Author Topic: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?  (Read 5119 times)

Megs193

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What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« on: December 19, 2018, 09:09:01 AM »
Iíve been reading through the message boards and I donít think I have seen this specific question addressed. My husband and I live a fairly frugal mustachian life. Based on my calculations we could probably retire in 5 years and have $100,000 a year to spend plus a paid off house. The problem is my husband has no interest in retiring. He likes his job and gets a lot of personal satisfaction from it. He is also very well compensated and thinks it would be crazy to not keep working.  I wish I could accept it and forget about him retiring but I canít. He works and travels a lot and I spend a lot of time alone with our 2 kids. Is there anyway to convince someone that the value of free time is more important than a life of luxury during retirement?

partdopy

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 09:18:41 AM »
The value of free time is only higher if it makes you happier and you enjoy it more than work.

It sounds like this isn't the case for him.  Some people get enjoyment from work, others don't. If he supports you retiring, perhaps try to be more supportive of his choice?  As an aside, you could accompany him on business travel as well.

koshtra

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2018, 09:28:22 AM »
The short answer is "no," I'm afraid. I think you'll be better off just accepting that he wants to work, and is going to work until he no longer likes it.

That doesn't mean that you can't legitimately push back against being left alone with the kids so much. If he's not going to put those resources into retiring early and being more available to you all, then you should be able to use them to improve your own life, get childcare, be able to get out on your own more and maintain more of a social life. There are consequences to leaving your family alone that much, and he needs to face that and own it.

It's great that he's got a life that he likes. But you need to have a life that you like too.


historienne

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2018, 10:11:50 AM »
That doesn't mean that you can't legitimately push back against being left alone with the kids so much. If he's not going to put those resources into retiring early and being more available to you all, then you should be able to use them to improve your own life, get childcare, be able to get out on your own more and maintain more of a social life. There are consequences to leaving your family alone that much, and he needs to face that and own it.

This is wise.  He doesn't need to retire if he doesn't want to, but it sounds like he's opting out of a big chunk of your shared family life.  It might be easier to have a conversation about that, separately from the conversation about early retirement. 

Megs193

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2018, 10:31:35 AM »
The short answer is "no," I'm afraid. I think you'll be better off just accepting that he wants to work, and is going to work until he no longer likes it.

That doesn't mean that you can't legitimately push back against being left alone with the kids so much. If he's not going to put those resources into retiring early and being more available to you all, then you should be able to use them to improve your own life, get childcare, be able to get out on your own more and maintain more of a social life. There are consequences to leaving your family alone that much, and he needs to face that and own it.

It's great that he's got a life that he likes. But you need to have a life that you like too.

This is definitely the issue for me.  I enjoy the time I spend with my kids. They are both in elementary school so I get enough time for myself. We definitely donít have enough family time though.  We have outsourced cleaning and yard work to free up our weekends.  I guess I just need to find a way to accept the fact that my vision of life doesnít match his and I canít force him to change. I would love to spend 8 weeks in the summer traveling as a family but he canít do that while working.

hops

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 11:02:05 AM »
Could he find a way to continue working but eventually take more personal time to spend with your family? That's the only compromise my wife and I have been able to reach (and it hasn't been tested as we've not yet had kids and are probably a decade away from FI anyway).

LifeHappens

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 11:12:52 AM »
I guess I just need to find a way to accept the fact that my vision of life doesnít match his and I canít force him to change. I would love to spend 8 weeks in the summer traveling as a family but he canít do that while working.
Are there ways you and your kids could travel and your spouse meets up with you when he's able? For example, if you'd like to rent a beach condo for the summer, why not do that and have him fly in for long weekends?

Catbert

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 11:35:23 AM »
How much he loves work may change over time.  Being in a position to pull the plug anytime he wants is golden.  Company gets sold...new boss is an asshole...career field changes making him a dinosaur...illness changes his priorities...whatever else life brings.  It's great to be a position to either quit (FIRE)  or just refuse to do things because of FI.

Cassie

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 11:55:15 AM »
You are in a great position. If he retired now he would be miserable.   When the kids are off of school I would try to join him on some of those trips.

Megs193

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2018, 12:33:30 PM »
I guess I just need to find a way to accept the fact that my vision of life doesnít match his and I canít force him to change. I would love to spend 8 weeks in the summer traveling as a family but he canít do that while working.
Are there ways you and your kids could travel and your spouse meets up with you when he's able? For example, if you'd like to rent a beach condo for the summer, why not do that and have him fly in for long weekends?

