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Old 05-21-2015, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,043 posts, read 23,705,086 times
Reputation: 9334

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnTrips View Post
So if the two of you decided that you were not ready financially to retire together, but he could retire now if you worked until you were the same age as his age at retirement, should he keep working even though he's older than you and has already worked longer?

Would it be unfair if you contributed the same number of working years as your husband? If you were my wife, I'd be pretty upset.
Life is so much more complicated than that.

For example, actually, I started working the same year he did, because my parents owned a business, so I was working a part time job at 14, and full time at 16. He didn't start working part time until he was 16. But then I only worked 4 months of the year (full time for those 4 months) for the 4 years I was in college, before we were married, while he kept working part time the whole time while he was in school. Each of us worked 2 jobs for a while at various points. But then he was out of work for 12 months and I completely supported our household. His credit was terrible, so the only reason we bought our house was based on my credit. I helped pay off the debt he came into the marriage with, while I had almost none. Also, my job requires a lot of overtime. He worked mandatory overtime for about a year, but I worked 60 hours a week for several years and 50-60 hours a week for quite a few more years.

Life isn't as simple as "he started working before I did". Overall, I've probably put in more work hours than he has to date. So if that continues and I end up working more hours than him, should I be able to retire a year or two sooner, even though I'm 2 years younger? No, because that isn't how married life should work. It isn't about counting numbers, hours, or years. It is a partnership. I wouldn't want to be retired while my husband kept working any more than I would want him to retire while I keep working. To me, both are unfair.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,469,891 times
Reputation: 27565
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_n_Tenn View Post
We have the means to retire but my wife says she wants me to keep working. I'm 6 yrs older than my wife and I'm 62. The last of our four kids just graduated college last week and has gotten the "talk" about "trying" to be financially independent by the end of the year. The financial guy says we're good to go without a ton of details. I do not plan to take SS now but let my wife claim my SS later 'cause I'm the higher income earner. We have two homes and one we rent out (vacation home) and do quite well, but hold a mortgage. The rent and the investment mortgage is a wash. We also have an income property and make a few bucks on that one. We will continue to rent our vacation home when not in use but capable of paying off the mortgage if necessary.... so it's not an issue.

Seems like the plan has come to fruition... but wait my wife says she's not ready for me to retire! Huh? whaa? why? Didn't see that one coming. So I ask why.... and the answers are all over the place so I suspect the "idea" of retiring scares her. She did tell me the idea of taking money out of retirement/savings scares her because, for so many years we've been saving. Well what's the alternative... just to keep working indefinitely? That ain't happening.

For those who have retired with a non retirement aged spouse or one who kept working... how did that work out? Was there any anxiety about one person retiring first?

I take care of things at home... in fact I designed and built our home so I'm on the plus side of competent. I do most of the cooking... just because I'm better at it. I'm and avid fisherman/boater... love the outdoors. Both of us in good health. Her job is in real estate so she has some flexibility and has an informal working partner who cover for each other. We cruise a lot, so she gets her cruise fix.

Where do we go from here? I'm ready, she's not.
She's dodging the question of "why". She needs to come clean and give you the real reason why she doesn't want you to retire. You just "suspect" that she's scared.

You can't move forward until the truth is out on the table for discussion.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
2,636 posts, read 1,543,257 times
Reputation: 5005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacerta View Post
No, because that isn't how married life should work. It isn't about counting numbers, hours, or years. It is a partnership. I wouldn't want to be retired while my husband kept working any more than I would want him to retire while I keep working. To me, both are unfair.
I get that this is not a case in which he's done the lion's share of the work, and I apologize for making that assumption.

I agree that marriage is a partnership, and married couples have undertaken an obligation to work together towards each other's happiness. But partners in a marriage don't necessarily give up the right to make their own decisions, in their own interest, about their own lives.

Let's say he wants to retire, and partial retirement or part time work is not an option. You have financial or other concerns which you discuss in good faith, and both of you still end up in disagreement. What happens now? Who makes the call?

Its his call -- his right to retire, because it is his life. Slavery has been abolished for some time. Your choices are (1) to do on your own whatever you feel is necessary to resolve your concerns, financial or otherwise, (2) to retire as well, and confront him with the fact that expenses must be cut, in other words, let the chips fall wherever (since you have that right too), or (3) find another partner.

Pls don't get me wrong, I am not challenging what would be your natural concern about the change in your lifestyle, or your right to express that concern. I am saying that, ultimately, your happiness in a marriage is more about the choices you make than about controlling the choices your partner makes.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,043 posts, read 23,705,086 times
Reputation: 9334
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnTrips View Post
I get that this is not a case in which he's done the lion's share of the work, and I apologize for making that assumption.

I agree that marriage is a partnership, and married couples have undertaken an obligation to work together towards each other's happiness. But partners in a marriage don't necessarily give up the right to make their own decisions, in their own interest, about their own lives.

