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Thread: Dh and retirement

  1. #1
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    Dh and retirement

    Dh is talking about retirement. Not “soon”, in about six years.

    i am a little surprised by my emotional reaction to this. I am worried. Mostly I am worried about how this is going to affect MY life.

    he has recently become much more focused on golf and the guitar. He has been cooking more. All that is good.

    but when he cooks, I gain weight. He is a natural night owl and I am a morning person. What happens when I am still getting up at 5 and he doesn’t have to go to work?

    he was looking at the finances last night and asked me “when are you going to retire?” (Is it “retiring” if you just leave a part time job with an hourly wage and no benefits?) I said “I don’t know. Never?Next year? When it isn’t fun any more?” And he said “ok, so, six years.”

    what does that mean? He’s just assuming I will quit my job and change my life to suit his? He only wants to talk about the money. I’m not worried about the money, I know he is very conservative, I am worried about pressure to make a sudden, radical, lifestyle change. I am still adjusting my life to having no kids and a job! My youngest just moved back in!

    this hit me from left field. Twenty years ago I would have told you he would never retire. Last year he was still talking a ten year window. Now, suddenly he sounds like he would quit tomorrow if he could.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Hey, CL... I understand how you are worried and shocked. But...

    I bet he is just tired. Dude has been slaving away for the man in his sensible shoes for decades -- paying for house, home, wife, multiple kids, and lots of stuff.

    He's tired. Let him rest when he wants to. He'll stay among the living a lot longer. Encourage the golf. Encourage the guitar. Encourage the retirement.

    That is my best advice.
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  3. #3
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    I do encourage the golf and the guitar. I am totally behind him not doing his job. If he came home tomorrow and said “i’ve Had it. I quit.” I’d say “ok. We are going to need to look at the money. When will you be ready to do that?”

    what is worrying me is the the way he keeps saying “we”. The summer we met, we lived in the same place for 8 weeks. Short, semi-accurate version - kid rock, all summer long. Then he cut his hair, took off the hippie jewelry, put his sensible shoes back on and returned to his regularly scheduled life. I fully expected to never hear from him again. But it turns out that happiness is addictive and since I was the only part he could hang onto, he did. However, we didn’t live in the same state again until two months before we got engaged. And we didn’t live in the same town until after we got married. And he was in graduate school, and I was working, and we had kids, and then he was working...

    and I am not ready to spend my days getting high by a campfire. And I am a little scared about being the only grown up in the house, because he has always been the primary grown up (those 8 weeks, I wasn’t even an adult!) and I am worried about him taking over the house and me having no space that is truly, solely mine - because I am an introvert, and I have had to struggle for that my whole life.

  4. #4
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Why not talk about it? For instance ask what he envisions retirement is for him, and be open about what it is for you.

    For instance I like quiet and my personal space. DH loves the radio and TV on, especially to watch sports, So we compromise. I sit outside a lot in the evening to read, or in another room to sew and he watches TV. What about division of chores. It is OK to say “you are such a good cook and I love what you make, but it is so hard for me to keep my waistline under control I need to really watch it. Are their healthier low calorie versions you could try?
    also, be clear what you intend to continue. I sew, have my female friends, exercise activities and volunteer activities. He has gradually found the same. We try to be partners with separate and apart time. I don’t drink or use drugs, I have one of those family histories that make it stupid for me to do so, so we avoid activities where that is prevalent. He enjoys a beer now and then but also is not fond of the calories so drinks little.

    I would certainly not not be anxious about something that would happen six years from now, but is certainly is a good idea to start to lay the groundwork of what your expectations are and what his will be.

  5. #5
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    It sounds like you and I followed the same path - from parents house to husbands house at a young age. Had Kids, then career. Then finally figured out who we are as adults.

    I realized the last few years that I love my time alone. I never had it. Surrounded by siblings, then by my own children in my early 20s.

    I love my husband but my biggest retirement fear is that I’ll never be alone again.

    It’s about 10 years until retirement. I don’t want to volunteer and take little part tine jobs for the wrong reason - to get away for a bit by my self while driving. 😄 I’ll need to convince my husband that both of us need to do some things without the other each week, so we can each have time alone.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Him “taking over the house? “ My impression is that your stuff is all over your house, he has little ability to control the environment he lives in. Maybe i am wrong, but you talk candidly about your stuff spreading out and his (seems to me)
    constant negotiation to keep it contained in areas he can accept it.

