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What to Do If You And Your Partner Don’t Have the Same Retirement Plans

Category: Family and Retirement

June 27, 2015 — Most people are in relationships. Making decisions that involve a couple is complicated, starting with the obvious – there are two people’s needs and wants involved. Reconciling the dreams and goals of two different people is a challenge, but one that can bring much happiness and joy if done successfully. The goal of this article is to help couples find effective strategies to achieve success in their retirement planning.

Two years ago we surveyed our Topretirements Members on Spousal Compatibility. Over 600 folks completed the survey and provided a wealth of data, opinions, and great advice. You will find a link to the results of that survey at the bottom of this article. In this space we will discuss some of the most difficult issues that the survey turned up, along with a summary of the advice we received from our members on how to handle those challenges. We know that you enjoy reading about the experiences of actual people in your situation, so we hope you find these anecdotes useful. We especially look forward to your additional Comments at the end of the article.

A Suggestion
One way to use the information in this article is for both you and your partner to read it, and then schedule some meetings to discuss each of these issues together. Chances are there will be many areas where you find yourselves totally aligned, and some others where you are at odds. By using the techniques suggested here (and your own way of resolving differences!) you will be able to identify where you stand on these issues, and work through to a mutually agreeable resolution where there are conflicts.

Note that after each topic we have published actual comments from our members from past research – these are not from your editor. Many commenters offer sage advice, while others detail problems that have arisen in their individual situations. We have made some small edits to the Comments in the interest of brevity.

– Planning
Start discussions at least a couple of years before retiring. Get your finances in order first, then discuss retirement plans and wishes.

Just talk about what you want to do, what you can afford to do, and come up with a plan on what you will do. Want and afford can be far apart, but if you start talking new ideas will pop up.

Talk on a regular basis for short periods of time. Do not try to do it all in 1 or 2 conversations. Planning is key and helps ensure you discuss the cost of various options. Each person in a relationship should identify at least 1 thing they want for sure in retirement and 1 thing for sure they do not want

Absolutely must have open discussion even if you don’t agree. You won’t know until you talk about the issues.

List out the needs of both parties along with descriptive level of need (ie, critical, high, medium, low). Once underlying needs are listed, may find a way to meet at least the most critical ones of both people.

One should always be open to the thoughts or desires of your partner which often can bring a new understanding and enjoyment to both parties participating. The spirit of adventure should never be lost!

We are “pencil and paper” list makers with pros and cons for each situation. Common sense once all the facts are in plays a big role.

– When to Retire
The most difficult thing was the “when” – One of us would like to be not working at all right now and one of us realizes/believes it may be necessary for us to work at least part time for a while after we relocate.

We’re struggling with that scenario right now. I will retire in 5 years, but my wife wants to work as long as possible. We disagree on whether to sell our big house or not, if we want to stay in our current town or relocate, or where to relocate, if we want to be snowbirds or not, if we want to live near kids or not, and what activities we want to do during retirement.

My hubbie is quite a bit older (15 years), so chances are we will retire at different times ( although prying him away from a 60 week may prove the most challenging part)

The hardest thing to resolve is the fact that we have a several year age difference between us, which means several years between the time each of us can retire. We wish we could both be retired together.

Where to Retire (climate, type of housing)
Long story short: consider cost, climate, and what the location offers: know what you need and want in a community. Try out all the locations (several times!) that you can in the years prior to retirement, and then make a decision. And know that your decision doesn’t have to be the last one.

We are still trying to figure it all out. Probably the hardest thing is deciding where to live.

Visit different regions at different times of the year.

We attended the Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend at UNC Asheville a year ago. It was incredibly helpful and actually forced us to have very focused conversations about what we wanted in retirement.

The “snowbird” thing could be a good compromise for me.

Gather data, visit places, talk while you drive there and back, listen, listen, listen!! Try places/things that you don’t really think you will like…you might be surprised. Don’t rush on a final decision. Rent first. Put yourself out there and talk to people. They love to give advice…and most of it is good!

You need to keep an open mind. You need to visit different places. We are exploring different areas of NC. Listen to your spouse’s reactions to the different areas and communities you visit.

Don’t rush into anything. If you have friends already living in an area or community that interests you, listen to what they say about that area. Try to visit them.

– How to Maintain Independence
Potential problems stemming from too much time together; will newly retired spouse find own activities or be a pest/bother to spouse who’s already settled into own retirement routine?

Hardest area to reconcile is maintaining independence on an individual basis. Having some separate time is more important to me than my husband.

We have one complication not addressed here, though, which is we have an adult child still not quite on his own and living with us. It’s a complication that extends beyond most conversations we have about retirement relocation.

– Activities
Difficult when one is fairly physically active and one is not. One is perfectly fine watching TV all day, one is not. One likes to be busy and somewhat productive, while the other could care less.

Talk about what you need, what you want, and why these issues are important to you. And let your spouse do the same.

– Sharing the Load
My husband still works. After seeing the amount of overtime that I put in for 33 years, he enjoys hearing about my leisurely days and seeing me rested and so enjoying more time for our family! Yes, I took on more chores around the house, but now I have the time to get them done during the day rather than spending our weekend time cleaning, doing laundry, etc. I look forward to experiencing his joy in reaching retirement as well in a few years. Jealousy – no, haven’t seen a bit of it! Yes there is less money, but time and feeling energetic is soooo worth it, for both of us!

My husband was forced into early retirement as a result of rapidly declining health. Now that he’s home all day, my expectations are that I will not have to run errands, do laundry, tackle issues like dealing with insurance companies, home repair people, etc. However, because he’s in pain a lot of the time, and has several medical appointments per week, as well as needing to take a lot of medications, he’s frequently of very little (or no) help around the house. Consequently, in addition to my very demanding job, I know have to squeeze in all domestic duties and errands in the precious little time I have left. I have found this to be a very disappointing situation.

(Husband is retired and helping out at home). One thing I’ve found is that, because he’s not under the gun to take care of all HIS errands/chores just on weekends or evenings (lawncare, fix things that break, etc), he’s more open to my suggestions for things to do. I totally agree that open communication and lots of discussion along the way is critical for this new developing stage of our lives

– Money Issues
The hardest lesson will be working off a budget. Once we have that figured out, I am 100% convinced that we will have a very happy and enjoyable retirement.

We found we needed to sit down and REALLY set a goal. We were just treading water and making no firm goals. Then we had to see how far apart our goals were. We have been meeting with certified financial planners. Having to put it on paper for someone else helped us set a tentative goal. My husband wants to retire soon. I’m nervous about $ and that is too soon. Financial planner helping me realize that it is a possibility and find compromises. So we agreed to agree and revisit in a set time period.

