You are here

OT - would you do this?

Aniki's picture

I ran into an old friend this weekend and we got to talking about some of the old gang and what they're up to now. He was telling me about one gal (let's call her "Penny"), who has been posting all over FakeBook about her misery. Because FB is a diary, ya know... Anyhoo, here is the scenario...

Penny's husband is 12 years older. HIs dream was to retire to Arizona. Upon his retirement (at 65), they sold their house, packed up their shizzit, and hit the road. They've been there over a year now and Penny has been b!tchng since about 5 minutes after they arrived in Arizona. 

Here's the thing(s)...

  • Neither of them had ever been to Arizona. The hubby saw pictures and "fell in love". 
  • They did not research housing costs and were appalled at the $$$ prices of the area they chose. The only places they could afford (move-in ready; no repairs needed) were trailers (after having lived in a 4 bedroom house). Definitely multiple steps down, in Penny's opinion.
  • Penny did not job hunt before moving. While her husband was able to retire, she cannot and needs a job. The only jobs she could find in the area pay about half what she was making (this doesn't make much sense to me since she can do remote work, but it may be that she can no longer afford to travel).
  • Penny has health issues and HEAT is detrimental to her health. Obviously, it's bloody HOT where they are and she's freakin' miserable. 

So my question is... would you retire somewhere because you fell in love with some "breathtaking" pictures? Without doing any research about the area, housing, cost of living, entertainment?

I, personally, think that's nukkin futz.


ESMOD's picture

I agree on the visiting thing.. how on earth did he get her to agree to moving to somewhere they had never lived before?

I will say that about 20 years ago, my Exh talked me into moving from VA to CA... because he was an IT professional.. and you HAVE to live in Silicon Valley.. we did a visit or two... Got jobs.. sold our house.. bought another and moved there.

He had never lived outside of our city much less our state.  He really had a hard time adjusting.. there were too many "foreigners" and he was lost.. didn't know what mechanic to use.. where to go to the eye doc etc.. didn't know his way around.  I had moved a lot.. it didn't make me crazy.. but he couldn't deal with all the change.. within 2 years.. we were getting a divorce and leaving.  

ndc's picture

Nope.  I'm a planner.  And a researcher.  DH, on the other hand, would totally do that if I didn't prevent it.

Petronella's picture

That's completely insane. I can't fathom adults behaving that way unless they are senile, developmentally delayed or mentally ill. Neither DH nor I would ever make a long distance move without visiting the prospective new home in different seasons, and having a job or jobs, and a place to live, all found in advance. 

Evil3's picture

I would have visited the place more than once and for decent periods of time. DH is of retirement age, but I'm not, so we likely wouldn't go anywhere unless we were both retired. I would have researched EVERYTHING including gyms, dojos, shopping, produce markets, swimming pools and yarn shops. I would consider every detail of my life and would have researched everything that I could possibly need, even grocery stores. I would have research the climate as I'm very sensitive to cold and I often base my vacation destinations and times on what the weather forcast is. I can't do heat, so I wouldn't have even looked at Arizona. I would have considered my spouse. For example, DH is very sensitive to heat and has actually collapsed on a holiday due to being over heated. He has a wonky body that doesn't regulate temperatures. I wouldn't have expected or even asked DH to come with me to a place that I fell in love with. I would have considered his needs as well. Then, I'd want to know if it was feasible for family and friends to come and visit. I'd want to know how long of a flight it would be and if it was doable for family and friends. I think there's so much that goes into researching a new place to live and I could not just arrive sight unseen. I would need to live a few weeks in the new place to see if all of my wants and needs could still be accommodated.  

Petronella's picture

Right?? All of this, PLUS knowing what medical facilities are available, and what public transit options - or at least Uber or Lyft - in case one or both of us becomes unable to drive. 

Aniki's picture

I can't do heat

And neither can Penny! Her husband has been b!tching about her use of A/C. Not sure what he expected from someone who cannot tolerate heat...

futurobrillante99's picture

It's time for them to relocate, but hopefully TRY OUT the new place by visiting FIRST.

