Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

Older boyfriend wants to retire early...??!!

(343 Posts)
foxyfi111 Mon 11-Feb-13 14:33:39

Hi all. I have no kids currently but hoping there are some nice people out there with more experience than me that can advise me. Essentially - I am 29, my partner is 40, we both currently work fulll time. I love my job (in pharmaceuticals), he hates working (teacher - gets lovely holidays off). He dropped a bombshell recently that he wants to retire at 55, ie 15 years time. We were thinking of starting a family in a few years. I think his plan is that I will continue to work (ie for another 20 years until Im 65, whilst he is retired). I hadnt thought that I would stop work as I enjoy it at the moment but I didnt see myself being the breadwinner

Am I being unreasonable to think he is being really selfish? He has money which he has made on property (about 80 grand) so its not like he's not going to be contributing to our relationship financially. His idea is that he will be a house-husband and keep things running at home. Does anyone else have such an arrangement, and does it cause loads of arguments? Its probably not right for me to say he cant retire early, as without me he could afford to do so, but Im just thinking - with a young family, someone has to pay the bills and I feel a bit forced into it being me

I feel I cant really make a big deal out of this yet as we dont have kids yet but it is something that keeps me awake at night. I'm worried that if we got married we'd end up arguing over it later in life. I know its a price you pay for going out with an older man but I just dont know whether I should put my foot down or not, help!!

maleview70 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:36:11

"couples who love each other want to spend as much time together as possible"

Not neccesarily true. Some people love their partners a great deal but don't want to spend every spare minute they have with their partner. One night a week my DW is not at home. I love it. Loves the peace and quiet and freedom to do what I want. Doesn't make me love her any less.

Not all relationships have to be so full on to work. This one does sound a bit on his terms though.

Only you can achieve what you want in life and when it involves someone else, you have to question if he will make you happy for the next 30 years or so. If you don't think he will then make the decision, shed a fyear ears and move on. You are 29. You have years ahead to rebuild your life.

Bearbehind Fri 15-Feb-13 11:51:23

Ok, probably a bad choice of words maleview, I meant that spending time together is high on the list of priorities of a couple who are in love. Certainly in the first few years of a relationship that is going to last, if there are lots of things you'd rather do than see your partner, something is not right. You should be wanting to spend as much time as is practical together.

It is different once you do live together though, having a night to yourself can be a nice break.

Unless there are some very real logistical issues, which in this case there aren't, Couples who love each other shouldn't book appointments to see each other though or only allocate a maximum number of days per week, they should naturally want to spend more time together.

Do you really think it is acceptable for this guy to have allocated his girlfriend an extra night of his precious time a week?

FeistyLass Fri 15-Feb-13 12:09:07

foxy I'm sorry Valentine's Day wasn't quite what you'd expected but I imagine quite a lot of your relationship falls below your expectations. I know a lot of this advice might seem harsh but on the bright side, you do keep coming back and you do seem to be taking some of it on board. All of that will help you to make the right decision.
I'd like to add one word of caution to Jessie's suggestion. Obviously an honest chat should help you to find out where you stand . . .but. . .if he has controlling tendencies then you pushing him away might prompt him to try to keep control by wooing you back. Of course, the tricky thing is that if he is genuinely interested then he'll try to woo you back too. I think the key is to watch what he does not just listen to what he says. His actions will show if he does see this as a genuine relationship or just casual dating.

specialsubject Fri 15-Feb-13 12:44:04

sounds like teenage games, hints and attempts at mind-reading here. You two can't talk to each other.

you are wasting each other's time. Move on.

Having read all this thread today, I'm afraid I agree with the consensus; I just don't see this as a functioning relationship. I'm struggling to see how it even managed to get past its first month, since "When I first met him we would just spend one or two quiet nights in together a week." What, no cinemas, no restaurants, no relaxing lunches in country pubs after a pleasant walk? Just quiet nights in, right from the start? How did you even meet? And all those quiet nights in; usually they lend themselves to long talks - sharing ideas, plans, dreams. Yet now, 18 months in, I don't see that these talks have ever taken place.

