Q&A from a Reader
I just came across an article about your decision to leave convention behind and really live. I need help to convince my conventional husband that we can do the same thing.
Can you help?
We are both over 50 now and I have learned that we will do well in whatever we put our mind to. My husband is cautious by nature and loves the idea but is afraid to step forward.
Thank you for your inspiration!
Thanks for taking the time to write, and for your interest in our website and books.
We do explain in both of our books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible, about finding out what your net worth is, tracking your spending so you know what you are spending per year and per day. We also speak about the Safe Withdrawal Rate, where if you spend, say, 4% of your net worth or less per year, the theory is that you will never run out of money.
If you track your spending, there will be no surprises about how much money you have or where it goes. If you do it daily, then you can aggressively manage that figure to be what you want it to be to keep you in line with having a sustainable retirement.
We also discuss the 4 categories of highest spending in any household — housing, transportation, taxes and food/entertainment. If you modify any or all of these categories, then you are able to “find extra money” to either spend elsewhere or to invest.
In Your Retirement Dream IS Possible, we discuss when partners have a different vision of retirement, and give suggestions on working those challenges out.
One thing to do is to focus on what will make your partner happy, what they are attracted to, and — say in your case — how you can make it sustainable, practical and “secure.”
Partners often will fight the idea because they have questions that are not resolved or they feel threatened in one way or another (“You” want to travel “they” want to stay home. “You” want to work on being a pillar of the community, mentoring, using your expertise, “they” want to be a vagabond and let go of heavy responsibilities — and so on.) The best way to get a partner on board is to appeal to what they like, and work out a viable plan between you, where you both get what you want.
Pushing, or threatening or emotional blackmail (not that you might do this, but we have heard from other couples) doesn’t work. The partner entrenches their feet into the ground, and then you have a bigger problem.
You might take a look at our Retirement Issues Page as well as our Preferred Links Pages which address many issues of retirement and they give you options. Also, take a quick look at our Annual Spending Update which is recent as to the end of 2017.
Feel free to write to us any time with your questions, as we are happy to help.
Again, thank you for writing.
Akaisha and Billy