Aniki's picture

Ditto, Gimmy!

I had a boss (now retired) who luuuuuuuuuuuved it when I made his business travel arrangements. Not only did I always get his seat preference on the flight and ideal car, but I also included nearby restaurants (to his taste) and touristy things to do. For business trips!

thinker's picture

And question for people who are close to retirement age, or already retired, or have a retired spouse: Do you resent your spouse if he or she is able to retire and you still have to work?  Even with a 12 year age gap, it doesn't seem fair to me that one spouse retires if both can't afford to retire.  I understand that there are situations where one spouse loves his or her job and the other doesn't, and both could afford to retire, but one chooses to continue to work.  However, a situation where neither particularly loves their job, and only one spouse gets to retire, regardless of age, just seems unfair.  

Petronella's picture

Really, I'd never thought of it that way. My DH is seven years older than me so I imagine he'll retire 5-7 years earlier than I do. I wouldn't expect a 70+ year old man to still be working every day unless we as a household still needed the money, and I hope our retirement planning is better than that. I won't begrudge him being home while I'm still going to work. He can get things done around the house, including research for our ultimate retirement home once my day finally arrives! 

A work friend of mine has a retired husband and it works for them. He drives her to and from work everyday, they seem very happy. Meantime he still has the advantage of her extended benefits from her job. 

Aniki's picture

Pet, I'm guessing your DH starting working several years before you did? So why should he work longer so you can retire at the same time... ??

Petronella's picture

Very true, Aniki! Poor guy's been working full-time since he was 16 or so! I mean he's already had the experience of a wife expecting him to break his back working so she can work less - the lovely Ex. I know one of the things he likes about me is that I appreciate his lifetime of hard work and the career and income he has EARNED, and tell him so. Rather than just taking it all for granted!

futurobrillante99's picture

I've known of married couples who struggled with one person being retired while the other had to work. In my own personal experience, I can only draw from dating a guy who retired early a few months into our relationship.

Since we were only dating, I never really felt resentful that he was home all day while I had to work. He earned it, so I didn't begrudge him.

Where I struggled is that he CHOSE (which was his right) on many days to chillax at home streaming Netflix but I felt like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get my tasks of daily life done so we could spend time together. I didn't really expect him to do chores for me, but lending me a hand a couple of times would have been much appreciated.

When we traveled, I would leave him my SUV to gas up, put air in the tires, load it up, etc. so that he could pick me up from work midday.

And if he had moaned about being tired or didn't have energy for us, I don't think I would have been very patient with him since he was 100% the master of his day.

thinker's picture

Thanks for the feedback.  I've got a long way to get to retirement, but it just struck me as unfair that in a marriage, one spouse should get to enjoy the "good life" while the other works.  With regard to the post above, I imagine this guy golfing all day in AZ while she works and it really bothers me.  Given the age difference and longer anticipated life span for women, she's also probably going to care for him at the end of his life and but end hers alone.  It sounds like she gets the short end of the stick on every front?  

Petronella's picture

Yeah that depends on the individual people for sure. I agree it would be very unfair for the non-retired spouse, who would probably be the wife, working all day then coming home and the retired husband still expecting her to cook meals, do all the housework etc. Agreed that the dum dum husband in AZ will totally be golfing and goofing off all day while Penny works at a job she doesn't like. Couples also need to be very aware that women live longer than men and more often than not a wife will end her marriage as a caregiver to her aging husband, then her reward will be living alone for many more years after that. This phenomenon is exacerbated when we choose to marry men a decade or more older than ourselves. So yeah, that sort of thing needs to be taken into account when thinking of retirement. Bringing it back to the topic of this site - as second wives, we need to make EXTRA sure that we won't be left high and dry and broke and exhausted and homeless when our husband dies and leaves us to the tender mercies of our adult stepchildren!! 

Aniki's picture

My b!tchster-in-law retired several years ago. My brother still works. She took over the majority of home duties. Works for them.

