Author Topic: Ready to retire?  (Read 3186 times)

Mrs. B

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Ready to retire?
« on: February 02, 2015, 04:12:11 AM »
Dearest fellow Mustachians,

Please either help me to encourage my husband to take the huge leap of faith to retire early, enjoy life, and pursue his dreams as he discovers them, or explain why you feel he should remain employed until he finds an alternate less demanding career. We are in the incredibly blessed situation of having been handed the means for financial independence by my father-in-law who works very hard for his money. My husband fears leaving his stable career as an attorney (oil and gas defense title work, 5 years experience) for all of the obvious reasons: it's an insane thing to do by most standards, he fears leaving the field then having to return to the job market sometime in the future due to economic downturn or unexpected expenses (such as illness, etc.) at a much lower pay grade and in less pleasant conditions, also plug in all of the reasons that early retirement is scary. He's not always in love with his current job, or with being an attorney, but it does interest him and, although he works sun-up to sun-down, he's treated pretty well overall. He would be happier to work less hours even, but as you well know making such a request is a dangerous step.

A further complicating factor would be explaining his intentions to his father, who gifted us his hard earned money, as they would be fairly abstract at the time of retirement.

Here are our specifics:

-We are 29 (myself) and 32 (my husband). We are simple people and live and want a simple life.

-Our personal expenses (pre-child) are approx 30k and we could pinch pennies more if ever needed. We anticipate expenses rising some with our child, and we'd like a little extra available for travel, for being able to assist family if needed, to have no fear of the unexpected, and to be capable of assisting our son as we see fit in the future.

-1.3 million invested, about half equities half municipal bonds. Current interest and dividends could cover our expenses if needed if we cut down a few thousand a year.

-Two rental properties, owned outright. Together the income COULD cover our expenses if necessary if we cut down some.

-We own our home outright. It's worth approx 250k.

-We have two cars and own them outright. One is newer, one is 2007 with 80k miles. Both are Toyotas and we plan to drive the wheels off of them.

-We have one child, a 4 week old son. We may or may not have one more.

-Husband's current income is 80k gross.

-I am an RN and until the recent birth of our son I worked for myself as a medical consultant earning enough in approx 8 hours a week to cover our expenses. I do not intend to return if my husband doesn't retire, but I am willing to continue if he does retire in order to provide us with additional cushion.

-One of our parents will likely need financial assistance in old age.

So, as our Mastachian friends and family, please let us know the path you would take, and give advice as if my husband were coming to you for guidance on how he could best act as a husband, father, and son. I am less than impartial when I give my opinion, as I desperately want more of my husband's time. Admittedly, reassurance for the early retirement path would be nice for me to hear, too, because no matter how much I want it, the thought of him actually taking the leap is scary.

All advice would be greatly appreciated. Whether you feel that he should remain employed for now, or feel that he should retire yesterday, please include your specific reasoning so as to help us understand your thought process. I will happily give any more info as requested!

Thank you so much!

ETA-Regarding responses:

-After crunching the numbers on the simulators, it seems that we would 100% do fine for 80 years with no additional income assuming our expenses don't rise any further than 10k above where they are now. With our rentals and intentions to pursue money making endeavors (although unsure what that will be) in retirement we should be ok. The unknown does scare both of us somewhat, however.

-Career as a part of ones identity I think is an issue for many. "What do you do?" "I'm an attorney." Is alot easier than "well I'm technically retired but..." And yes, he did work so hard for his title. His hopes for early retirement include using his knowledge, title, and experience to earn an income doing something way more flexible that he enjoys, although he's not sure exactly how. I believe hew would be ready for retirement sooner than later if he could figure out this key point. Yes working part-time would be a huge step in the right direction and would improve our quality of life dramatically. He would love to make that change but fears the effects of making the request and making his displeasure with his full-time schedule known if his request is denied. He works for a small but growing firm of about 10 attorneys; some do work on contract.

-Our dreams for what to do in early retirement/financial independence abound. There would be never a dull moment for sure. What I intended to get across in my original post was that we'd like to figure out some rather painless way to continue to have some income, and our/his dreams regarding that are not exactly clear. Again, I think if we had a plan for this he'd be home with me today.
 
-The FIL gave the money because he wants my husband to be happy. What he kind of wants that to mean though, is yes like one poster suggested, buy bigger houses, better cars, and be a very important person. I think using the money as a safety net for leaving a full-time law career for something more self-directed and low key would be fine, but leaving without a plan would indeed create some problems. (he thinks we're insane as it is for being so frugal)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 03:17:51 PM by Mrs. B »

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Ready to retire?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 04:41:59 AM »
If I read your post correctly, it sounds like your passive income streams could cover almost twice your current expenses.  So your husband probably can take the leap if he wants to.  Now, I myself would probably pause long and hard before leaving a well-paying career knowing that I would have only passive income to support my family for the next 50-60 years.  I'd want to make damn sure I have enough.