The thing that has been most challenging was in the beginning, when he wasn’t getting his usual paycheck, he didn’t want to spend money on ANYTHING. I asked what our next trip was going to be, and all I would get was, CAN WE AFFORD IT?? That was in spite of having met with financial planners who showed we could. One day I had a meltdown and said that **I** was still working, and I didn’t want to wait until we were both retired to travel. That seemed to have opened the doors to some better discussions among us. For anyone who’s living with a just-retired spouse, I think the key (at least it has been for me) has been to realize that it’s just as much an adjustment for THAT person as it is for the one still working, just in different ways. We’re trying to somewhat still plan for the future, but enjoy more of the present.

– Travel
We will be taking long vacations during the next 2 years and then at least a 6 month ‘sabbatical’ in a motor home of sorts across the USA when we are both at full retirement age.

The subject of travel is the biggest problem. I love to travel and he hates it. We travel domestically together and I’ll need to travel alone internationally, or with others.

– Health Issues
Health issues, which neither of us expected at all, are surfacing and making the decisions more difficult.

I’m a little nervous because we are not 65 yet and if something happened to his job, health insurance would be a concern–like it is for so many of us before we are Medicare-eligible. But hubby’s health and family history have convinced me that we need to start enjoying our time while we can–there are no guarantees! There must be a balance between saving “enough” and having the time and health to enjoy it.

My husband says the biggest thing holding him back from retirement is health insurance. He is not 65 and would go from employer insurance to what – Obama Care? This whole affordable care stuff is so up in the air. He says he doesn’t want to pay more for health insurance so keeps on working even though his body is worn out. I’m afraid he’ll be one of these people who will work until they die or have a poor quality of life when they do retire.

– Reconciling Differences
How to resolve difficulties: Use the three ‘L’s”. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN!

If our feelings become strained and we begin to go “to a corner” in our relationship, we pick a time once a week (morning works best and Monday works best) that we sit in the living room facing each other. Each person gets time to talk without being interupted to tell the other person how they are feeling and why.

You have to be willing to really open up and say what’s on your mind. Holding it in and hoping for the best won’t work. We’d rather discuss and argue now than have it blow up in our faces later.

Communication is the key along with seeing the world from each others eyes!

Being compassionate to your partner’s point of view is something that needs to be developed and nurtured over the years. It’s OK to lose some opinion differences

Let the other guy finish a thought before you chime in. Remember you’re on the same side!

When it comes to female versus male, the female needs to state her idea and then let it go. It has been my experience that the male will come up with the same idea in a few months and say it is his!

(Try not to end up in this situation): I thought we were communicating and on the same page, but maybe we were in different books.

Bottom line
We hope that this exercise has helped you appreciate some of the challenges that couples face as they plan for and begin to experience in retirement. More importantly, that it gives you some solid ideas and strategies for turning potential conflicts into a happy retirement.

Comments: What issues have you had the greatest difficulty with when discussing retirement with your spouse or significant other? What strategies have you employed to work them out? Please share your comments below.

More resources from Topretirements:?
Spousal Compatibility Survey Results
Florida and Southeast Top Your “Where to Retire” Preferences
Our Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves- 2013
Retirement Living Preferences – 2013
How to Handle It When Only 1 of the Couple Is Retired
Topretirements Members Very Confident About Retirement

Posted by Admin on June 27th, 2015


  1. This article is chuck full of good information and suggestions. We spent nearly a year discussing, traveling, planning and preparing for a retirement/move. In the end, we valued “nearness to family ” as the final deciding factor. Seven months after making our move into a 55+ community, we’re happy about our decisions and enjoying retirement life.

    by John H — June 29, 2015

  2. I’m a big believer in having separate interests and trying new things, even if your significant other is not. Joining a team, taking a class, starting a new exercise regimen, volunteering in your community, etc. These keep you engaged and interesting. Of course, shared interests are important, too.

    As far as when to retire, I suggest you discuss the answers to these three questions: Do you have enough? Have you had enough? Do you have enough to do?

    Here are the results of one study about gender and retirement: Professor Phyllis Moen (University of Minnesota) did a study involving 534 married couples in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Moen found that husbands and wives reported greater marital satisfaction if they retired at the same time. While men with nonworking spouses had greater marital satisfaction than those with working wives, regardless of whether the men themselves worked, those men who didn’t work but had working spouses reported the most marital conflict. Women experienced the highest marital satisfaction if they entered new jobs after retiring and their husbands were also working, but men who worked after retiring from their primary job experienced more marital discord than those men who didn’t work.

    Jan Cullinane, author, The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement (AARP/Wiley)

    by Jan Cullinane — June 30, 2015

  3. Great article! At least I see I’m not alone with the frustrations of trying to get on the same wavelength as my significant other with retirement. I’m a take charge leader type and he is a follower type who never wants to commit to a decision. But this is too big a decision for him to just sit on the sidelines.

    by Bonnie — July 1, 2015

  4. We’ve been at this for a little over a year now and it’s REALLY difficult when 1 wants a small town environment and the other 1 wants a larger, not necessarily metropolitan, area. There is some great advice in this column and I think the biggest one if Listen, Listen, Listen!

    by Susan — July 1, 2015

  5. Anyone think two people could survive on approximately $3,000 per month as a fixed income?

    by John — July 1, 2015

  6. John, if you have to, you will find a way.

    by EMA — July 2, 2015

  7. John, Two people can survive on less than $3,000/month. (We do!) Make a budget by keeping track of everything you spend. Shop around wherever you can on things like auto insurance, cell phone plans, cable TV, etc. Of course it depends on how much (if any) debt you have. Is your mortgage paid off, do you have car loans or credit card debt? Those are the “big ones” and if you don’t have any of those, then it’s much easier to stick to a budget. The most challenging expenses to cover are the unpredictable ones, like auto/home repairs or unexpected medical costs. If your basic needs are less than $3,000 then whatever makes up the difference is your emergency fund for the unexpected.

    by Gene — July 3, 2015

  8. We have traveled a lot in our life from North to South due to our jobs. We definitely know where we don’t want to live. Our vision was to set down roots in retirement and travel. After 5yrs of researching retirement and the start of health issues, our needs have changed. Due to the high costs of medical bills($10K not covered by our medical insurance from one ER visit!) We knew we had to find a cheaper place to live, or end up a burden to our children in years to come. We agree our current 3 bedroom home with stairs, will be a burden to keep. Our choices were Kentucky, Tennessee or South Carolina. We wrote down the stores where we shop and things we do like to do. We researched medical facilities and the Chamber of Commerce in each city that interested us. We spent Thursday thru Saturday in the different cities to learn more. We shopped and saved receipts to compare later, buying the same things we use on a weekly basis. Kentucky won out in this area. Kentucky won out due to climate. Kentucky won out socially too. Never met such nice, friendly, helpful people in all our travels. Now working on sizing down, and getting out of Ohio. 9 years until retirement . Great article, and wonderful website.

    by DeyErmand — September 8, 2015

  9. I found this to be A GREAT article with lots of good advice Preparing for retirement takes soo much planning. Im thinking the most important aspects are listening and the ability to compromise. I’m wondering if any of the above posters can share their more recent experiences.