Aniki's picture

It could also depend on their history. For a lot of us here, one part of the equation is on their second marriage.

Sh!t Happens.

My DH lost half of his 401k to BioHo. My exh was able to filch my 401k and blow it on, well, blow. 

Not all companies offer retirement plans and not everyone has the skillset to have a job that offers retirement or 401k. 

Gimlet's picture

DH and I talk about this.  I'm 4 years younger so he will retire first but he has some making up to do since he lost half to BM, plus the CS and extras.

I was a broke single parent with no financial sense in my 20's and saved nothing so I'm doubling down now.  

I am not factoring Social Security in, even though I've paid in all my life, because who knows if that will be around.

We both just want a simple cabin in the woods somewhere though so at least we are on the same page. 

Aniki's picture

I fully expect to not receive one penny of social security.

We both just want a simple cabin in the woods somewhere

This is what my DH and I have discussed. Even the fact that, since we are both avid readers and movie/tv series "junkies", we would need a barn for our books and dvds.

Petronella's picture

I fully expect to not receive one penny of social security.

Here the government-run pyramid schemes are called CPP and OAS, and like you, I am prepared never to see a penny from them. 

thinker's picture

I don't know - I'm just struggling with the fairness of this situation, and so many others like it. 

What if Penny works to help make ends meet in the household budget, while her husband enjoys his retirement years golfing, etc.  Maybe he's still a good guy and after he plays a round of golf, he comes home and cleans up the house and cooks her dinner.  During this time, she puts away little funds for her own retirement, because  they can only afford his retirement using her all of her income to support their lifestyle.   Then in 12 years when Penny is her husband's  age now, her husband needs her help caregiving for him, because he's now pretty old, so she never gets to enjoy those early years in retirement when she's still healthy enough to pursue the things she enjoys.  She doesn't have a partner to supplement her own retirement savings like her DH did, or a companion to travel to Europe with her (or whatever she dreams of doing in retirement).  Unlike him, she never got her "golfing" years.  Then after three more years of caregiving, her husband dies and to her surprise, he leaves 66% his estate to his kids from a previous marriage, and only 33% to her (the minimum required by her state law) and she's alone and getting on in years herself, and she becomes just another statistic (women end up in poverty in old age at much higher rates than men). 

Petronella's picture

Your thoughts are true and truly chilling. What do you think is the answer for Penny? 

I can think of things Penny and her husband should have done differently to avoid this scenario, without her husband being required to work until he's 80, LOL

Penny should have refused to give up her good-paying job, or to move to an expensive area. She should have been aware of what her husband was planning to do with his will. They need to live within their means and plan for the remainder of BOTH their lives and that might mean Hubby doesn't get to join a golf club. She also should have maybe thought about all this before marrying a man so much older. 

thinker's picture

You're right. There are a million things Penny should have done differently, but as it stands, Penny (and other women in similar situations) bear almost all of the costs of this move. If she was my friend I'd encourage her to move back to where she has a support system and family and friends, get a job and save the maximum amount possible in her retirement savings and live on what is left.  At 70, her husband can retire but I don't think she should supplement his living expenses beyond what he draws down from SS and his retirement savings.  If he wants to stay in AZ, maybe she should let him do that on his own. 

Petronella's picture

I would advise her to do the same. Try to get her old job back. Or if moving back isn't possible or if nobody wants to hire a 55yo woman at a professional-level job (another huge problem) then she needs to cut way back on the household spending and, like you said, don't supplement her husband's lifestyle at all. Open her own separate bank account for her meagre earnings. 

Aniki's picture

One thing Penny refuses to do is cut down on karaoke expenses. She spends too much money going out more than one night a week to drink and wail.

Aniki's picture

Penny and her H should have used a few brain cells to research their move BEFORE they made it. Instead, they were fools.

Had they done some online house shopping, they would have known what they could afford is not at all what they WANT. 

Penny should have looked for a job prior to the move. She could have gotten an idea of the salary range and known she was making less.