Everyone else has drawn your attention to all the things I see as important already, and I'm hoping you're thinking them through. But there's one other thing I am really wondering about, and maybe you and he have talked about this, so I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this one point. In your OP, you said "he hates working (teacher - gets lovely holidays off). He dropped a bombshell recently that he wants to retire at 55, ie 15 years time." What I was wondering is - does he hate working as a teacher, or does he hate working as anything at all? Because there's a big difference, to me. (Although equally bad.)

If he hates working as a teacher, to continue in the job he hates for another FIFTEEN YEARS - why? Why not look for another job that makes him happy? Yes, it can be scary to change, and you have said he doesn't like change, but to take no steps to leave a job you hate just seems a little weird to me. I can see why you think he doesn't hate it as much as he says, but supposing he does hate it as much as he says - what does that say about him? That he would rather hate the next fifteen years and retire at 55, than enjoy the next twenty five years and retire at 65? Does that not look like a very screwed set of priorities?

And if he hates working at all - well unless you are fabulously wealthy, work is what puts a roof over your head and food on your table. How are you going to manage that without working? You either have to live off the state or another person. And I'm not sure I'd have any respect for someone with that attitude. And I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the person they lived off.

LessMissAbs Fri 15-Feb-13 15:21:54

bearbehind "On the subject of living arrangements I'm struggling to see how lessmissabs think he is going to become homeless when he sells his house though? The length of time you can port a mortgage is irrelevant because not all mortgages allow you to do this anyway and as he is going to to better somewhere bigger, hence, more expensive, he'll need to remortgage anyway.

If a single, 40 year old man with no dependants earning £55k and presumably with no debts if he's tight cant get a mortgage then the economy is screwed! Many don't make it onto the property ladder until their 30's. "

If he doesn't have any plans to rent or buy somewhere else once he sells, he will be homeless. The OP said he didn't know what he was going to do. I find it incredulous that a 40 year old professional has no idea why he is selling his home or where he will stay when it does sell, at the stage of having several potential buyers interested.

He will not get a mortgage for £520,000, even jointly with the OP on her salary of £40,000, which is what the OP said they are planning to do.

I also wonder if there is something that he is not telling the OP. I am still thinking secret girlfriend/family/DCs/debts.

Bearbehind Fri 15-Feb-13 15:37:28

I see what you mean now lessmissabs.

I must just be more cynical than you because I don't think for a second that he doesn't know what he's going to do. I think he just doesn't want to tell foxy what he plans to do. This is a bloke who has planned what he's going to do in 15 years, no way does he not know what he's going to do later this year.

The £520k house never came into my thoughts either because that was only ever foxys dream, I suspect he doesn't even know about it.

I do wonder if he's not telling the OP something though too because just doing some sums now, if he currently has a £300k house with a £80k equity he must have a £220k mortgage which would be 4 times his salary already, therefore at the upper end of what he can borrow if he earns £55k.

Maybe he's planning on moving further afield to get more for his money or maybe he has a secret stash of cash somewhere, or maybe he owes less on his flat than he has told her.

TBH, I'd be surprised if someone who is as tight as he is and who's friends are millionaires, honestly discussed the intimate details of his finances with his 2 dates a week girlfriend.

ZenNudist Fri 15-Feb-13 17:34:37

I'm sorry you had a bad valentines day, at least the show sounded good smile. I think he sounds like a plank. I keep trying to view him charitably as you do but keep coming back to the idea that he's not much cop now and by the time you go a little way down the road you'll either make each other miserable or have split up just wasted your early thirties on him.

I agree with jessie's suggestion. Walk away, if he wants you he will say so. Usually blokes like this are relieved to get out. Sometimes they realise they are in love and up their game.

