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Getting Your Spouse On Board with Early Retirement


on board with early retirementWhat if you wake up one day and realize you really want to retire early? Nay, make that – you need to retire early. Your job is slowly killing you can you can’t take it much longer. Okay, that was me in 2010, but you get my drift. If you’re married, then your next step would be to announce your early retirement idea to your better half. This is when the SHTF, as the prepper community would call it. It probably is not a great idea to blurt this out when your wife is pregnant. (Yes, me again…) In any case, it is imperative to get your spouse’s support if you want to retire early. This could be difficult because early retirement is outlandish especially if you are under 50.

In 2014, I had coffee with Iris, one of our readers. She was an apparel designer for a well know local company and she was very stressed out about her job. She wanted to leave, but her significant other didn’t support that. He said she should bite the bullet and keep working there because her position was very well paid. I advised her to save as much as she could and keep talking to her partner. It is much easier to work on big financial issues as a team. Recently, I met up with Iris again and she was just about to hand in her two weeks’ notice. Her husband is on her side now and she can leave without this decision affecting their marriage. She is going to take it slow for a while and work part time at the library to decompress. She is also working on a line of clothing on the side and hope to open an online store at some point. That’s really great for Iris. She is very excited to leave a stressful job situation and try to make it on her own. I could tell she was very happy with her decision. I’m also really glad that she was able to persuade her husband to be more supportive.

The natural reaction of anyone who hears that their spouse wants to quit their job is to get on the defensive. The household income would decrease and that usually means cutting back. That’s the most immediate issue, but there are other problems too. What if one person wants to retire early and the other loves their job? It’s tough to get on the same page. Let’s go through some scenarios to see what our argument would be.

Shoot for Financial Independence

If your partner is not crazy about early retirement, the best way to get them on board is to aim for financial independence instead. There are a lot of questions about early retirement. What will I do with all my time? Will I be bored? Will I have any social life without my friends at work? Will the retirement accounts be able to afford 40+ years of retirement? A lot of these questions go away if you shoot for financial independence. You can tout the benefit of financial independence and put off dealing with early retirement until you get there. This is a whole post by itself, but here are some benefits to financial independence.

  • Financial security – If you ever get laid off, you can take your time to find the perfect job.
  • Freedom to work on your own terms – Something funny happens when you achieve financial independence. You become emboldened at work. You can pick and choose your assignments and avoid the BS. At this point, your employer needs you more than you need them. The power balance has shifted.
  • Wealth – You’ll be rich!
  • Extra spending money – If your passive income covers your cost of living, then your earned income is gravy. You can use that money any way you’d like. You can invest, donate, travel more, or help your family.
  • Employment optional – Financial independence means you can transition to part-time employment, self employment, or early retirement. You might not want to retire now, but who know how you’ll feel in 10 years.

I Love My Work

Here is another scenario. One person wants to retire early and the partner loves her job. A lot of people will feel that it is unfair for one spouse to work. I routinely get this. Some people say I am not retired because Mrs. RB40 still works full-time. When I quit my engineering career in 2012, Mrs. RB40 likes her job and she didn’t want to quit working. That’s great for our family because we can keep saving while she is working. Why should she quit if she likes what she’s doing?

It’s fantastic that you love your job, but that should not get in the way of saving and investing. Loving your job doesn’t give you a free pass to spend all your income. Even if you love your job, it doesn’t mean you will love it 10 or 20 years from now. In fact, Mrs. RB40’s employer went through some restructuring and work is not as fun as it once was. She is thinking about taking a year off soon to see if she will like early retirement. Things never stay the same so it’s better to be prepared and have more choices in the future.

We won’t be able to spend any money

This is a legitimate concern. Unless you’re already frugal and save 50% or more of your income, you will need to cut back. We lived modestly when I was making good income so it wasn’t a huge obstacle when our income was reduced to one paycheck. We probably would have to make some changes when Mrs. RB40 retires in a few years. Our biggest monthly expense is the housing and we could move to a cheaper location when she’s not tied down to her job anymore. We’ll see when we get closer.

It’s a trade off. Is your work more painful than cutting back on your spending? In my case, our lives improved a lot after I retired. It was worth it to cut back a bit.

People will think I’m crazy

Yes, your coworkers, friends, and family will think you are crazy. But, that’s because most people save less than 5% of their income and they will never be able to retire early. Once, I told a neighbor that I have a blog called Retire by 40. Her reaction was “retire by 40 and back to work at 50!” I laughed it off because I knew most people think like that. There are a couple of solutions to this problem.