    by Florence — December 11, 2016

  10. When I was working full time my husband and I managed to live fine with less than $2000 per month in Sandiego. So planning to retire to coastal Oregon for alot less than that. I’ve done alot of traveling in my lifetime so don’t need to do any long distance travels when I retire. Everyone has to decide what they want to do in retirement, whether they need a big home, long distance traveling, or shopping and eating out every day. You can live a happy retirement with less money …….

    by Mary11 — December 12, 2016

  11. I was reading my post from 2015. Boy has that changed, due to not considering what my wife needed in a location. You have to sit down and talk. After I experienced being at home for 4 months this year, while recouping from an accident, seeing my wife shoveling snow, I got a view of retirement. We survived just fine on her part time job too. I spent a lot of time on here, reviewing things advised. We have downsized everything from bills to household items, could do some more. We now know retiring early is doable in 4 years.

    by DeyErmand — December 13, 2016

  12. Unexpected expenses are the ugly part of planning your finances for retirement. You can add up all your utility bills, payments and plan for your expenses but when you get whacked with something unexpected it really throws the budget out the window. We had some medical bills this year and just last week one of our vehicles needed $2,400 in repairs. So it is essential to have a rainy day fund.

    Mary11 I don’t know how you live on $2,000 a month! Please, give us all some advice on how to be more frugal! CT is very expensive and a one bedroom apartment could run easily $750-$1,200 or more a month. My Obamacare for two people costs me $443 a month Going up to over $500 next year. If I got that $750 a month apartment and spent $500 a month on Obamacare I have already spent $1,250 of my $2,000. That leaves me with $187.50 a week for everything else!

    by Louise — December 13, 2016

  13. Louise, it really wasn’t that difficult. No car payments, eating simply and not traveling. I’m guessing our monthly expenses living in Oregon will b

    by Mary11 — December 14, 2016

  14. Be about $1600 monthly. With no car payments, rent should be about $600-700, and spend $350 for groceries. And if we buy a condo or home it should be less too. We will be on a limited income so health insurance should only be $150 monthly for the both of us. I will be having a $160,000 inheritance so that will provide us a buffer since our socialsecurity payments will be at a lower end. The areas you can cut back on are restaurants, cable and cell phone bills. We don’t have any children so we can do a reverse mortgage late in life and enjoy the extra money . I’ve done alot of online research and you can get by with less depending if you have a mortgage, have expensive hobbies , and where you choose to live. There alot of govt discounts and benefits you can look into when you have a lower income that alot of people don’t know about too.

    by Mary11 — December 14, 2016

  15. I am sorry to question Mary11 but I would like to know what she knows. I only know that I have my MIL on a good health plan, but still some months her co-pays are $300 a month if you include her prescriptions. And $350 for food for two people a month is probably doable without eating out, but what about gas and insurance or car repairs? And what about retirement before the inheritance? Or will you retire after the inheritance? And I know inheritance is counted as income against qualifying for Govt programs, examples HUD housing, Senior Hi Rises, food stamps and Medicaid. Have you savings to add to your lower end retirement for emergencies at least?

    by DeyErmand — December 14, 2016

  16. When I was planning for retirement I didn’t know the cost for medical insurance would be so high once we got on Medicare. Granted we have a supplemental Plan F that is just over 300.00 a month for both of us. In addition another 110.00 for Part D and the 104.90 each for Part B coming out of SS every month.

    by Jim C — December 14, 2016

  17. Dey,
    I have not retired yet. I am caregiving my elderly mother and we needed to move in with her. Both my husband and myself receive Obama Care with no monthly cost and do receive food stamps. She herself has medicare and blue cross blueshield thru GM retirement for $17 monthly, also med are only $3 each. She was lucky that my father retired thru GM. I won’t be so lucky . We only spend $6 for gas monthly, and insurance is $30. My inheritance will begin after selling the family home and yes that will disqualify you for govt assistance unless you invest all of it into a new home. My mother doesn’t qualify for any assistance and she only receives 1677$ monthly, so I’d rather spend the inheritance before I get too old to enjoy it and if I need assistance I will then qualify for it such as medicare paid by the govt, discounts on utilities, reductions on meds. Most of my friends my age come to me because they don’t research these things before they retire. It’s very important to reasearch so you can make educated decisions on your retirement.

    by Mary11 — December 14, 2016

  18. Jim C,
    I believe I have had a discussion previously with you about Medicare costs. My Hub just applied for Medigap Plan F and the cost for him is $241.50 Thru AARP United Health Care. Part B is $121.80 per month, Plan D is $67.30 a month. So a total of $430.60 just for him! Yes, we could have gone for less costly Medigap plan and less costly Plan D but in the end, we would probably pay just as much with copays and prescriptions. Hub has medical issues now so it is peace of mind that we have this insurance. I will be on Obamacare until August 2018 if it is still around by the time the GOP dismantles it.

    As you said Jim, we never anticipated how costly Medicare and all the associated plans would be either! We are in CT so costs are higher in Medigap plans. His Plan B is higher because he is new to Medicare.

    by Louise — December 15, 2016

  19. Senior discounts and freebies:

    by Louise — December 15, 2016

  20. Mary11 you do live frugally but there is no way I could do that. We have two vehicles. Both paid for and one is 10 years old and one is 7 years old. House is paid for but have to pay yearly taxes of $4,667 a year. If I divide that by 12 that is $388 a month and I don’t think I could find a mobile home park with that low monthly rent. My house is too big for two people but is paid off. We have not been on a vacation since 2004 so we are not spending money there and we rarely go out to dinner, lunch or breakfast. However, we do splurge at the grocery store but do try to shop on Senior day and save 10%. Hub likes to cook and try new recipes. We have no credit card debt. So we have normal bills and yes cable which is one of my most hated bills. But, we don’t go out to movies so that is our only entertainment and I don’t begrudge it. Wish it was cheaper and at times try to reduce the bill by calling them. I have changed our house/car insurance over to AARP and reduced our yearly cost by $800 a year. I have analyzed all our normal bills and if I could find anything that could be reduced, I have done it. We have stopped most magazine subscriptions. When I order stuff on-line I always try to get free shipping even if I have to buy one extra thing to bring it up to to the minimum to get free shipping. I pay for 80% of my monthly spending on a Citi bank Visa card (paid off each month) to accrue bonus dollars during the year and collect the cash at Costco when check is issued in February. I save all the money from bottle returns and put in a piggy bank and also put all loose change in the piggy too. My dogs are on Heart worm medication and by buying 12 pills I qualify to get a $15 rebate. I rarely use grocery coupons because I just don’t find coupons for much of what I use. The coupons are typically for new products or junk food things I don’t buy. Once in a while I find something useful and use them. We have oil heat and in June I locked in to the price fix plan at $1.99 a gallon. That paid off because oil prices went up since I locked in. We just bought a new mattress and box spring and it was very expensive. They had a 4 year finance plan with 0% interest. I have that set up on auto bill pay each month so I won’t miss a payment and I am using their money, not mine. We are on Obamacare and we keep our income low so we can qualify for the subsidy which is $1,100 a month. I try my best to cut corners and analyze spending and I am sure somehow I could do better. But, I think I deserve some goodies in my retirement years! Can’t ask for more! Warm house, paid bills, great TV, new bed, freezer full and full belly!

    by Louise — December 15, 2016

  21. Jan Cullinane said: “I suggest you discuss the answers to these three questions: Do you have enough? Have you had enough? Do you have enough to do?” Personally, I can’t stress how important those three things are in retirement. The first is pretty self-evident, though it requires real effort to properly determine. Example: We chose to live on one income for a year before retiring and we tracked EVERY expense. It was difficult at first, but we figured it out.

