Negotiating when to retire can put a strain on marriage

Published: Monday, April 9 2012 11:36 a.m. MDT

Most married couples disagree on when their respective retirements should start, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Joey Ferguson

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The question of when to retire is putting a strain on many married couples.

A study by Fidelity Investments shows that 62 percent of couples disagree on the timing of their retirements, according to the Wall Street Journal. The study also found that a third of couples don’t agree on lifestyle expectations, and 47 percent don’t agree on whether they will continue to work in retirement.

Patrick Hickey, a 62-year-old tax-software programmer, told the Wall Street Journal that he makes a daily commute of more than two hours to his job in Los Angeles and would like to retire “as soon as possible” because he feels tired.

Hickey’s wife Deborah Ewing, a 55-year-old attorney practicing family law, doesn’t want him to retire yet.

"I have told him he has to stay working until the last kid is out of college in four years," Ewing told the Wall Street Journal. "For me it would be annoying not to have someone pulling their weight. I realize he's older. But on a personal level, I don't see it as positive. My perspective is he would putter around the house."

The topic is causing disagreement in the couple’s home.

"Her perspective is a little bit warped," Hickey told the Wall Street Journal. "She sees me riding in the saddle until the very last day when I drop from the saddle. My body feels the way it feels. She can't really know how I feel and function."

The issue is a matter of timing according to experts.

"Many women have entered the work force later and are at their peak when men slow down and want out," Dorian Mintzer, co-author of "The Couple's Retirement Puzzle," told the Wall Street Journal. "The timing can create some struggles."

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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