  1. Don’t tell anyone you’re trying to retire early. The first rule of FIRE club is: you do not talk about FIRE club! By the way, FIRE is financial independence, retire early.
  2. If you talk about FIRE, then be prepared to ignore the Joneses.

Yes, early retirement is a little crazy, but there are many great examples of people making it work. Check out my list of early retirement blogs.

You can’t depend on the stock market

Early retirement usually means investing in the stock market. You can’t just stick your money in a saving account. The inflation will eat you alive. You need to invest it and eventually use the passive income to replace your earned income. However, a lot of people distrust the stock market and they think it is just a form of gambling. Yes, you can invest like you’re gambling, but you can invest more conservatively also. If you consistently invest in solid companies over the long haul, you should do well. The simplest way to do this is to invest in low cost index funds. There will be crashes and short term fluctuations, but those are the best times to buy. If the stock market ever drops to zero, I’m sure we’ll have bigger problems to worry about. Lastly, if you really can’t bring yourself to trust the stock market, consider rental properties. A lot of people retired with rentals. It’s more work up front, but it’s more tangible than the stock market.

All aboard the Early Retirement Train

So those are just some scenarios that most people will run into when they tell their spouse they want to retire early. The most important thing is to work as a team and try to get your partner on your side. It might take a while, but keep talking to your spouse and emphasize the positives. You can start off with the easy stuff like tracking your cash flow. Once you see where your money goes, you can evaluate your spending more effectively. Keep working on it and eventually, your partner will get on board the early retirement train, too.

Did you have any problems convincing your partner to get on board with early retirement? What are some other scenarios that you could run into?  

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 58 comments… add one }
  • The Green Swan June 10, 2016, 4:28 am

    I think that is a really important point about staying invested in the stock market, at least a good portion of your accounts anyway. If you are retiring early, the stock market gives you the best chance for longevity and maintain spending power (beat inflation). I haven’t given a whole lot of thought yet as to my specific allocation upon early retirement, but I have a bit more time to consider it.

    • Fiscally Free June 10, 2016, 8:12 am

      I completely agree. The stock market is your best bet for consistent, safe returns (over the long term) with minimal hassle.
      In southern California, the economics of rental properties don’t really work out. The prices are so high, rental income will barely cover the payments and property tax.

      • Matt June 10, 2016, 11:11 am

        Not true at all. The people I know who are rolling in it are people who bought rental property. The best thing I ever did financially was buy two rental properties in Los Angeles. One in 2011 and the other in 2013. Granted cash flow was fairly small at first, but as I fixed up units and consistently raised rents, they now spit out a bunch of cash and the equity gains are substantial.

        • Fiscally Free June 10, 2016, 3:17 pm

          You had very good timing. Buying property now, or a few years ago, would be very different.

          • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 5:47 pm

            I know a guy who got into rental properties in the 80s in San Jose, CA. I think he got about 15 units or so. His family is set for life.

          • Pon June 11, 2016, 1:20 am

            My significant other is totally supportive of me seeking FI. She’s very frugal herself, but not much of investor so inflation IS eating her alive. In the next 5 years, I’m working towards moving her cash positions into the stock market. If the real estate market cools down, then I’d consider investment real estate as well, but living in Silicon Valley, housing is ridiculous! I can hardly justify any investment properties.

            It’s really true, you shouldn’t talk about early retirement to anyone. People WILL think you’re crazy and a leech in society, but when you succeed, they will still say the same things, but secretly jealous. Currently, early retirement just a little secret between and my significant other.

        • Sandy June 11, 2016, 12:57 pm

          I agree that talking to most about your early retirement goals is not worthwhile. I am 53, still working and have gotten negativity when mentioning plans to retire no later than 60. “You won’t be eligible for social security or Medicare!” Saying I’ve planned for this usually draws skepcism, I don’t get why this is not a more common goal? From my perspective, retiring at 59 is only a bit early.

          • retirebyforty June 13, 2016, 10:34 am

            I only told my immediate family about my plan to retire early and a few very close friends. Even they are skeptical and they are usually very supportive. Good luck!

  • Apathy Ends June 10, 2016, 5:04 am

    I’m worried my wife will find this page and flip the script

    I plan on roughing it out until we can both call it quits, still a ways out for us but I like thinking about it.

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 8:45 am

      Shoot for FI. 🙂 You don’t have to think much about early retirement with that goal.