Here is ONE good thing in this situation... Penny's H is not a golfer. His hobbies are reading, taking long sweaty walks, and playing his keyboard. He's frugal with his money.

Aniki's picture

Gads, you're depressing me! With your scenario, everyone should be prepared to retire early if they fall in love with and marry someone older.

These are valid points, but you also have to take these things into consideration to further the depression of anyone reading...

  • Penny is a Spend Today person. Even if her H continued to work, she will continue to spend.
    How do you stop that? How do you MAKE your partner save money?
  • Penny is in POOR health. She has a crap diet, is very fat, and drinks a lot. Her H could outlive her.
    But there are no guarantees in life, and she could live to 98 and her H could go tomorrow.
  • Penny has a daughter from a previous relationship. Her H has no children. Unless you count their 2 dogs.
    Why does Penny's H have to leave her anything?

thinker's picture

Not sure there is a happy ending for an overspender who is also in poor health due to her own unhealthy lifestyle choices.  There I go with all those assumptions! 

But as far as other people in this scenario (myself included), I do think you should consider all the sacrafices you make to be with someone older than you are when timing retirement and deciding how and where you spend and save money within your marriage.  At minimum, I'd suggest the younger spouse should not move away from her support network, and she should try to find a job with a 401k and contribute the maximum amount possible and live on what remains.  

Aniki's picture

Now, now. There you go being all logical. You know very well that a fair number of people do not think about that logical stuff. They're too busy being in luuuuuuuuuuuuv. 

Are you saying the younger spouse should stay put while the older spouse relocates??

thinker's picture

No longer talking about Penny because I gave up on when you said she's an overspender and makes unhealthy lifestyle choices.  I'm saying a younger woman is taking on a large responsibility by marrying a man 12 years older than her, and many of the costs are latent and will not surface for many years.  At the very least, she doesn't need to make anymore sacrafices for the sake of the marriage, such as moving to somewhere she doesn't want to be, and she should make sure she's not putting her own future retirement at risk to fund her husband's current retirement.  

Petronella's picture

I agree that in general the couple should not move away until they are BOTH retired. The old man can damn well spend a few years living in their current home and supporting his still-working wife in whatever way he can. 

Aniki's picture

Pet, what baffles me is that Mr. Penny is a laid back "okay hun" kind of guy. Penny has always been a go-gettin' ballbuster who has had (with her older H's approval) numerous affairs with women.

Not my cup of tea, but I guess this works for them. I never considered him to be the Pants In The Family and can't help but wonder if this is some sort of self-inflicted punishment... 

I don't know Penny very well any more, Because of our past friendship, she - whenever I've seen her - feels comfortable telling me the intimate details of her life. I think I'm in the Twilight Zone...

Aniki's picture

Is there a difference if it's a younger man and an older woman? I have male friends who are 7-10 years younger than their wives.

Petronella's picture

Damn, what circles do you run in? Is this Cougar Town? Yes, I agree that an older wife who retires first, should similarly not pressure her younger husband to quit his job and move with her to a trailer in Arizona. 

Aniki's picture

Why, yes, there ARE cougars in this area. Both four-legged AND two... I myself dated a younger man before DH and I reconnected. A MUCH younger man. >^..^<

thinker's picture

I think the analysis is gender neutral and goes the other way, too. 

bearcub25's picture

Gimlet, let me tell you a secret about that cabin in the woods...hauling in firewood SUCKS.  I've had wood burners since 93 and I'm tired thinking about getting in wood for NEXT winter.  We traded in the biggest burner for a pellet stove and its a big help but its still a lot of work for just 1.  You also can't leave for longer than 12 hours or they will go out.

I have revised my cabin in the woods to a nice new motor home/camper in the woods with propane heat, or solar/wind, but I'm done with cutting firewood.

bananaseedo's picture

Well, it sounds to me that they are generally lacking in common sense AND intelligence. said, I research more then that for a vacation lol.

