age 50 so she can claim the pension one day, but otherwise you'd have plenty to live off?

If that's the case, then I'd have to believe there's a middle ground that lets you both retire early, at or around the same time. For example, I also have a future pension that I simply deferred until I hit official retirement age (I retired at age 47, minimum "real retirement age" is 57). I just live off other savings for now, until the pension kicks in. Perhaps your wife could look into quitting earlier and deferring her pension, or other options that let you both retire together.

Good luck, and please do keep the questions and updates coming!

Gray Matter

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #59 on: January 25, 2014, 07:40:41 AM »
I think people focused on "fair" because that's what the OP asked.

So the situations you presented, Sol, are not really comparable to the OP's.  If he's have said he wanted to quit and his wife had said, "cool.  See you tomorrow after work", then that would be more akin to your grandpa's situation, and to the "whole generations of working men," who, in almost all cases, wanted that arrangement as much as their wives did, or at the very least agreed with it.  But that's not what happened in the OPs life.

So you can paint this to be about gender roles, but I don't think that's accurate.

I agree with this.  "Fair" is in the title of the question, and is relevant if you define "fair" as I do, which is:  something agreed upon by both parties as fair/reasonable.  When a partnership is entered into with one set of expectations, and one partners wants to change things, it isn't really fair.  Is it normal?  Yes.  Should people be allowed to want something different?  Yes.  But this requires renegotiating things, and in this case, it sounds like the OP is the one who stands to gain the most and thus far has not been able to offer anything sufficient to the other partner.

This is not a gendered thing, in my opinion.  I don't care which spouse is male or female, if they're changing the rules of the game all of a sudden, it needs to be a mutual decision and beneficial to both.  And for the record, I would absolutely be opposed to a woman in this situation thinking she should be able to quit working ten years before her husband just because she wants to.  If he agrees it's in the best interests of the family/couple, or if it's a sacrifice he's willing to make, fine.  Same goes for OP.

Peter

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Re: Is it fair for me to retire early?
« Reply #60 on: January 25, 2014, 08:22:24 AM »
I also agree with Sol on the dynamics of the responses in relation to the gender of the OP.

That said, I still wouldn't advise the OP to quit the working world yet. What if you retire now and your wife loses her job 5 years (half way) into this plan? The pension will be gone or reduced significantly, you will be old with a 5 year gap in your resume, and both of you may struggle to get any job at all that pays close to what you currently make. You could be stuck working in the cruel labour force until 65...
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 08:50:08 AM by Peter »