Let's say he wants to retire, and partial retirement or part time work is not an option. You have financial or other concerns which you discuss in good faith, and both of you still end up in disagreement. What happens now? Who makes the call?

Its his call -- his right to retire, because it is his life. Slavery has been abolished for some time. Your choices are (1) to do on your own whatever you feel is necessary to resolve your concerns, financial or otherwise, (2) to retire as well, and confront him with the fact that expenses must be cut, in other words, let the chips fall wherever (since you have that right too), or (3) find another partner.

Pls don't get me wrong, I am not challenging what would be your natural concern about the change in your lifestyle, or your right to express that concern. I am saying that, ultimately, your happiness in a marriage is more about the choices you make than about controlling the choices your partner makes.

Retirement is not an entitlement. For most of human history, people worked until they died. If they became old and enfeebled, and were no longer able to work, their kids supported them, the town supported them, or they died. Our notion of being able to work for 30 or 40 years and then retire for an equal length of time is basically new in the last century. So I think the notion that someone "deserves" retirement is a crazy one in the first place. If you can't afford to retire, you don't retire unless you are no longer physically or mentally able to work ("I'm sick of working" does not count, or I'd be retired already). I'm saying that if you can't afford for both spouses to retire (and they both want to), you can't afford for either spouse to retire.

It absolutely is his right to retire, but it is also the wife's right to voice her concern or unhappiness over it, especially since it directly impacts her if she has to work additional years beyond what she planned on because of it (ie they could have both worked 2 more years, but because he's retiring now, she now has to work 4 more years instead). I would definitely be unhappy in a marriage where my husband told me something was none of my business and to "butt out", as one responder put it. I would be out of that marriage very fast. More than that, I would never have married someone who treated me with such disrespect in the first place.

My husband and I have a truly equal partnership. We don't make decisions without the other person. Neither of us makes the call by ourselves. We make it together. In this situation, we would sit down, look at all the numbers, talk about the emotional issues, and mutually compromise. Depending on what the real objections were, maybe that compromise would be that he agrees to do 2 hours worth of house/yard work per day, so I didn't have to do it after work. Maybe the compromise would be that he would volunteer 10 hours a week while I was at work, to get out of the house and stay active. And if the money was the issue, maybe it would be that he would find a way to bring in $500/month, either with a part time job, or selling his time, or a hobby, or whatever. Maybe all of the above. That is the nature of compromise. Or maybe after looking at everything, we would decide we could both retire, or alternately, that we both needed to work another 2 years.

My husband and I have never had a situation where we didn't come to an agreement, and we've been together for 22 years now. I could never have married someone who didn't respect my opinion, and who was not willing to compromise. I'm aware that what I have is special, and that not everyone is in an equal partnership. But given the options you laid out above, if I was disrespected in this way, I would take option 3.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:21 PM
 
39,213 posts, read 20,338,563 times
Reputation: 12736
Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Mansfield View Post
When a person's answers and excuses are "all over the place" it usually means they are not being honest.

Many wives dislike the notion of their husbands retiring if it means he is going to be at home and underfoot a all day. Having a husband is nicer when he's off at work making money, and wifey can spend her time as she chooses.
LOL. When my husband wanted to retire it was scary but I was all for it. I work so I took it for granted that he knew he would have to do more housework. We live in the north with long snowy winters. I was getting madder and madder because doing housework home didn't even occur to him. Chit hit the fan one day and he was puzzled and said... hey I cut the grass

Obviously I'm sure you know what happened next. Did anyone hear something blow up? That might have been me. Ladies, if your husband is going to retire, make sure you think about these things. I remember when my FIL retired, my MIL still did everything and that lazy boy chair was permanently attached to his butt. There was no reason he couldn't pitch in. She didn't ever retire until she died.

It's all straightened out now. I can now enjoy him being around.

Last edited by petch751; 05-21-2015 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,353,783 times
Reputation: 1159
Too bad the OP has left the building because he felt besieged. Hope he works this out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Is it at all possible that there's some jealousy involved and she doesn't like the idea that you will be retired and free while she still "has" to work?
I think it would be tough for many to have to work after a spoused retired. Depends on the work, of course. I quit work at 60, too early, but forcibly, so to speak--downsized, then shut out of the market during the recession. I really enjoyed my work but it was stressful and I had been looking for an excuse to retire for some time. But it still took me over a year to really acknowledge I was retired.

Meanwhile, my (older) husband continued to work. He did not envy me, because he loved his job. But it was strange because I became the homebody, helpmate, which had never been my role (we shared the cooking, and hired help to clean). Now if the roles had been reversed, I would have been very unhappy, I admit.

He's been officially retired for four years now, but works part-time and continues to do research, write papers, travel to conferences. He's happy as a clam and in some ways I really envy him now.