It definitely could. I still work part time right now because it gives me something to do so I would have to stop working in order to make this work but it is definitely an option.

LifeHappens

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2018, 12:42:17 PM »
I guess I just need to find a way to accept the fact that my vision of life doesnít match his and I canít force him to change. I would love to spend 8 weeks in the summer traveling as a family but he canít do that while working.
Are there ways you and your kids could travel and your spouse meets up with you when he's able? For example, if you'd like to rent a beach condo for the summer, why not do that and have him fly in for long weekends?

It definitely could. I still work part time right now because it gives me something to do so I would have to stop working in order to make this work but it is definitely an option.
Perhaps it's time to start thinking about how to design a lifestyle closer to your ideal, while accepting your spouse isn't going to retire any time soon.

marty998

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2018, 01:27:55 PM »
I guess I just need to find a way to accept the fact that my vision of life doesnít match his and I canít force him to change. I would love to spend 8 weeks in the summer traveling as a family but he canít do that while working.
Are there ways you and your kids could travel and your spouse meets up with you when he's able? For example, if you'd like to rent a beach condo for the summer, why not do that and have him fly in for long weekends?

It definitely could. I still work part time right now because it gives me something to do so I would have to stop working in order to make this work but it is definitely an option.
Perhaps it's time to start thinking about how to design a lifestyle closer to your ideal, while accepting your spouse isn't going to retire any time soon.

Somewhat nefariously, perhaps there might be a way to nudge the spouse towards interests and activities other than work. Be the invisible hand that guides him to believing he enjoys those activities more than work....

Zikoris

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2018, 01:54:04 PM »
In our case he has 100% remote, flexible work, so he can retire or not retire and it would not substantially change any of our plans. But if I was with someone who wanted to keep working a regular type of job, I think that would be a dealbreaker, because the type of stuff I want to do is not compatible with that at all - long term travel, maybe moving to a remote island, and so on.

He also might come around on his own eventually, if you have time to wait. That seems to happen a lot.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2018, 02:10:38 PM »
A lot of porno Lifetime movies start with this back story.....

If your husband continues to choose work travel over his wife and young kids.......it's a bigger conversation you need to have.

Megs193

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2018, 06:16:00 PM »
A lot of porno Lifetime movies start with this back story.....

If your husband continues to choose work travel over his wife and young kids.......it's a bigger conversation you need to have.

Iím not concerned about cheating. When he is home he is a very attentive husband and his job canít be done without traveling. I definitely wish that wasnít the case but I 100% believe he enjoys his job and the income that comes with it.

use2betrix

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2018, 07:00:06 PM »
How old are both of you? That may have a big impact.

To me, 5 years is quite a ways away to expect he will continue to love (or even have) the same job.

Megs193

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2018, 07:12:54 PM »
How old are both of you? That may have a big impact.

To me, 5 years is quite a ways away to expect he will continue to love (or even have) the same job.

I am 35 and he is 39.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2018, 07:26:01 AM »
Iíve been reading through the message boards and I donít think I have seen this specific question addressed. My husband and I live a fairly frugal mustachian life. Based on my calculations we could probably retire in 5 years and have $100,000 a year to spend plus a paid off house. The problem is my husband has no interest in retiring. He likes his job and gets a lot of personal satisfaction from it. He is also very well compensated and thinks it would be crazy to not keep working.  I wish I could accept it and forget about him retiring but I canít. He works and travels a lot and I spend a lot of time alone with our 2 kids. Is there anyway to convince someone that the value of free time is more important than a life of luxury during retirement?

Sounds like you are on a great path to FI.  You are also at a time in life with a lot of moving parts.  You didn't mention how old your kids are, but in 5 years things will be very different.  For the time being, make the most of the ride and be thankful that your husband is happy working - it provides healthcare for the family and you can continue to invest during the downturn.  Then, 5 years from now, when FI is confirmed, lay out the annual expenses and a few simulations from cFIRE and/or FIREcalc and figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life :)  Your husband might be easier to convince after 5 more years of heavy travel and work.  Keep the lines of communication open and be optimistic about the dreams you are working toward.

FIREball567

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2018, 07:41:10 PM »
This is interesting because when I retire, my wife will plan to continue working. She is younger and started her career years later than me so I understand why she doesn't choose to follow my path when I do it. I know this will make it harder to do roth conversions and get in the 0% long term capital gains bracket, but things might change down the road. in 5 years, your husband might think differently. Have a conversation with him, but don't pressure him to retire if he doesn't want to.

libertarian4321

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2018, 05:37:00 AM »
A lot of porno Lifetime movies start with this back story.....

