One change in the relationship dynamics came from the fact that prior to my retirement, I was earning 2-3 times as much as DW (everything included) and yet we had decided that when we got married (2006) we would split our income. I did not mind so much at the time, but now that DW is earning 2-3 times as much as me, I feel that I’m making it harder for her to pay of her student loans (we did not join our loans and assets except in case of death) even though I am covering my expenses twice over with my own income. I wonder whether it would not have been smarter to separate the incomes originally. I think at some point, possibly when the flow evens out, I’m just going to suggest not splitting income 50/50 anymore. Why not do it now? Well, if I invest it, I think it’s going to grow more and the cashflow will eventually flow back again in terms of income. Hence in terms of income, with me controlling it, we’ll be better off. Also, I’m still at a point where I can use the flow of money I’m making. Once I hit a 2% withdrawal rate, there will be a portfolio runaway, and I probably won’t be able to spend all my money ever, even if I tried. I’m currently at 3.1% and I still feel like I should budget.
Second, DW does not seem to have the same aversion to 9-5 as I do. She seems to be fine with a mere early retirement, like in her 50s. This is hard for me to wrap my head around: “Do you really enjoy the way you live?”. “Are you sure you don’t want to get out before you turn 40?”.
One thing that makes things easier is that DW is fully free to pick career locations as she pleases. Before, we had to solve the two-body problem which is the problem of finding jobs in the same location with two ultra-specialized degrees. Especially given our RV status, if DW finds another job, we could move tomorrow without any problem other than mailing out change-of-address envelopes to banks, magazines, etc.
On the home front, DW seems pleased that I am generally a happier person, reason being that I have very little friction between who am I and what I have to do. Also, I do a little more now than I used too: the plants get watered (so they’re no longer dying), dishes, tanks. Initially I figured I would do everything and make the home shine, however, I find myself too busy with other things. I do think there has been a general improvement though; as could be expected when I’m managing my own time.
Here’s something that could change the dynamics though. I have been talking about circumnavigating. DW has talked about cottages and white picket fences and also the absolute impossibility of life without a fridge (Say something Robyn! 😉 ). Now, I would like to do both, so there may be a possibility that I set off to sea at some point for 1-2 years without DW. I am not sure how this is going to work.