    Granted, I am seeing this from my perspective which involves a fair amount of negotiaion with my spouse about space and stuff, so yeah it is a sensitive thing for me!

    When we retired, I made the decision for myself and it really was not negotiable. I was DONE. DH made a small push for me to keep on for a few years, I guess because of health insurance or money? Not sure, but neither was necessary.

    I encouraged DH to retire at the same time, but it is his life and he can do what he wants. He could have done his work (he worked for himself) for a long time, he didnt mind it.

    But I wanted him to retire because

    1) we have alot of stuff around this house that needs fixing
    2) I didnt want to be quizzed by him each day about work I was supposed to be doing as the Stay at Home partner

    Fortunately he did retire when I did, actually two months prior because he needed a repair on his shoulder and we wanted to use health insurance from my work for that surgery.

    in retirement the only time we run into each other is in the kitchen. We “negotiate” for kitchen space and time, having to plan long stints with the agreement of the other person. I dont spend many long stints of cooking there, but during flower show season I am at the sink and filling up kitchen counters constantly.

    one new thing that has come out of our retirement is that I now make lunch for him. When I was working, he was on his own for breakfast and lunch. Now, he prepares only his own breakfast. Making lunch allows me to use up leftovers and it gives him a variety he wouldnt not ordinarily have.

  7. #7
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    Cl, I was worried about alone time, as well. We retired 17 years ago, but because we were both classroom teachers we had 31 years to get used to being together in the summer. I have my writing time every morning for about 2 hours. I have my book club, writers' group, lunch dates, sister time and he has golf. We have talked about the TV...I hate the news and Maury and have worked that out. He cooks more than he used to. We're on our own for breakfast and lunch. The rhythm of our days is pretty good. Stuff....around the house. We try to keep it down. You have several years to work out the kinks and make sure you both know what the other one wants and needs to be content. Start talking now and acting now. Good luck and try not to worry.

  8. #8
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    In my case it was parents house to firetrap apartment with no functioning adults (interlude in car) to minimum wage job supporting husband apartment, (add two kids), to husband’s house.

    One of the weirdest moments in my life was a few months after I was married - two of my guy friends showed up on a Friday night with an unassembled shelf as a wedding gift. They crashed in our apartment all weekend, put the shelf together (dh spent the whole weekend in the lab, barely coming home to sleep), and fully expected me to take off with them Monday morning for a road trip to what was basically going to be a week long party at another guy friend’s place.

    I looked at them like they were crazy and said “I can’t do that. I have to go to work tomorrow.” And I swear, one of them looked at me like I had just asked him to disconnect my life support and the other started trying to change my mind.

    i am figuring out who I am NOW without reflecting other people. And I think dh thinks he is offering me the chance to be who i used to be. But I never stopped being that person, she just grew up.

    He doesn’t seem to want to talk about the non-money part. He doesn’t really respond to my questions or comments.

    Me “I don’t know how long I want to work. I haven’t really thought about it.” Him “well, this is just for planning. It’s not like I couldn’t do something else to bring in a little money if I needed to.” Me “no, I mean, do you expect me to quit my job?” Him, pulling up spread sheet “so, this is if we both retire in 2024...”

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    As flowers said— the ever present sounds of electronic yakking—from radio all day and tv at night is an issue. Here, Someti,es they are both on at the same time.

    dH must have the yakking on 24/7. That bugs me more than anything. I can stand radio, but when he runs both, conflicting noises, and then he decides to have a conversation with me and I am expected to talk over the electronic noise, it is just ugh.

    In our Hermann house we currently have the tv in a room where we can shut the door. That will be a required feature in the renovation. I do not umderstand how all of these “open concept” houses allow for noise control.

  10. #10
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    That worries me too. We do really well on our own schedules. Even though we had 14 years of traveling 40 weekends or more a year together where we'd sit in a truck cab for 5-20 hours, work in a 10x10 or 10x15 booth for 2-5 days, then back in the truck cab for 5-20 hours and we did just fine. Now....I really like that he works 3-12. I have evenings to myself to do whatever I want and don't have to stop to make dinner for anyone. He reminded me this morning he'll be switching back to 4 10 hour days for the summer but first there are two weeks of 7-3. Dang it...that's sort of my schedule (I work 9-2). He's going to expect to do things with me every evening. How will I cope? He's 55 and will probably retire at 60 or 65.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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