If your husband continues to choose work travel over his wife and young kids.......it's a bigger conversation you need to have.

Iím not concerned about cheating. When he is home he is a very attentive husband and his job canít be done without traveling. I definitely wish that wasnít the case but I 100% believe he enjoys his job and the income that comes with it.

Does he really "enjoy" his job, or is it more a case of "this job isn't so bad and it pays well?"

In other words, if you sat down at the table at 8 AM, and said to him "what is the thing you'd most like to do today?," would he say "oh honey, I can't wait to go to the office today!"

I guess what I'm getting at is that he might be suffering from a version of "one more year" syndrome, which I think affects guys (who are trained to be "providers" from birth) more than women.  Sometimes "I enjoy my job" really means "my job doesn't suck as bad as most, and it pays the bills, so I have to keep doing it, but deep in my heart, it is NOT what I'd most like to be doing on a sunny day, but I'm afraid to take a chance on something else."

If he really doesn't "enjoy" his job, but does it out of duty/obligation, you may be able to convince him.  But it will take time.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2018, 05:55:47 AM »
"For to what purpose is all the toil and bustle of this world?  What is the end of avarice and ambition, of the pursuit of wealth, of power, and preheminence?  Is it to supply the necessities of nature?  The wages of the meanest labourer can supply them. ... To be observed, to be attended to, to be taken notice of with sympathy, complacency, and approbation, are all the advantages which we can propose to derive from it.  It is the vanity, not the ease, or the pleasure, which interests us."

- Adam Smith

Megs193

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2018, 12:25:12 PM »
A lot of porno Lifetime movies start with this back story.....

If your husband continues to choose work travel over his wife and young kids.......it's a bigger conversation you need to have.

Iím not concerned about cheating. When he is home he is a very attentive husband and his job canít be done without traveling. I definitely wish that wasnít the case but I 100% believe he enjoys his job and the income that comes with it.

Does he really "enjoy" his job, or is it more a case of "this job isn't so bad and it pays well?"

In other words, if you sat down at the table at 8 AM, and said to him "what is the thing you'd most like to do today?," would he say "oh honey, I can't wait to go to the office today!"

I guess what I'm getting at is that he might be suffering from a version of "one more year" syndrome, which I think affects guys (who are trained to be "providers" from birth) more than women.  Sometimes "I enjoy my job" really means "my job doesn't suck as bad as most, and it pays the bills, so I have to keep doing it, but deep in my heart, it is NOT what I'd most like to be doing on a sunny day, but I'm afraid to take a chance on something else."

If he really doesn't "enjoy" his job, but does it out of duty/obligation, you may be able to convince him.  But it will take time.

Interesting. I never really thought about it until now but I wonder if it is more related to not having something to retire ďtoĒ or losing the feeling of importance he gets from his job. Maybe the best thing for me to do is to help him find things he really enjoys doing outside of work.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2018, 02:53:10 PM »
My spouse originally had this same position. In the five or so years that we've been thinking about retirement planning we've gone from "I'm certain that I'll work forever" to "I like my work and like being able to tell bosses that I won't take certain assignments" to "some days I want to quit".

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2018, 04:11:43 PM »
I would aim for couples counseling so you can discuss these issues openly. Itís beneficial to be honest about how you feel about bearing more of the load and your need for more of his involvement. Your concerns are valid and typical. Unfortunately they often result in divorce if not dealt with. Youíll start to feel, if you donít already, that he values a job he doesnít need (after 5 years) more than you and his children and that will gnaw at you, while heíll resent your need to take him away from something he ďenjoysĒ. Itís classic and fatal. Iíd push for the therapy and put all of this out there so you can work on a plan together. Maybe there is a compromise, but you both need to understand the risks of what may happen if this isnít dealt with.

Cassie

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2018, 08:28:45 PM »
People make all sorts of relationships work if you are willing to compromise. You are young so enjoy raising your kids and see where life leads you.  In 10 years he could totally change his mind. Because I had 2 shitty marriages and this one is awesome I am willing to compromise.  This marriage is more important than anything else.

Assetup

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2018, 09:09:05 AM »
You guys are five years out.  Obviously you can help introduce him tk new hobbies and things to do outside of work but a lot can change in five years.  Save towards the goal and as you get closer keep examining everything.  All it takes is one crappy boss or merger to make someone hate their job.  Tons of things can change in five years.

JoJo

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Re: What to do when your spouse doesnít want to retire?
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2018, 11:30:46 AM »
See if part time is viable for him.