    The second is more complex. We both loved our jobs/careers, though there was a lot of stress in both. But 5 years before anticipated retirement, my situation changed. So much so I found another position and even accepted the offer — and immediately had an intense panic response which caused me to reverse on the spot. After “sleeping on it”, I decided to accelerate my retirement by 3 years. At the same time, my wife decided to keep working, but just the planning for our change made her realize that she also had had enough. We actually retired a month apart — good move. Jan’s item one had us ready but it took more planning to realize we could do it. Basically, we started with the assumption that all we would have was SS (7 years later) and my small pension (no retirement savings due to market collapse) — could be live on that (approx. $3000/month)? It would have been difficult, but it could be managed. We took the risk — fortunately at what turned out to be market lows.

    The last item was easy for us. We both felt we had good reason to retire simply to do the things we wanted — daily and hoped to add occasional travel. We expected to work part-time after taking six months off, but we both found that our lives were too full to go back to work — and, as I said, the markets cooperated. More than 13 years later, we are actually in better shape and still have far too much to do to consider going back to work. And approaching 69, that’s a good thing.

    We got the luck of the draw in stocks/bonds. But we had planned for the very worst. We did our best to continue making our own luck and not depend on outside forces to get us through. Understand, it’s not all rosy — you can never anticipate the effects of age. And you should never forget that you have only one life to live — don’t spend it all waiting for perfect conditions — the ideal.

    by Rich — December 15, 2016

  22. I can’t believe that you and your husband live with your Mother and you still qualify for food stamps and don’t pay anything for health insurance. What state is this?

    by sue — December 15, 2016

  23. Mary11, Many people spend down to qualify for Medicaid to beat the medical situation. You deserve a nice vacation before retirement after caring for you mother. Btw, I know an Oregon couple who got penalized 60 months for selling their home to rent when they applied for assistance. I like owning a home, as it is what I worked for the longest. Life isn’t easy and being frugal was a way of life for us, after having children. Retirement will be no different even with saving.

    by DeyErmand — December 15, 2016

  24. Rich,
    My wife and I agreed when she got “pushed” out of her job due to age, she went to work part time and will file at 62 for retirement, continuing to work as long as possible. Then I will go part time after she does but not file for retirement for as long as possible. We call it “downsizing work”. This will keep us from having to touch our savings until later.

    by DeyErmand — December 15, 2016

  25. Sue, I live in california.

    by Mary11 — December 15, 2016

  26. Louise, you can find a Mfg home park starting at $350 monthly in southern oregon, with taxes of $300 yearly. Sounds like you’re doing a good job with being frugal though. I’ve lived all over the US and just looking for an area that is more of a smaller town atmosphere and less costly than sandiego.

    by Mary11 — December 15, 2016

  27. Sue, I know lots of daughters that move in the family home and take care of a parent. It is only right the State at least give them some food stamps since the daughter can no longer work, or earn her Social security credits! The States no longer pays family members to care for a parent. Her husband may be disabled too. Bless you Louise!

    by John Last — December 16, 2016

  28. Mary11 – you are indeed lucky if you can live on $1600 a month, & are happy & feel you have a full life! My husband & I could never life on that amount. We have no house payment, but taxes are over $4,000 a year, we live rural & vehicle gas is a fact of life. We have a pellet stove & buy in July when we save a lot, cable internet cost is expensive but we don’t go to movies (red box now & then), groceries are expensive but we do eat well/buy in bulk family size & I freeze a lot for another meal. Our electricity is expensive ($250-/+ mo) & that is just a few lights on etc. I’d say our med. insurance isn’t bad – $360. mo to include medicare & supplemental through retirement in government. We have no expensive hobbies, we do take a vac. once a year to the coast but go in Sept. when prices drop & that cost less than $1,000. We do go on a nice vac./cruise every couple of years but we save each month for that. Yes we could probably cut back & live on less but the bottom line is you only go through this life once, & we want to make the most of it & have a few regrets as we can. Oh ya, we do have grown children but they already know not to expect anything, we didn’t work hard to leave to them. We intend to enjoy!

    by Sue M — December 16, 2016

  29. I do want to inform everyone that the States do take dollar for dollar of the inheritance for ANY assistance you have received from them. You sign a paper when you apply that you agree to “hand” it over. Just like any other wind falls, and it applies in any State you move since the agencies are all connect by computers. Former Social worker here.

    by John Last — December 16, 2016

  30. So true Sue, my wife and I agree we worked for it, and we intend to make it independent of our children. We done helped with two years of college for them and things with the grandchildren. We don’t want our children taking care of us like we take care of the MIL. Neither of us have an inheritance to look forward to, nor expected one. We already have downsized not just household things but anything that was costing us extra money. We do not want to heat a place for 7 months of the year. We agree to relocating to a warmer area that we can enjoy entertainment we like that are low cost or “freebies”. Libraries have books, magazines, videos and music. We get more use out of our radio then the TV. And there is nothing wrong with candlelight. We both like gardening and farmer’s markets. We do have concerns over health insurance premiums continuing to rise. Hopefully we can keep our health in check and make weekly use of the Senior center gym. A membership is $15 dollars a year a person. The only thing left is finding a house small with a porch and selling our current home.

    by DeyErmand — December 16, 2016

  31. Sue M — BRAVO! You actually sound much like us. While we have been lucky with the markets since retiring, I mentioned that we continue to try to make our own luck. Once when I was young, I described that as putting myself in front of the luck train and hoping it would hit me. But first you have to find and get on the tracks! Part of that is our continuing after 13 years to stick to the same budget plan we had when we retired. As many have said, you just can’t predict or control what health will bring to you. That track is clear and we stand firmly on it.