I personally do not want to retire here in the US.  I'd like to go abroad.  I may like trying living in a few different countries or states w/in a country also.  We have looked extensively at Central/South America as well as Mexico.  As we don't like severe heat, the only areas we narrowed down were CR in the Central Valley/mountain area and Mexico in the mountain areas (Puebla or Queretaro or Oaxaca and a few more).  I have looked into rentals, stores, medical, car and visa issues, climate, ease to get around. Example Queretaro and some other known expat areas in Mexico have a LOT of cobblestone/uneven terrain for walking-a NO for me since I have hardward from broken leg that is likely to affect me for a lifetime.

I then realized as beautiful as Costa Rica is, poisonous frogs/snakes are an issue when you have active outdoor dogs.  We also like upland hunting, any hunting is prohibited in CR.  We likely will research MANY other places, including in the US-so when finally retire 10-15 years from now, I'll have done my homework LOL

And yes, we plan to make several trips before hand.

Petronella's picture

Oh good point, retiring to another country can be a plan! We'd consider Scotland as DH still has UK citizenship. A little seaside village. That of course would mean our kids couldn't visit as much but that's fine too, LOL. Still lots of years to do the research and recon missions for that!

SMto2's picture

That's insane! My DH and I were thinking of buying a VACATION home (not permanent home! lol!) at a beach where we'd never been that is close to where DS18 is in college. We would never have bought something without checking out the area! We rented a VRBO home for a weekend and discovered we didn't like it for a number of reasons. We looked at places with a realtor on a second visit and decided it wasn't for us. I can't imagine up and moving somewhere you've never been, just based on pictures, or even based on what others said. That is really crazy! I'm sorry for your friend.

Aniki's picture

What I don't understand is why Penny didn't say anything beforehand. Who doesn't know that southern Arizona is HOT?!

Simpleton21's picture

Penny and her husband don't seem to bright!  I wouldn't move anywhere without having been there or researched the place unless I for some crazy reason HAD to.  Which I can't even think of a reason where I would have to unless I was in the military or my DH was and we aren't....

Aniki's picture

I thought about military, but that's different. You really don't have a choice, but it's typically temporary. Their (unilateral) decision was for a PERMANENT move.

advice.only2's picture

I would not, but my Aunt did this. She married a man 15 years older than her, he wanted to retire to the great state of Arkansas where all his family resided. So they moved and lived there for a long time. Since my Aunt is considerably younger she had to get a job, any job because she had very little retirement. She hated it there because they lived in Tornado Alley. So she worked crap jobs and lived there until her husband wanted to move to Oregon to be around his kids.

So they moved there into a retirement home community and she basically works a part time crap job, her husband is completely disabled and his kids don't do anything other than deman his money...which they don't have.

No I would never do it, and no I will never move to Arizona, my DH wants to move there since all his family is there, but I refuse to trade one desert for another!

Aniki's picture

Wow, your Aunt's life soundsl ess than ideal. Ugh.

I have family in Arizona, but damn if I'd move to that hellhole!

SeeYouNever's picture

My husband loves to look at pictures of properties in dream about our retirement! So yes he definitely would. whenever he starts talking like this I circle the conversation back around 2 maybe we should visit is going to be our retirement income etc... When both members of a couple are impulsive people get into bad situations like that. At least one of the two needs to keep themselves in reality.

Aniki's picture

That impulsiveness certainly backfired. You would think Penny and her DuH would have done SOME kind of research (house and job hunting) when they knew they were moving. SMDH

queensway's picture

I think Penny wanted to make her husband happy. I have been to AZ and it is a dry heat but very very warm. As a woman gets older heat is hard to handle.I do think AZ is so beautiful but only on a vacation.I could never live there myself.  I think that her husband might call the shots and this is an eye opener for her. Where a couple retires should be a place they both like. And to answer your question...h3ll no.

Petronella's picture

Mr Penny with his nature walks and his keyboard, sounds like an old hippie who killed his brain cells with too much of the good stuff back in the 60s and 70s. 