  • Evan June 10, 2016, 5:11 am

    Thanks for a primer. My spouse and I will be having this discussion in the next 6 months. Hoping to be retired at 38 in 2017!

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 8:45 am

      Good luck! Try to go slow and warm her up to the idea. Emphasize the positive aspect of ER.

  • sendaiben June 10, 2016, 5:24 am

    My wife is pretty frugal by nature, but we did have some small hiccups as she is not as obsessive as I am.

    We reached a compromise by having me manage the money in both our names (we both work and have separate accounts) while keeping her informed once or twice a year.

    It’s going more or less smoothly now, but I still get the odd grumble about being overly preoccupied with money and saving 😉

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 8:51 am

      It’s great that your wife is already frugal. She’ll thank you when she’s older. 🙂

  • Steve June 10, 2016, 5:37 am

    One other thing to consider is that when one spouse quits his/her job, you do lose the income of that spouse, but you also lose the income and payroll tax liability of that spouse’s income. So, in effect, while your income goes down, so do your expenses. It is surprising how little the second spouse is often really working for after figuring out what portion of their income goes toward taxes (and other work related expenses, e.g. transportation, clothing, possibly daycare, etc.)

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 8:53 am

      That’s true. Sometime going back to work full time only adds $500/month to the income. If one spouse makes a lot more than the other, it makes a lot more sense to have one stay home especially if you have kids.

  • Pia @ Mama Hustle June 10, 2016, 5:42 am

    My husband would love to leave his job, but since we’re still in debt, he feels like he can’t. Once we get our debts paid off, he’d eventually like to go back to school.

    I’ve broached the topic of financial independence with him a few times, but since it’s so far away, he thinks it’s silly to talk about. Kind of doesn’t matter though, since I manage our finances. He thinks I’m managing them wisely, and it shows in the results, so to him, who cares if the goal is being debt-free or financially independent? We’re on the right path.

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 8:55 am

      It’s tough when you have debt. Keep working on it and you’ll get there some day. Good luck!

  • Mike Drak June 10, 2016, 6:12 am

    For us we decided to reach FI before I took early retirement from a job that was killing me. Achieving FI was the day I stopped ducking at work. Your world changes after FI but it’s interesting to note that many of us still do some form of work but we no longer work just for money but for fun instead. Not sure if it is a guy thing but it seems that many of our spouses continue in their primary careers after we have made the jump my wife included.

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 8:56 am

      That’s an interesting point about spouse keeps working. I wonder why. Perhaps women are more satisfied with their choice of work. I have no idea.

      • Brad June 11, 2016, 3:09 pm

        I have heard that many women that don’t want their husband to retire early is because they want the security of his usually higher income, s.s. Income and don’t want their lifestyle to possibly go down from what it could be if there was no early retirement.

  • Jeff V June 10, 2016, 6:26 am

    I don’t consider either my wife or I big spenders, but it is still a struggle to keep spending below $70k, including the health insurance premiums out of our paychecks.

    The big hitters are:
    1) health care. between high premiums, high deductibles, and a couple of issues this year involving multiple appointments and tests, this is big this year, well over $10k
    2) kids care & activities. Since my wife and I both work, we have some summer camps and other stuff for our two kids, plus other activities throughout the year.

    We do a decent job saving, but spending is the problematic side. I need to learn better from the folks who can keep annual spending below $30 – $40 k.

    – Jeff

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 8:59 am

      Health insurance is a big issue for sure. We haven’t had to deal with it because we are on Mrs. RB40’s employer sponsored plan. Once she quits, we will jump on the ACA plan. I know ACA is working pretty well right now because my mom is on an ACA plan. However, there will be more problems if the cost keeps increasing at this pace.
      Kid cares are expensive. Good luck!

      • Jeff V June 10, 2016, 9:32 am

        We have employer-sponsored healthcare coverage, it just sucks. I think they aim for a ACA-minimum.

        One other consideration; one of could leave our job and we could get by on one income, but with two caveats:
        1) We won’t be saving very much at that point.
        2) The bigger issue; I don’t trust either of our employers to not lay us off at any given time. I was laid-off two year ago from a job where I was considered a future leader in the department (by default, really; I was the only one under 40 with 10+ years experience in the industry).

        – Jeff

  • Physician on FIRE June 10, 2016, 6:47 am

    We’ve been a one-income household from day 1, so my early retirement definitely needs to be agreed upon. My wife know the crazy hours I keep, and stressful situations I find myself in, so she fully understands my desire to make a change at some point.