    DeyEmand, you’ve got a good plan and apparently have taken and expect to take the right steps for your future. I really had one question when reading your thoughts — is Kentucky really south of Ohio? On the map, yes, but in climate, not so much. Of course, Kentucky reaches from Ohio to Tennessee. Having lived on the northern TN border, I know that winters can still be pretty d— cold. But not like Cleveland or Toledo… :<)

    by Rich — December 16, 2016

  32. Louise,
    Yes I remember our discussion a while back regarding supplemental Plan F. It does give you peace of mind knowing your not going to get hit with a huge bill. My wife had hip replacement surgery about 2 months ago and have not had any out of pocket expenses so far.For 2017 both of our Plan F policies went up about 15.00 a month but our Part D went down by 13.00 so our overall cost will be about the same for next year.

    by Jim C — December 16, 2016

  33. Rich, We changed our thoughts on Franklin, Kentucky furthest south point near Tennessee. One visit in the winter there then over to the daughters in S. Carolina changed our minds.South Carolina has better winters. I actually have seen no difference in Franklin,Kentucky and S.Carolina summers./except maybe SC is hotter longer. Nah I don’t want to retire with the Lake effects of Erie breathing down on me 7 months of the year. Nor pay out close to 1.5K yearly for gas to heat those months.My daughter’s electric bill is $5 more a month than mine is now and her house is bigger.My son is near Knoxville,TN and his weather s**ks year round according to him.
    Louise. I forgot about the Part F!! I wonder if I can add it on, now?? I sure am hoping against hope Obama care isn’t “changed” too much, concerns me too. Our company gets it off the exchange with a group rate. And I can keep it if I leave the company. Hard to plan medical but I do expect it to be my biggest bill in retirement.

    by DeyErmand — December 16, 2016

  34. DeyErmand, I didn’t think you were 65 yet from what you indicated. Plan F is medigap and is used in conjunction with traditional Medicare. My Hub turns 65 in March and we are getting our ducks in a row. Got the Medicare letter in the mail showing Hub has Medicare A & B as of March 1, 2017. Applied for Plan F and got the card in the mail and applied for the Plan D prescription card and got it in the mail. So I took a deep breath after probably a year of plotting and planning what Medicare programs to participate in. I picked Jim C’s brain a few times and he was very helpful! Thank you Jim!

    DeyErmand, if you are 65 looks like the enrollment period ended December 7, 2016. Here is a link to that:

    But if you are approaching age 65 as soon as you receive the letter from SS stating that you are eligible for Medicare A and B you can apply for Medigap insurance Plan F or any plan offered. You must buy Medicare B to be eligible to buy a Medigap plan.The eligibility time is 3 months before your birthday, the month of your birthday or 3 months after your birthday. 7 months time to sign up.

    by Louise — December 16, 2016

  35. Louise Sorry I meant for my MIL. Who has been living with us for 6 years. But I appreciate you helping. And that is information to keep in my “book” about Medical Thank you.

    by DeyErmand — December 16, 2016

  36. Yes, DeyErmand, medical for sure will most likely be the biggest expense. Hub will be paying a total of $430.60 for Part B, Part F and Part D. Once I turn 65 if the prices don’t go up…hahahahahha, I fell off my chair…then times 2 price will be $861.20 for both of us! OMG! When we built our house and had our mortgage in 1975 our mortgage with taxes was $252 a month and that was a lot of money back then! We were renting an apartment and the mortgage was double our rent. It was a bit scary! Now medical expenses are very scary! Hub had robotic surgery in October and bills just for that were around $75,000. We are on Obamacare and have Anthem Blue Cross Silver plan. We had to pay a few thousand dollars so far. We also had to pay probably another $1,500 or more with tests and doctor copays from before surgery. I thank God we had Obamacare. One of the tests before surgery was $8,800 and was completely covered. Insurance is an evil necessity! That is why we are going for Plan F medigap plan. Plus, as of the year 2020 Plan F will not be offered to those who plan to enroll. I read those who have it can keep it. I can get on it in 2018. However, I am afraid of the price increases. UGH!

    by Louise — December 16, 2016

  37. DeyErmand, having seen so many of your posts, I feel good that you have changed your thoughts toward SC. THERE you can get warm. (“I wanna go where it’s WARM!” — Jimmy Buffett.) Living here in central NC, we are definitely warmer than southern KY — but believe me, this time of year (especially today) I would love to be farther south. SC will be more humid, so that may be a concern. But SC (like NC :<) has great variation from coastal plains (humid) to mountain foothills (not so much). You didn't say where your daughter is, so do think about that. The one constant concern I see being expressed by those who live in northern climes is that they can't take humidity. Personally, I love it. You folks just gotta decide. It can take quite some time (years) to get acclimated.

    by Rich — December 16, 2016

  38. Rich We actually lived 3-4 years in Anderson,South Carolina, many, many years ago, equal driving distance between her family in Alabama and mine in Ohio. Then several different States through the years. We was living in Kentucky about two years before l was able to grab foreman in Ohio, setting down roots. With that being said, I am okay with the weather year long in SC, humidity isn’t a big concern. I used to drive to Rock Hill from Anderson weekly and there is a definite humidity change. We have family and friends there and in Columbia. The daughter is in Seneca.

    by DeyErmand — December 17, 2016

  39. Louise. SO True, I stumbled on this site, looking to figure out my MIL medical insurance and expenses after several poor suggestions 5 yrs ago. We finally got her Anthem BC and BS Mediblue Enhanced and got a lot of relief last year. (Poor thing only gets half of a shared widow’s pension as her ex was remarried. Still she don’t qualify for Medicaid) I did learn to get the hospitals to write off hospital bills. My wife says everything cost one half to two thirds more since 12 years ago. We used to bank/invest her whole pay 30 years ago! Then the saving got less, and less as the years started costing more and more. But we did good. Since my MIL moved in we got a needed wake up call. The wife put us on a Social security budget and she is strict! Property values are half what they were 8 years ago. The next four years is going to be tighter and more cautious than we have ever been in our lives.

    by DeyErmand — December 17, 2016

  40. DeyErmand, good your wife has forward thinking on being on a SS budget! Our SS budget is for real because we both are on it now. However this month the budget got blown to hell with car repairs of $2,400 and medical bills of $1,650. Plus, we had a few other unexpected things this month that were minor but puts a whammy on the budget! Last month was another $520 in medical bills too and we expect one more $500 one to straggle in any day. So, we must dip into savings to cover these expenses. UGH, save for the rainy days because they will come!

    Woke up to a snowy day in CT today. Around 6 inches of snow and now freezing rain! In an hour or so they predict the rain will stop then time to drag out the shovels and snowblower. Here we go again!

    by Louise — December 17, 2016

  41. Louise, well reality set in when I had my accident and we only had her part time job ($10 an hour) to pick up some co pays, buy food, etc. 4 months of that, thinking “How can a person retire and afford medical?” Everything is a block of ice here today. Snowed the last 3 days Don’t even want to go dig us out! Have a safe day.

    by DeyErmand — December 17, 2016

  42. DeyErmand — OK! You truly understand SC. FYI, several years ago I would fortunate enough to have a heart attack in Columbia that required triple bypass. I say “fortunate” because the USC cardiac service there is outstanding! I certainly would have preferred to have it in Chapel Hill, but transporting me was NOT an option. Not wishing a heart attack on you, but as I’ve said — health changes are difficult to predict.

