Author Topic: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?  (Read 4040 times)

JonasNC

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« on: February 27, 2015, 12:50:08 PM »
My wife and I have both always been very frugal and I've been calculating that we should be completely FI in about two years.  However, my wife is in her first year of residency.  She has a minimum of three more years of training, and understandably doesn't want to retire before she ever starts the career for which she's been training for so long.  I'm currently in a very stressful career (consulting, 100% travel) that I am ready to leave.  I think that I'd be ready to retire, but I also hate the thought of everyone assuming that I just "quit my job to live off my doctor spouse."  Anyone out there have any similar experiences or advice?

MillenialMustache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 265
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2015, 12:53:28 PM »
Although I have not been in this situation, what I would do personally is make something up. Say you are consulting in your current field or whatever. People probably wouldn't really look into your time that much to notice what you are really doing.

halfshellmeijin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 12:57:18 PM »
If you both retire they may also assume you are lazy, unambitious, or doomed to failure. You cannot let what others think dictate how you live your life. Just because they think that does not mean it is true. When your spouse decides to retire it will be clear your plan was not to live off their salary for the rest of your life.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 01:37:47 PM »
Eh, I'm the unretired wife, my DH put in the time he needed to get full pension benefits; he's also ~1.5 decades older than me, so he's retired, I'm not -- and don't really want to be.  But it's nice having him home especially when our son has all these snow days out of school ;)! 

Why not retire, if you can?  Does your wife want to retire, or may she enjoy her career enough she wants to pursue it?  How might your retiring (even or especially if she doesn't) contribute to other plans/goals you two share?

Jon_Snow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3901
  • Location: An Island in the Salish Sea (or Baja)
  • I am no manís chair.
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 01:48:04 PM »
Replace "can't" with "won't" and that describes my current situation.

JonasNC

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 02:16:27 PM »
That's a good point about my retiring making it possible for me to contribute more to our other life goals.  We don't have any kids yet, but we'd like to and it would be pretty great to be home instead of hiring daycare and/or nanny care if we're both working.  It'll be a pretty big adjustment in mindset for me to go from "primary breadwinner" to "stay-at-home Dad", but it could be the best thing for us both.  Thanks for reminding me about contributing in other ways than income. 

kib

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 195
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 02:37:17 PM »
My spouse and I came from extremely different financial circumstances, I've been FIRE since I've known him, he's probably got another 20 years to go.  He doesn't seem interested in MMM or retirement, and I've come to the conclusion that that's ok, it's his life.

The place that's difficult is that it's also My life.  My experience is basically that having a working spouse means my choices are seriously curtailed by that work.   My husband's work schedule continually defines mine; the extreme perk of retirement, being able to sculpt one's time into a totally personalized and mindful creation, is not reality.  I'm still 9-5, M-F, 2 weeks of holiday, even though one would think that what I bought with all my hard work was control of my time. I get a lot more of the crap domestic work to do, because his time is committed and mine isn't.  And of course, who gives a rat's ass but yeah, everyone I know basically thinks that's totally appropriate because after all, I'm "not doing anything". 

I'd say some of this is up to me / you, but you Will wind up dealing with the reality that a job is your boss, even if it's not your job.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 03:29:33 PM by frufrau »

Livewell

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 03:14:26 PM »
I agree with others that it's your life, you need to do what's best for you.  100% travel sucks!  Don't worry about what others think.  If a little white lie at a party makes things easier, do it.

I have a similar challenge in that while I am all in on the FIRE thing (3-6 years left) my wife is not.  She is frugal fortunately but wants to keep her own finances and income so she doesn't have to live on a joint budget.   While has been great for marital financial harmony for us, I wonder what it will be like post FIRE.  I do have some concern about our ability to do things together (ex:  take the kids on a two month vacation while out of school) if she is still working. 

there are a number of posts regarding getting the spouse on board.  I think if you are of similar mindset (he/she is not a free spender) you can over time move them towards a FIRE way of thinking.  I have to keep in mind I'm ahead of her on this - in age and in reading - and she's not as financially inclined as I am.

My advise would be to take it slow, provide digestible bites (powerpoint actually worked for me), and things should work out.   It's easy to get too far ahead of yourself in this. 

It's also occurred to me recently that if she wants to work a few years after I stop - likely in a 25-30 hr/week consulting type role - it would do wonder for our finances and really take the pressure off those first few critical years of ER.     Having a doctors salary would certainly help you!

« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 03:17:11 PM by Livewell »

zinethstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 829
  • Location: Anywhere USA
  • FIREd 1/27/2017
    • My FIRE Hobby and travel blog
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 03:19:14 PM »
I am the "can't" retire spouse. I am also the MMM spouse:) Pre-MMM I convinced DH to quit his horrible life sucking career. Its been 4 years now since he FIREd and I am approaching my opportunity to FIRE (3 years or so from now). My obligations to my job includes long hours and weekends as needed. I am also limited to 4 weeks and 2 days of vacation and corporate holidays, but he isn't bothered much as my income is a huge boon to us and we are making the most of it.

He keeps busy with our growing rental fleet (mortgages qualified for via my income) and writing. I actually enjoy his FIRE temperament, it suits him very well. He is a great stay at home "man" (not dad as we have no children). I am a little more of a clean freak than he and will vacuum/dust/scrub toilets if he isn't meeting my expectations, fighting over it gets me nowhere:)

He is embracing the MMM lifestyle and understands our need to stick to as close to a post FIRE budget as possible so when I do quit my day job it is not a shock to us.

southern granny

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 05:30:51 PM »
My husband will retire this year and I will continue to work for about 3 - 4 more years although I do only work 25 hours a week.  So I will continue to work 25 hour office job so he can retire from a stressful full time job.  I am hoping that I won't be too jealous. 

sandandsun

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
Re: Anyone retired with spouse that "can't" retire?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 07:31:09 PM »
I'm looking to retire in 6-7 years- that's a lot longer than I need to work, but that's where I've decided to draw the line at "way more than enough for whatever could come up" in the stash... Spouse says she wants to work at least 2-3 years after I FIRE... But we will have a place at the beach by then and I am betting that when I start making regular trips for maintenance and other things, she will change her mind pretty quickly : )