    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 9:01 am

      It’s great that your wife is on board with your plan. Did you get some resistance at the beginning? My brother is a ER physician and I can’t imagine him quitting. The finance just won’t work out and his wife refuses to move to a cheaper location.

      • Physician on FIRE June 11, 2016, 7:49 pm

        She’s on board 100%.

        When I’m working, she’s single parenting. Far too often, I’m off to work before anyone is awake, and not home until they’re all asleep. She understands that the finances will definitely work out, and is looking forward to my retirement / semi-retirement when that day comes.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert June 10, 2016, 6:53 am

    Hi Joe,

    I am very lucky that my wife was/is supportive of my early retirement. But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t challenges we had to overcome.

    She enjoys high levels of certainty and anytime you throw some unknowns like early retirement into the mix, it shakes things up a bit! Even after showing her our numbers several times, she was still a bit nervous, but where I’m incredibly lucky is she had faith in me. I always told her, “What’s the worse that could happen?” (I go back to a day job – God forbid…haha).

    It’s been 3 years and our NW has only increased since this time. She still has some bouts of nervousness, but one day I’m going to convince her to retire early with me. 😉


    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 9:02 am

      The past few years has been really good because of the stock/real estate market. I’m not looking forward to a recession. It would be a good test, though. Does she want to retire early?
      Good luck!

      • Jeff V June 10, 2016, 9:27 am

        I am curious to see what my portfolio looks like after the next recession. It is offer some good clues as to when we can retire or cut back.

        – Jeff V

  • freebird June 10, 2016, 8:00 am

    My guess is the more common ‘mixed’ scenario is when both partners dislike their jobs but one wants out more than the other. They can make it on either paycheck, so the question is who gets to ER? Should both drop to part time and share the freedom? Or both suck it up and keep working until they can both fully retire at the same time?

    My mother quit her nursing career shortly after it started when she married my dad at age 30. She didn’t want to quit but dad wanted to start a family and day care didn’t exist back then. No one called her RB30, she only considered herself to be retired after my dad retired from his full time job. Single income households were pretty common decades ago, and they still exist to some extent today, so by your definition RB40 might be considered late…

    As for other scenarios, have you heard about RHS?
    I read somewhere that some cling to their jobs only because they know the “boss from hell” is not the one at the office!

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 9:06 am

      I think it is just semantic. It’s just how you see yourself. Your mother’s situation didn’t change at all whether your dad is retired or not.
      I would say FI is the deciding factor. If you can support your household without the breadwinner’s paycheck, then you can call yourself retired.

      I have not heard of RHS, but I can understand it. I’m looking forward to having Mrs. RB40 at home more. She doesn’t demand a lot of time and attention so it won’t make a huge difference if she is at home.

  • Fiscally Free June 10, 2016, 8:09 am

    I definitely got some initial resistance to the idea of an early retirement, but my wife came around quickly.
    She is staying home with our baby, and with my job and commute, it seems like we barely see each other. I just had to point out how much more family time we would get and she was mostly convinced.
    I also put together some numbers showing how our spending habits wouldn’t really change, so our quality of life would still be high.
    The toughest part was getting her on board with potentially moving to a lower cost area, but I found a location that won’t be too much of a shock.
    Basically, I’m lucky my wife loves me and her main priority is spending more time with me, as opposed to some women I know who seem most concerned about having a nicer car or fancier clothes than their “friends.”

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 9:08 am

      I hear that from other stay at home mom very often. You barely have time to see each other especially if your job is demanding. It seems like most jobs are very demanding these days. Nike, Intel, and all the local companies expects people to work crazy hours. It’s great that your wife supports your goal. Keep at it!

  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes June 10, 2016, 8:58 am

    Lots of gems in this one Joe!

    Unfortunately, many spouses are addicted to their spending. Being wealthy seems impossible to many. That’s a mindset that is hard to change.

    I think it’s important to pick the “right” spouse to start with, rather than fight the battle to get them on the same page as you.

    Thankfully I had Mrs. Tako on board before we were even married!

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 5:44 pm

      That’s great! We were both frugal to begin with so it made FI much more achievable. Having the right partner makes all the difference.