Petronella's picture

I'm sure he'd like to meet YOU! He'd invite you over for some open marriage fun in the Trailer of Love. Since Penny, his "old lady," is just so "uptight" these days about things like money...she's such a square!! Why can't we all just go with the flow, maaaaaan......

queensway's picture

LMAO...You are to funny. That would never happen. But I bet when he is stoned he has some good stories to tell. Penny fell for them! We should all just go with the flow. Life would and could be so much better. Trailer of love...OMG

Aniki's picture

Hey, now. Mr. Penny has no sexual interest in anyone other than his wife. It's PENNY who is seeking sex. Because...he's 12 years older, dontchaknow. He can no longer satisfy her voracious appetites and is okay with her being with women; just not another man.

At least that's what Penny told me a couple of years ago. I believe the part about him not being "up" to the job, but am not sure that part about him being okay with her amorous activities is true. Having met Mr. Penny a few times, he may think, in his residual-drugged-out-phase, that Penny is joking around. Poor kind of joke (IMO), if that's so.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I might... IF I had a super great job lined up...  Definitely wouldn't just move there without ANY research or a job!

Aniki's picture

But that's the thing. You would have a JOB. They moved there with no job (for her) and no research on housing until after they were there.

Petronella's picture

How do you even move someplace without a home to move into? How does that even work? Where did they sleep their first night in AZ??  With a moving truck of all their possessions - where'd they park it?  How did they find a place to buy or rent, or open a bank account when they didn't yet have an address? They sound truly nuts.

Aniki's picture

Love, baby. LOVE! They obviously floated down the Love River to dreamy AZ.

They put their stuff in storage and spent a month in a motel. I believe they didn't close their old bank account until they found their dream trailor.

hereiam's picture

I absolutely would not do this, based on some pictures. Moving is expensive and a lot of work, and picking up and just trekking off to wherever on a whim is only fun and romantic in the movies.

hereiam's picture

I should edit, because it is fun when you are young and have no ties and responsiblities. I did it when I was young but wouldn't do it, now, without some research and prep.

susanm's picture

At this point in my life, no.  My first husband's job required him to move pretty much every 3ish years and that was something I knew going in.  It really appealed to me actually.  Basically it would be "there is an opening in X place at the next level up and they are interested in them and set up the "interview." " I would be expected to go too and start looking for a place to live,  He could always turn down the opening but it was essentially a guarantee that his career would take a hit if he did so unless there was a major red flag when we went it was assumed that he was taking the offer.  But we were in our early-20s with no kids and looked at it as an adventure.  Those were some crazy years!  But by the time we hit mid-ish 30s he had moved into positions where the tenure was much longer and we could put down roots..  I can't imagine a bohemian "throw darts at a map" life in retirement.  I may not need as exhaustive research as many people would but at an understanding of cost of living versus expected income and the weather seems like a requirement bordering on "duh....".

Aniki's picture

One of my sisters has wanderlust. However, she admits that, as she got older, the ability to just GO has decreased significantly. In her opinion, the best time for wanderlust is when you're young with few possessions - can pack it in your car and go. 

However, if you're older, have downsized to 'smaller living', and have the funds to do so: GO.

People want STUFF and STUFF makes it harder to pick up and go.

Petronella's picture

DH wants us to do the following once we're both retired:

1. Sell our home and sell or store belongings.

2. Use part of the proceeds to buy a big RV trailer

3. Spend 6 to 9 months travelling through North America

4. Sell the RV trailer

5. Use the proceeds plus remaining savings to buy our little forever home in the Okanagan or Shuswaps of BC


Aniki's picture

I read "Shuswaps" as "Swamps". One cup of coffee just doesn't cut it...

DH and I have talked about doing 1 thru 3. I could definintely go for that.

somethingwicked's picture

Wow..I haven't read all the comments but you hit a nerve with this topic ..huh?

NO ~I would never move anywhere sight unseen but only based on  looking at a picture .Sounds like her DH is on the dementia spectrum and Penny is right there with him.

Aniki's picture

Wicked, having spent a bit of time around Mr. Penny, I believe he is on the "did too many drugs" spectrum.