    One last thing — for you and anyone else. When looking into your Medigap options, consider BOTH Plan F and Plan G. My understanding is that there are identical except that Plan F covers your deductible. If the deductible is large, then the small additional cost for Plan F is warranted. Otherwise, Plan G may be a better buy. I just locked in for 2017 when I learned this, but I will consider it next year.

    by Rich — December 17, 2016

  43. DeyErmand, What state are you in? Three days of snow is no good! I have an electric snow blower and cleaned off the deck and we got about 8 inches, more than we thought. Hub has a 36 year old gas John Deere snow blower that amazingly still works. We found out they don’t even make them anymore. We toyed with the idea of getting a new one and maybe still will but that will be one more expense to buy a good one. Buy a cheap one and it won’t do the job. Just like buying medical plans, buy a cheap one and your premiums may be cheap, but when you get sick, you pay through the nose. If they don’t get you now, they will get you later! Sorry to hear about your accident! Hope you have recovered.

    This article is about what to do if your partner doesn’t have the same retirement plans. In an odd way, neither my Hub or myself ever really had plans for retirement. It was mostly the joy of free time and no schedule. We both had great paying jobs, no kids and we vacationed a lot. We were able to save a lot too in our companies 401K’s. I always imagined that we would travel because we love it so much. My Mother used to watch our animals (dogs) and she got sick and couldn’t do it anymore. So we have not been on vacation since 2004. We just don’t want to put the dogs in the kennel. However, I traveled a lot for work on top of our numerous vacations so I think I got a lot of that out of my system and don’t really miss that too much. We talked a lot about moving to a cheaper part of the country but seems there are things we may not like if we move. Like the weather in the Southern States is so humid or hot in general. Okay for vacations but I am not a fan of hot weather at all. So for the time being we stay in our home in CT with snowstorms, ice storms, high taxes. I envy those people who have a plan, move to a new location and have the time of their lives! I feel we will regret not moving forward in that direction and get too old to make a move. Then you hear all the time of people who move and regret it! It is a roll of the dice sometimes!

    by Louise — December 17, 2016

  44. I guess we shouldn’t be complaining about our taxes on the condo which are $830 yearly, and utility bills of $40 monthly. That’s some good things about living in California. you guys should check out the retirement calculators comparing renting or owning a home. I found out if we rent for less than $ 900 monthly it’s cheaper over 25 yrs than owning your home. We used to live in upstate NY where the taxes now are so high and utility bills the same, not for me…..we don’t have family there so nothing to keep us there. So it just makes it easier deciding to move to states that are more budget friendly for retirees. Everyone does have options than just staying in the same home that you’ve lived in most of your life. I’ve lived overseas as well as 4 different states and enjoy experiencing new locations but I know it’s not for everyone.

    by Mary11 — December 17, 2016

  45. Mary11. We all have our pet peeves. I believe you have lived your life to the fullest opportunities available.What city did you say you live?

    by DeyErmand — December 17, 2016

  46. Dey, I live in Sandiego.

    by Mary11 — December 18, 2016

  47. John, I think you misunderstood what I meant by the LOL. Also you don’t know how much I have contributed to my family throughout my lifetime. My life now is very stressful taking care of my mother who has dementia so I’d appreciate a little sensitivity.

    by Mary11 — December 18, 2016

  48. Mary11, you have my complete understanding. Even years after their passing you never forget them saying ” don’t you see, I don’t know who you are” or seeing them sit in the living room at 3a.m. because they are waiting your Dad to come and get them. Much deserved happiness in Oregon. I’m sure the goal of getting there keeps you going.

    by SandySW — December 18, 2016

  49. Jim C… No, I was being direct. And showing her there was a very good article on this website about Renting vs buying” that we “LOL you guys” have read. I showed her support on taking care of her mother in a previous post. Just didn’t think she should be laughing at those of us who own our homes considering the facts. I am sorry Mary11 and everyone else.

    by John Last — December 18, 2016

  50. Louise, Your comment about no vacations since 2004 and that being at least partially associated with your dogs really struck me. I have no idea of your circumstances or that of your dogs, but you really have many options in the US for travelling with pets. Yes, larger dogs impose limitations and if they are not properly trained, that can be an absolute barrier. But we have traveled over 30,000 miles all over the US and into Canada with two dogs. It’s somewhat like traveling with kids — it’s sometimes onerous, it imposes restrictions and you can be filled with the wonder and joy that they find in new places. Our dogs are NEVER off leash away from home. We have little difficulty finding places to stay or to eat with our dogs. We know we have to PLAN that at least one of us will always be with them (like with kids) and they are restricted from some areas, so at times we visit museums etc. separately. but that’s an on going procedure, not a significant limitation or something that always must be resolved before departure.

    The point is, we go. The dogs go. We love it and they love it. We’ve met all kinds of folks who travel with even large dogs (like Malamutes or Great Danes). Some buy or rent RVs for more freedom, some choose to map it out ahead of time to avoid issues.

    In the end, maybe you just prefer to stay home. That’s ok, I just think there is a way to accomplish almost anything that you want. For me personally, I’m wanting to find a way to take a Caribbean cruise or a river cruise with my dogs. Now THAT’S a challenge…

    by Rich — December 18, 2016

  51. Mary11 Sometimes there is times you just got to do whatever to take care of family.It doesn’t matter whether you rent or own or live with someone else. BUT do you REALLY want to leave Cali for Oregon?? All that snow!!

    by DeyErmand — December 18, 2016

  52. Rich, thank you for your comments about my dogs. I know it is doable to take the dogs here and there but one of my dogs is overly protective and I fear he will bite someone. Here is where you fall off your chair and laugh…the dog is a 15 lb poodle and 14 years old but acts like a two year old dog. We actually like to stay home and have a huge deck with a nice awning that covers 3/4 of it. Gas grill, garden and no real desire to travel. We really traveled extensively over the years in the USA and to the Caribbean many times plus my work related travel (once to Switzerland). Some day I might be interested in the National Parks. I would like to go on a guided trip though. I admire you taking your dogs and they must love every minute of it! You are a good doggie daddy! Another thing, as far as car trips go, I have developed a terrible fear of the highways of late. The high speed, bumper to bumper traffic going 80 mph, crazy people dodging in and out of lanes and talking on phones has just been freaking me out and I just can’t drive on them anymore! I am 63 years old and not 90 and shouldn’t have this fear but I do. On top of that, I have glaucoma and my night vision stinks and the headlights cause so much glare that I fear I will wreck the car. So for now, staying home is okay with me! I hope you can find a cruise to take the doggies on! Maybe there is some kind of dog lovers cruise!