    • Mike June 11, 2016, 9:49 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. Spouse is key. I’m coming up on 20 years of marriage and remember seeing a paycheck of hers while we were dating. Saw that she was contributing to 401k as a mid 20’s woman. VERY uncommon. Knew then that she was a keeper. Whenever she gets a bonus, raise, etc. I literally can’t get her to spend much on herself., she wants to invest it. Most of my buddies wives think an ATM is just a cash machine that spits out money on the way to the spa, girls night out, lululemon store, etc. with no clue how it gets in there. Retiring in 9 months at 50 with 4MM. Buddies are broke. Spousal buy in is absolutely critical.

  • Tawcan June 10, 2016, 9:43 am

    Mrs. T and I are on the early retirement train together. She’s totally into this the idea as this means I get to spend more time at home with her and the kids. 🙂

    • retirebyforty June 10, 2016, 5:45 pm

      That’s great! Being home with the kids is a huge payoff. I’d rather have that than lots of other things.

  • Mike H. June 10, 2016, 1:57 pm

    Never having been married, I can’t speak from personal experience. But I have observed one spouse’s retirement usually starts a countdown clock for the other spouse, with an average of 2-4 years before both are retired.

    It seems like this needs to be a process. If you’re thinking about early retirement and tell your spouse about it, you can’t assume that they’ll immediately be on board; it will take them just as much time and just as many spreadsheets to get as comfortable with the idea as you are.

    Also, to address some of the issues from other comments: if your husband/wife is concerned enough with spending and lifestyle that it is their main objection, you probably aren’t saving enough to retire early anyway.

  • amber tree June 11, 2016, 12:25 am

    After some talks and finding the right angle, my wife is fully on board with our plans to aim for an early retirement. We now live a conscious frugal life and try to live our life by design already now!

  • Chri June 11, 2016, 1:30 pm

    Awesome post!

    I think I am in a very good situation, because my girlfriend supports me in my goal to financial independence and early retirement. She is 23, I am 24 years old, we have so much time to build wealth, and we love to live a simple life. 🙂 We dont need that much. I think we have a good chance 🙂

    thanks for sharing !

    best regards

    • retirebyforty June 13, 2016, 10:33 am

      Good luck! You have a huge head start at that age. I’m jealous. 🙂

  • daffy June 11, 2016, 2:24 pm

    Seems like a lot of husband’s are leading the FI charge so I thought I would weigh in from a wife’s perspective 😉

    Can’t argue with the fact that FI provides people with the luxury of choice – maybe working in a lower paying, but more fulfilling job, taking regular breaks because that’s the pace YOU want to work, for example. However early retirement takes a special kind of personality type and is not as easy as it sounds! My dad retired early after a lifetime of saving and 10 years in, admitted he wished he had kept working! I think he underestimated how much structure regular work gave his life and also how it infused each day with a sense of purpose. Perhaps this was true for him because he retired at 50 so while he could keep himself busy for 10 years pursuing his hobbies and traveling with my mom, he felt that he couldn’t really go back to work at 60 because by then his skills were rusty and truthfully he just felt a little “slower” in general (he was a doctor). I feel that I m very much like my dad and would probably have the same feelings.

    I guess I’m pursuing FI for us as a couple because I would like if my husband and I had the option to leave a specific job but would always want to keep my mind sharp (keep working at least part time, study more, learn a skill) for the time I inevitably get bored during retirement . I hate to admit it, but leaving regular work gives me a feeling like I’m losing my connection to the world and I’m not sure I would use my time off very responsibly! Know Thyself and all that 😉

    • retirebyforty June 13, 2016, 10:36 am

      Thank you for your comment! We need more female perspectives now that Mrs. RB40 is too busy with work to help. 🙂
      I agree about the personality type. Luckily, I’m a perfect fit! I don’t think Mrs. RB40 has the right personality for it, but we’ll see. I can see your dad’s point, though. I can’t go back to work in the same job now either. My skill is outdated after just a few years. Good luck!

  • Dividendsdownunder June 11, 2016, 7:18 pm

    Hey Joe. Luckily we have found the FIRE club very early (24 and 23) and we’re both completely on board with the idea. We already had a frugal mindset and last month was the first time we ever got over 50% savings rate.

    We are completely up for investing in the stock market, and other places, to get where we need to be. At the moment we aren’t aiming to retire early per se, just to be FI so we can do whatever we want.


    • retirebyforty June 13, 2016, 10:37 am

      It’s great that you started so early. Good luck!

  • Martin - Get FIRE'd asap June 12, 2016, 1:45 am

    Great post RB40 and take it from one who has recently retired early what you say is spot on. My other half, Ms MM is a few years younger than me and still loves her job so isn’t ready to retire….yet. She was totally supportive of my decision to pull the ‘working’ plug as she knows how much it was burying me.