But in the main it worked out. Today is our 35th anniversary. We're not together--I'm at our summer cottage, he's in the city teaching.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
2,636 posts, read 1,543,257 times
Reputation: 5005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacerta View Post
Retirement is not an entitlement. For most of human history, people worked until they died. If they became old and enfeebled, and were no longer able to work, their kids supported them, the town supported them, or they died. Our notion of being able to work for 30 or 40 years and then retire for an equal length of time is basically new in the last century. So I think the notion that someone "deserves" retirement is a crazy one in the first place. If you can't afford to retire, you don't retire unless you are no longer physically or mentally able to work ("I'm sick of working" does not count, or I'd be retired already). I'm saying that if you can't afford for both spouses to retire (and they both want to), you can't afford for either spouse to retire.

It absolutely is his right to retire, but it is also the wife's right to voice her concern or unhappiness over it, especially since it directly impacts her if she has to work additional years beyond what she planned on because of it (ie they could have both worked 2 more years, but because he's retiring now, she now has to work 4 more years instead). I would definitely be unhappy in a marriage where my husband told me something was none of my business and to "butt out", as one responder put it. I would be out of that marriage very fast. More than that, I would never have married someone who treated me with such disrespect in the first place.

My husband and I have a truly equal partnership. We don't make decisions without the other person. Neither of us makes the call by ourselves. We make it together. In this situation, we would sit down, look at all the numbers, talk about the emotional issues, and mutually compromise. Depending on what the real objections were, maybe that compromise would be that he agrees to do 2 hours worth of house/yard work per day, so I didn't have to do it after work. Maybe the compromise would be that he would volunteer 10 hours a week while I was at work, to get out of the house and stay active. And if the money was the issue, maybe it would be that he would find a way to bring in $500/month, either with a part time job, or selling his time, or a hobby, or whatever. Maybe all of the above. That is the nature of compromise. Or maybe after looking at everything, we would decide we could both retire, or alternately, that we both needed to work another 2 years.

My husband and I have never had a situation where we didn't come to an agreement, and we've been together for 22 years now. I could never have married someone who didn't respect my opinion, and who was not willing to compromise. I'm aware that what I have is special, and that not everyone is in an equal partnership. But given the options you laid out above, if I was disrespected in this way, I would take option 3.
I don't think we disagree about some of the points you made. By all means, discuss, express, compromise, any way possible. Preserve that long-term partnership!

But I disagree with the notion that if he makes a final decision that you disagree with, he has no right to do so and that is tantamount to disrespect. Maybe its true that, no matter what the issue, there's always a way to compromise - I'd like to think so. But if there isn't, and a call has to be made, my point is -- who has the right to make it when it comes to your husband's retirement? What I get from your post is that he may not make that decision without your agreement, and with that I have a fundamental disagreement. Compromise includes the notion that you can't both compromise all the time, and sometimes someone has to make the call.

P.S. retirement is not an entitlement from the point of view of society, but that is not the issue here, since its not society that would be having the problem.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,164 posts, read 8,687,150 times
Reputation: 6164
Smile Excellent advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Try to understand it from her perspective. Retirement is a big step...it's one of those 'life passages'. It can be frightening to a 56-year-old, as their minds are not usually wired for leaving a job, at that age. Also, you are making her feel older. First comes menopause, then...a retired husband? Whoa!

If you mention it to her continually, over time, in a non-threatening way ("I'm getting out of that #&!@#!! place as soon as I can !"), she will begin to adjust to the idea. Still may not be happy about it.

Marriages are most vulnerable during the 'life passage' times. You are asking her to adjust to the empty-nest thing (how does she feel about pushing your youngest out, right after college?) PLUS the prospect of having a retired husband. Just 4 years ago, she was a mom with at least one child still at home. Let her adjust. If she is very important to you, take this seriously. That last child is her baby. It's nice to have them all out on their own, but this can be very tough on their mother. It was tough on me, and I was only the father!

I think you need to give her some time to come to terms with all the changes that are taking place in the family. Once she understands how you feel about it, and you try to calm her fears (trust me, she IS feeling fear) she should become more comfortable with the idea. You don't want to lose her.
As a female and mom of only 2 and one whose children are very independent (we work a lot), I struggled with the empty nest. I was surprised that I did so your comments above ring very true.

Why don't you let her adjust to the child leaving first? Then, approach again.

The first paragraph you wrote is also true. In my case, I know I like to feel needed. When my children left, all of a sudden, our once chaotic house was so quiet, too quiet. It took a while.

Why don't you take a trip together but don't mention the R word. Take it slow and watch for the signs.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:36 PM
 
9,644 posts, read 4,548,107 times
Reputation: 12510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
As a female and mom of only 2 and one whose children are very independent (we work a lot), I struggled with the empty nest. I was surprised that I did so your comments above ring very true.

Why don't you let her adjust to the child leaving first? Then, approach again.
The nest has been empty for 5 years.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,164 posts, read 8,687,150 times
Reputation: 6164
Smile No - last one was in college

The last of our four kids just graduated college last week and has gotten the "talk" about "trying" to be financially independent by the end of year (from OP)

Child could have lived at home; believe, some children have very adult college lives and they and their friends still come around.
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