I suggest you head over to http://www.cfiresim.com/input.php or http://www.firecalc.com/ and crunch the numbers.  Put your spending in at what you think will be your higher level in the future.  The results might give you/your husband some reassurance.

For my personal situation, if I had 1.3 million invested, two rentals, and zero debt, I'd be out the door tomorrow.  But that's just me.  Your husband needs to decide his own comfort level for himself.

mxt0133

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Re: Ready to retire?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 04:42:46 AM »
Based on your expenses and assets it doesn't seem like a numbers issues with your husband.  What I mean is maybe your husband works for more than just money, maybe it is a big part of his identity and he would feel lost if he didn't work or be a lawyer, which i'm sure he worked hard to be.  What would his social circle look like if he stopped working? 

If you look at it from that point of view maybe you can be more empathetic to why he doesn't want to stop working.  I could be completely off, but if you show him the numbers and some conservative assumptions of how you know your assets would be able to support you indefinitely then can know for sure that it might not be a pure numbers issue with your husband.

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Ready to retire?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 07:49:14 AM »
Please either help me to encourage my husband to take the huge leap of faith to retire early, enjoy life, and pursue his dreams as he discovers them, or explain why you feel he should remain employed until he finds an alternate less demanding career.
What are his dreams?  You have to retire to something, not away from something.  I wouldn't advise retiring and then waiting for his dreams to give him direction.

thd7t

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Re: Ready to retire?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2015, 08:13:59 AM »
First off, congratulations on your Badassity!  Second, your husband isn't in love with his job.  What does he like about it?  Could he start to "work for himself", but really only do the exact work he wants to?  That way, he could look entrepreneurial to his father and enjoy a mostly retired lifestyle while doing work that he likes without worrying about money. 

This is a problem that most people here hope to have!  Well done!

frugaldrummer

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Re: Ready to retire?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2015, 08:26:33 AM »
Also, what was your FILs intention in gifting your husband this money?  Was he thinking "I'll give my son this money so he doesn't have to work like a dog like I did", or was he thinking"I'll give him this money so he can buy a better car and a bigger house and have a good start on making his fortune"?  It might cause family resentment if FILs intention s don't match up with FIRE.
Also.....are all these assets in both your names? I ask because I mommy-tracked my career for the benefit of my family and my long-term, stable (I thought!) marriage. When my husband had a midlife crisis and walked out after 26 years, I was fortunate that at least we lived in a community property state and all our assets had been earned during the marriage.  But what would your situation be if you both retired early, and ten years from now he leaves? (I know it seems unimaginable now....it would have seemed impossible to me at that age too.) If these assets are in his name, you might end up divorced, with out of date work skills, and few assets.  So don't forget to plan for this scenario (and I hope it never happens to you).

MDM

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Re: Ready to retire?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 12:13:24 PM »
Also, what was your FILs intention in gifting your husband this money?  Was he thinking "I'll give my son this money so he doesn't have to work like a dog like I did", or was he thinking"I'll give him this money so he can buy a better car and a bigger house and have a good start on making his fortune"?  It might cause family resentment if FILs intention s don't match up with FIRE.
^Exactly my thought when reading the OP.

YTProphet

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Re: Ready to retire?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 12:28:24 PM »
Do you think his employer would be open to allowing him to work on a contract/hourly basis? I'm also an attorney and it seems that his field is perfect for that sort of arrangement. Assuming he works for a firm or large company, they've already put a lot of time and effort in to training him, so I see no reason why they'd balk at allowing him to work 20 or so hours a week at a pro-rate portion of his salary (or higher, assuming he goes off of their healthcare).

Dr. Doom

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Re: Ready to retire?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 12:53:47 PM »

Agree with other posters -- it's not about the money.  The history-based calculators will all affirm that you can both afford to stop working.  (There's still value in running them and reviewing results together, though)

Some optional reading:
One More Year before Comfort at ERE.  Discusses safe withdrawal rates and diminishing returns on continuing to work.

The Perfect Life Another take on getting an SO onboard by the Mad Fientist.

A bucket of cockroaches.  Post about the difficulty of practicing law.  Kind of black humor, might not be your style.

Gotta get him talking more about what is keeping him at work.  Many of us have felt, for various reasons, it's better to stay on work-autopilot for years beyond what is strictly necessary.  It takes time and continual discussion to power through it.

And who knows?  In the course of conversation you may find he unexpectedly has dreams to spend more later on, making your actual FIRE number higher than you currently think it is.