    I guess that makes me quite lucky as she didn’t put up any objections to me not going to work every day, and she gets to reap the rewards of great dinners cooked when she gets home.

    Your suggestion of going for financial independence first (and you will need to anyway) in the lead up to retirement is a good one. You are so correct about about how it shifts the position of power when your boss knows you don’t ‘need’ the job. It certainly worked for me before I retired.

    Great post as always.

  • Frugal Familia June 15, 2016, 12:00 pm

    One thing that has worked well for my wife and I is maintaining separate bank accounts. Although my wife fully supports my goals of early retirement completely, she doesn’t have quite the aggressive plan that I do. We have joint accounts which we transfer money in monthly to cover joint expenses and save together, however we each have our own accounts for our disposable income. She chooses to spend, whereas I choose to invest.

  • Ashley June 15, 2016, 2:38 pm

    My husband and I are both frugal and have managed to save more than enough to retire, but he’s a worrier and doesn’t want to take the risk of retiring early. Both of us have very demanding jobs, and spend some money making our lives more managable, so I’m selling my retiring early by pointing out all the costs we could cut if I no longer worked (more cooking, less eating out, no more lawn guy, less mileage, gas, insurance for my car) plus the improvement in his lifestyle as evenings and weekends could be completely leisure time, whereas now we spend a chunk of the weekend on errands and household management.

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2016, 9:26 am

      You’re right. Working can cost a lot of money too, but you still come out ahead if you plan well. The real benefit is having more time to yourself and less stress. Good luck!

  • Travis June 15, 2016, 8:58 pm

    My girlfriend was stunned when I told her that I was quitting my job to pursue extreme early retirement. Now I think I’ve got her on board, she’s paying down her debt, and we want to travel Europe and maybe live in Berlin, Paris, and Kiev. It’s tough to explain but easy to persuade someone to go for early retirement.

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2016, 9:30 am

      Good luck. Nomadic livings sounds great while you’re young. Enjoy!

  • [email protected] June 17, 2016, 11:18 am

    I want to pitch in from a cultural perspective. My family is from China. It is unimaginable for them to think about early retirement. In my parents’ mind, even if you have enough money, it is just not okay to retire early because not too many people there have done it. I think in the US it is more acceptable because more people are doing it.

    In terms of getting the spouse on board, if your spouse truly likes his/her work and doesn’t want to retire, you can perhaps try to talk him/her into working remotely (if possible) or starting his/her own consultancy.

  • Mrs. SimplyFinanciallyFree June 21, 2016, 8:25 am

    Thankfully my spouse is fully on board but it did feel like it took a while before he was as dedicated as I was.

    But I do have the concern of what will my friends/family think and we recently thought that once the time comes and we reach our goal we won’t tell people we are retired or finally independent. Like you said “The first rule of FIRE club is: you do not talk about FIRE club!” instead of saying we are retired we will just say we are taking a sabbatical from our regular jobs. The detail we will leave out is that it is a sabbatical hopefully forever!

    • retirebyforty June 21, 2016, 10:46 am

      That’s a great idea. If it doesn’t work out as planned, then nobody will have to know. Taking a sabbatical forever sounds like a great plan. 🙂

  • Mark D. July 8, 2016, 11:03 am

    I am anticipating a difficult discussion when the time comes. My wife hasn’t worked full-time ever and I am not sure she will understand the grind and the toll it can have on you.

    She didn’t work at all until a year ago which was a mutual decision as we felt it was important for one of us to be home for the kids. We had a tight budget for many years as we had kids very young.

    Now she works ~20 hours a week from home and is able to flex her schedule around whatever is going on with us or the kids.

    She has mentioned since she started working she feels we are finally financially comfortable. What she means is we can take vacations and go out to dinner with friends without worrying about how we will pay the bills. In reality, we still spend basically all of our take home pay.

    For her, she is enjoying where we are now, but I am tired and want to slash the budget to start saving for FI. I don’t think she will agree with this plan at all, but I think that is because she truly doesn’t understand the daily grind I go through.

    She will want me to be happy, but I think this idea will be too radical for her.

    • retirebyforty July 9, 2016, 9:58 pm

      It sounds like a difficult situation to be in. You should still talk to her and get her perspective on this. It sounds like you’re starting to get older and you need to save more. Maybe you should start by talking about saving for retirement. That’s not too radical. Good luck.

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