    by Louise — December 18, 2016

  53. Good Morning all!! My husband and I live in the Monterey Bay area of California and though it is extremely beautiful it is extremely expensive and we are looking to move elsewhere. We still have a substantial mortgage and we could sell and move into a condo or mobile home from our 1 acre, 2 story home but have 3 dogs and a cat ( one dog is very ill and won’t be around much longer) but a move like that will not accommodate our pets!! We have been traveling the past few years to see what appeals…..Puget Sound, South Carolina Coast ( Beaufort) North Carolina ( Asheville) Reno, New Mexico. We have traveled extensively and tho my husband is born and raised Californian I grew up Military so know how to adjust 🙂 I have lived in California for 30 years ( am 66) but moved here from New Orleans and though the heat is oppressive, there is hurricane possibilities and crime ……99% sure we are headed there!! Has so much to offer. Food, culture, music, inexpensive homes and southern hospitality. Really no place like it. I am very liberal in my politics but so are many folks I know there. Looking at even the area across Lake Ponchatrain which is only 45 minutes from NO and less crime, cheaper homes and very beautiful!! Difficult to leave friends but look at it as a new adventure and who doesn’t want to visit New Orleans!!??? We can have a yard for our dogs and the best poor boys, oysters, gumbo and boiled shrimp!! And to Louise…….we travel the country and the world and adore our large fur babies but found a wonderful house/dogsitter through Dogvacay ( or and our guys and home are taken care of and we have piece of mind if we choose to leave them home. I know how difficult this time of our lives can be , trying to figure out our health and finances, and we didn’t know if we would ever be financially ready to retire. ( My husband is 68 and plans on working another year at most…..he is a Railroad engineer and it’s not sitting at a desk!) Thing is though that we have lost so many friends lately our age and even younger and you can keep working till you drop and still not have enough. So……just my 2 cents worth. Best of luck to all of us and a Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas one and all!!!!

    by Jean — December 18, 2016

  54. Louise, I live in NE Ohio, near Lake Erie and we get Lake Effect weather all year round. I have a riding lawn mower that converts to a snow plow for the winter. Aside from the weather, property tax is high, no food tax, but food will cost you the same as a State with food tax. Electric is okay until I turn the gas furnace on. The wife has always done most things socially without me due to my job. We have common interests which makes for interesting conversation. We make the most of our time together now, and will try not to step on each others toes when we retire. Right off we decided to check out the States we had lived in prior for updated costs, then weather. We felt it was best to stay with what we knew already. We used every vacation time over 6 years time period to check out the different seasons, due to climate changes. I did make a full recovery with my accident, but get some aches and pain with the moisture here. Thank you for asking.

    by DeyErmand — December 18, 2016

  55. John, just so you understand… LOL was regarding living in California and how expensive it normally is except for the property taxes and utilities. I guess I didn’t punctuate the sentence correctly. I would never put down anybody who is a homeowner because I’m looking forward to that when I finally retire. Sandy, thanks for the nice comment, and yes my retirement to the coast of oregon gives my husband and myself hope that we will once again have happier times to share together. Dey, I was raised in buffalo ny and the coast of oregon doesn’t get much snow, but of course it won’t be southern California either……

    by Mary11 — December 19, 2016

  56. Travel with your dog information:

    by Louise — December 19, 2016

  57. Louise, I spent my teenage years in Visalia, Cali. and hated to leave for Ohio. I think I read you lived in Oregon for 9 years? Go with what you know from first hand experience and enjoy!

    by DeyErmand — December 19, 2016

  58. DeyErmand, I think you have me mixed up with Mary11. I am in CT and have been here since I was 5 years old, now 63!

    by Louise — December 19, 2016

  59. Hey Louise I have the twin of your dog. He is a poodle bichon mix and very protective of me. I have two other well mannered dogs. My dog sitter is on vacation and I am traveling with them right now.

    by Debra — December 19, 2016

  60. Louise, I fully understand all that you said since we have shared similar experiences. :<) After our several extensive road trips and others of 7 – 10 days, we have now decided to pretty much limit our travels to 3 – 4 days. That is pretty much the limit before the desire to be home with our decks and beautiful surroundings takes over. That's one reason we chose to always drive west — all of the US east of the Mississippi is within a 2-day drive. We may do one more long trip, but it will have to be soon. Being a road warrior has lost much of it's appeal and there are just too many crazies making the roads unsafe. The guided trips or train trips are looking more attractive at this point.

    Thanks for the link on the dog cruises. That one in St. Augustine is very attractive and doable

    Jean, I wish you all the luck in the world. I think your target of a place near NO would be a great choice. We lived a short time in Gulfport many years back (right after Camille) and returned to NO area a few years back. Very attractive for those who understand and appreciate it.


    by Rich — December 19, 2016

  61. Hi Debra, Yes, the Poodle is beyond hyper and practically bounces off the walls. He is a very good watch dog and everyone that comes to the door is the enemy. When the door bell rings, we have to scramble around the house to get him contained before we can open the door. If he was a big dog it would be an impossible situation! The Pomeranian is a happy go lucky, not a care in the world kind of a dog. So I have two opposites! Also, one that doesn’t shed and one that sheds baskets of hair. Enjoy your trip!

    Have any of you considered moving due to undesirable neighbors? We used to have good neighbors but over the last few years we have some situations in our neighborhood that are really beginning to annoy us a lot. We keep hoping the situations would resolve themselves but so far they haven’t. We have no HOA and If we did, some of these issues would be resolved. We could also call the police but then things get tense in the neighborhood once you do that.

    by Louise — December 19, 2016

  62. Sorry Louise, I meant that for Mary11 above post.

    by DeyErmand — December 19, 2016

  63. I keep coming back to this post to see if there were any updates on the topic, I’m not trying to be rude, but ADMIN what do the last 50 posts have to do with “What to Do If You And Your Partner Don’t Have the Same Retirement Plans”? My spouse and I have different ideas and was hoping for some insight. Maybe you guys should go on a chat site and talk back and forth unless you’re on topic.

    by Deborah West — December 20, 2016

  64. I wondered about that myself Deborah. I guess we started being on track and varied off with comments on specific questions….so thanks for bringing it to our attention. In my case my husband would prefer living in a more quiet and private retirement where I think at least in the beginning I’d prefer an active retirement community that offers daily activities. My mother and father were the same and they ended up spending less time together and I don’t want that to happen to us. I would just feel guilty leaving him alone at home, but then he might like the solitude. That’s why it’s important to discus these matters with each other.

    by Mary11 — December 21, 2016

  65. Deborah West. We do veer off subject on different articles. We’re a good lot trying to help each other. Have you and your spouse tried date night? And maybe choosing married couples who have the same interests as you both have? My wife and I really wanted to plan our retirement where our separate interest would still allow for joint interest. David Hughes @ helped us so much. He has a free ebook you can download as a couple to work it out.

    by DeyErmand — December 21, 2016

  66. This subject reminds me of a woman that worked as my assistant years ago. She was in her early sixties and I was a out 40. At the time, I could not really relate to her problems, but now, I sure can. She had been married for 38 years and her husband had been telling her for years that when he retired, he wanted to live on a houseboat where it was warm. She didn’t pay much attention and laughed it off, not really thinking he was serious. After all they had three children and grandchildren and she loved being near them. One day, her husband came home and told her that he had bought a houseboat, found a woman who shared the same dreams, and wanted a divorce. She was stunned and in almost every conversation we had she would sooner or later utter,” I can’t believe Walt is living somewhere on a houseboat”. Poor woman. I guess the moral of the story is this subject is really a serious one and should be hashed out long before retirement age.

    by MaryNB — December 21, 2016

  67. Deborah West
    We would love for you to hear your ideas on the topic. Could you share what differences you’re experiencing?

    by Staci — December 21, 2016

  68. Deborah West Rather than be so miffed with us veering off subject, why don’t you tell us what you and your husband are planning, wanting or desiring. We all bounce ideas and solutions off of each other. A part of the problem here is that not a lot of people are participating in leaving comments to keep the original subject going in the right direction. We do get off track but I have learned a lot by asking questions and reading what other people write. A lot of good people on here so please start participating and maybe we can all get back on track.

