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Why would someone work when they are financially independent? And why would one spouse keep working while the other retires? A look into the whys and wherefores of delaying dual early retirement.
Many bloggers I follow in the FIRE space are married. This raises some interesting dynamics, most notably when I observe that one partner has retired while the other continues to work.
For some, the rationale is very clear, and it is explicitly stated by the blogger: they maintain separate finances, and when one person achieves their goal, of course they buy their freedom. But for other couples, I’ve often wondered what goes into the decision to have one spouse continue working while the other gallivants as a man or woman of leisure. When you have joint finances, why exactly is the second one working when they don’t have to?
Given my curiosity on the subject, I decided that when I had the chance, I would share our honest thoughts tackling the same subject. I can’t speak for what motivates others, but here are all the messy details of one couple making their retirement decisions. Ours.
Let’s summarize our financial situation.
We have enough to cover our current, NYC-level expenses indefinitely using a 3% or less withdrawal rate. During my first year of retirement, our assets rose more than 10% in value, far exceeding this goal. Obviously we can’t bank on that happening every year, but a 3% withdrawal is feeling pretty conservative. Were we to move to a lower cost of living area, we could likely expand our lifestyle for kids and various other expenditures