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One Step Back, One Step Forward

April 21st, 2008 at 04:10 am

Well, it's been an interesting day here in the onion patch. Yesterday's discussion/confrontation touched off some, um, bad feelings. We finally got that straightened out enough. The mood was decent and DH and I had some free time so I brought up retirement.

DH's current strategy for retirement is: work until he can't work any more or dies. I think this strategy is a bit short-sighted. His job has no 401-K/pension/savings plan, and he has none of the above from previous jobs. I have a 401-K from my 10-year stint in corporate America.

A few years ago, in an attempt to get DH more involved in our finances, I asked him to figure out how much he thought we would need for retirement. He never got back to me.

Now, one of his coworkers' mothers is in assisted living and has outlived her money. I think she had very little, except the profit from selling her house. The assisted living center told the family that mom needed to move out when her money ran out because they no longer took medicaid (or whatever it is). This was contrary to what they were told when mom moved in. Lawyers are now involved, and DH is having an eye-opening front row seat. I think it's increased his awareness that maybe this could be a problem for us.

During our conversation I tried to get him to do as much of the thinking as he could. When do you think we'll retire? He figures at age 70. How long do you think we'll live after that? Hemming and hawing - he finally picked 85. How much money do you think we'll need? About 4000 per month, he says. Multiplying it all out he came to 720,000. Between my 401-K and our (very small) mutual fund we've got about 100,000 for retirement already. That leaves 620,000 total to this goal . . . 24,800 per year, or 2,066 per month. DH did not take any interest into account. . . but even if the numbers aren't accurate I'm happy to even have gotten him this involved in discussing retirement.

3 Responses to “One Step Back, One Step Forward”

  1. merch Says:

    No, I don't think that your numbers are accurate (I use the laws of seven that about every 7 years your money doubles). But that isn't the point. The point is to "shock and awe" him.

    And I think your questions did that.Hopefully, by continueing to have these honest non-judgemental conversations, you will set up your common life goals. From there, you can get into budgetting and supporting each other as a true team.

    Good luck and I hope this is a turning point.

  2. Petunia Says:

    Merch - thank you for your optimism! I'm a bit more sceptical on this being a turning point. . . based on 14+ years of experience. . . but it was a productive conversation.

    "Shock and awe" - love it! I have done this with some things with him that concern Daisy, and, with the right timing and right frame of mind it does seem to hit home with him!

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    I'm glad he's seeing the light! Working til you can't work no mo' or dies only works when you die before or while you can't work no mo', not when you can't work no mo' before you die. Big Grin

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