    MaryNB love the houseboat story!

    Sometimes what we think will occur during retirement doesn’t happen due to things beyond our control. My Hub will be retired 2 years next April and we were not in any hurry to make life changing decisions in regard to moving at this point in time. This year he developed a health condition and this has stopped us in our tracks for the time being until we find out more about further treatments. So you can plan from the time you are first married to the first day of retirement but you will never know what will happen tomorrow. If you have certain goals don’t be wishy washy. Life is too short! Go for your dreams. Make the pro’s and con’s lists and go from there.

    by Louise — December 21, 2016

  69. Well gang, this is all interesting. We have definitely gotten off the track here and then back on it, off again etc. Rather than squelch a good chat we would just encourage everyone to consider the topic and try to stick to it, or at least get back fast. Deborah has a good point that people who really want to know about how couples work things out are going to be disappointed with some of the places we have gone here! The good news is that this discussion has given us some good ideas on future Blog topics, particularly pets and budgets. Meanwhile, if you have Medicare concerns go on over to our Medicare series, many articles with 100s of comments
    So – on to how how couples work out their retirement differences!

    by Admin — December 21, 2016

  70. ADMIN it is stated that 600 people participated in the survey on spousal compatibility for retirement issues. It is too bad those people don’t participate in this comment section. Why don’t you send out a survey to find out why they are not actively participating to share their feelings and ideas.

    by Louise — December 21, 2016

  71. Thank you, everyone for your thoughts and insight, both on and off topic. I wasn’t trying to be rude but was waiting to go back on topic. I can understand things come up people want to discuss (I’m an avid cat owner and would someday want to get a mid sized dog). I dream of FINALLY owning something. My wife has always been adamant about not going into debt, and to her owning a house was debt. I tried to explain that it was an investment, but after the 2008 crash, I was never going to win that argument. Besides, we live in N.J. and both hate living here. If it weren’t for her job in N.Y. (she won’t even entertain living in Rockland County because there’s really no supermarkets of the grade she used to (think Wegman’s). Since I became disabled in 2005 it was more of a reason we didn’t get into the housing market. When the tiny house movement exploded, I thought that this could be something maybe she could get used to. She think’s they’re too small, but I’ve told her we could get a Murphy Bed/couch combo that would make more use of the space, but that the point of a TH is to be outdoors and travel. I have investigated the TH builders and like the company that uses steel in the framing as it brings down the weight of the house. Anyway, we have 8 years difference in age (I’m older at 59) so I don’t see anything happening anytime soon. But I like to dream so I come here and see what everyone’s thinking and get ideas thhat way. I’m more of an introvert and my wife’s an extrovert. A cabin in the woods would be great, but it would have to have a Wegman’s nearby if my wife were to join me LOL.

    by Deborah West — December 21, 2016

  72. Admin I would like to see an article on retirement communities that are pet friendly. Or places with pet parks, aging pets, etc.
    Deborah West, there are cities/towns where you can rent boats of all sizes.I am assuming you rent, so first off check out how much sq ft living space you have adapted to currently. Tiny house builders (Cabins too!) near Bethlehem, PA nice town which has a Wegman’s. Has a boat club too. Nothing wrong with dreaming! Plan a vacation.

    by DeyErmand — December 22, 2016

  73. Deborah, since you are retired and she is not, you get the opportunity to check out retirement living for her. Find out what she hates, what she needs, and what her dream retirement would hold. Then add in your desires for the future. Best wishes and happy hunting!

    by John Last — December 22, 2016

  74. Deborah, I can understand your wife’s desire to be near a Wegman’s store even though where I live there are none. I am a passion for Costco and if I moved, I would like one to be nearby. Here is a link to states where Wegman’s are:

    From this list maybe you could focus your home search to these states. My first thought for you and your wife would be a mobile home (now called Manufactured or Modular homes). You can buy one in all prices and sizes. From single wide, double wide and triple wide. You could buy one moderately priced and have it placed in a mobile home park. If I were you, I would look for a modern park and not some run down Mom and Pop style park. Once you pay for your MH you are done with payments. You can even buy a used one for a decent price in some parks. The down side is that you have to pay lot rent each month. Some pay for garbage, maintenance of the roads, water and sewer. You may have to pay for lawn care and snow removal plus MH repairs. You would have to pay for house insurance in case a water pipe breaks or the unit burns down. It is like home ownership but most homes are parked close to each other and depending on who your neighbors are can be great or annoying. But you can say that even if you live in a conventional home too. My friend lives in Michigan and is unmarried. She lives in a MH. She bought it used and has had to put some money into it because it was old. When she moved in she had 3 dogs and now down to one old dog. A MH is so much better than an apartment. You have so much more privacy. Her MH is very cheerful and she can paint or do anything she likes on the inside because there is no landlord making rules on what colors to paint or putting pictures on the walls. My friend bought her MH for around $6,000 because it was older but in good condition. That same MH here in CT would have gone for $25K or more. If you go through a factory to buy a new MH some have programs where they will cover some expenses for your trip and then give you a factory tour and tours of model MH’s. They will help you design a unit if you have special needs or wants. Here is a MH manufacturer that always has sales: Not promoting this site just have visited it many times due to my interest in the MH lifestyle. I am sure there’s a lots of other choices.

    Here is a link for MH for sale all over the country: Also, maybe before you buy you might want to rent to see if you like that lifestyle. Good luck in whatever you decide on.

    by Louise — December 22, 2016

  75. Tank you, Louise for the list of MHs. We were discussing cabin looking types of these homes. Like tiny houses, they can be moved, with cost. I wouldn’t mind paying rent for a space as it does include services and sometimes security. We’ll keep looking.

    by Deborah West — December 22, 2016

  76. Driving back from vacation we stopped to visit friends who retired to Pennsylvania from northern Virginia. It was obvious that the wife was not as happy as she was last year. She said her husband wanted PA for tax reasons and outdoor recreation, and she was excited about a new house and adventure But she didn’t realize the stress and problems it has caused with her wanting to go back to visit the kids and grandchildren. The drive is about 5 hours but she never guessed he would not agree to being left alone so she could go back and visit as often as she liked-he doesn’t like to go very often. and now she realizes they never talked about how often they would visit and he never mentioned he didn’t want her traveling without him. I hated to see her this unhappy, they are both in their 60’s, and I wish they would have seen this blog, there is so much to talk about and maybe even write down so one doesn’t forget what was discussed.

    by Kris — July 16, 2018

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