A good friend went out with a 36 yr old mummy's boy who was lovely, good looking, well off, they got on great, her friends & family loved him. As did she. He was really into her & saw her all the time but was clear from the outset that he didn't want to marry & did not want children in any circumstances. She wanted the opposite, thought she could change his mind. 2 yrs later, they had been living together but arguing about the future. She was 34 & wanted to marry, very broody. She cut her losses on the love of her life and left, moved in with a guy she didn't love who wanted the same things as her (bit extreme I know). Her bf tried to get her back, offered to propose and have children. Sooooo men can change. Fwiw she said no, they had wrecked what they had. Stuck with the new guy. They are now married with baby. Her ex married too, a woman with older kids. I don't know if this tells you anything at all. At least you can see that if your bf loves you and you break up it will force him to reassess his priorities.

DontmindifIdo Fri 15-Feb-13 17:44:43

I would put money on "I don't know" is a lie - he has plans, but they don't involve living with you. He probably understands this will be something of a 'crunch' moment and is trying to stall that as long as possible, possibly so he can present this as a done deal not "I'm thinking of buying in X town" or "I'm thinking of renting for 6 months while I look for the right thing" which will allow you to open the conversation about getting a place together.

As for another girlfriend/family, I wouldn't be surprised - he's holding you at arms length, he's selling his flat without having plans to move elsewhere, and is trying to get you to move out of your flat share to a place of your own. He only sees you 2-3 nights a week and rarely those nights out are in public...

Pandemoniaa Fri 15-Feb-13 17:52:54

He has a few buyers interested in his house and said to him what will he do after and he said "I don't know", he knows I want to rent with him, I just don't know what he's thinking

I fear that he is probably thinking, "if I continue to be vague and non-committal then it buys me more time to avoid having to discuss living together". I also suspect he is doing little, if anything, to sell his house because you don't sell houses (and incur the costs and aggravation that accompanies it) without a much clearer idea of the next step.

Seeing each other 3 times a week isn't the greatest development either, is it? Only on the current rate of progress it'll be several more years before you get to the dizzy heights of 5 nights a week. Let alone 7 nights under the same roof.

Glad that your evening was OK in the main though.

NijelTheDestroyer Fri 15-Feb-13 17:54:53

OP, out of interest did you have boyfriends as a teenager? Because I had a couple and I know that we would see each other all the time, the only thing stopping us would be parents objections!

Presumably you don't have the parents objections, yet still you don't seem to ever have been in the 'why don't you come over and we'll get a takeaway and watch a film' or ' why don't we go out for a meal tonight' kind of place. It doesn't sound fun. It should be fun.

You turn 30 soon, trust when I say it doesn't matter how you feel about it now, it will matter and feel more real when it happens! On the info we have here, I'd say cut your losses and find someone who can and will love you.

Yfronts Fri 15-Feb-13 18:21:09

If you both want to look after the kids, you both can do it part time?

Yfronts Fri 15-Feb-13 18:27:17

I think he should keep his pad but rent it out - will be a future pension. You should live in a rented property with him while saving for a house deposit. You should start trying to conceive aged 33. You could well be very well past having babies at all by your late thirties.

Yfronts Fri 15-Feb-13 18:34:20

Agree don't buy a 600k house on your/his income. It will leave you no breathing space to be a stay at home parent.

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 15-Feb-13 18:34:33

Please, move on. Cut your losses.

He is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land if he thinks he can retire at 55. He is the same age as me and I am a teacher. It is a running joke that I can expect to work for another 27 years before getting my pension. I will not be teaching for another 27 years - I can't see myself doing more than 15 - but I will need another full time job to keep my head above water then.

But the bigger issue here is lck of communication and lack of commitment. If you hadn't said you lived in London I would think I knew your boyfriend - hopeless liar, hopeless commitment-phobe. But it seems there are two of them...

Foxy, when you asked him what he was going to do next and he replied that he didn't know, how did the conversation go then? Was there just a big pause or change of subject or something? Because its a wierd way to end a conversation about a major life change. Kind of right in the middle of the conversation! I would have said "what do you mean, you don't know? You don't know where to move or you dont know whether you want to buy or rent?" It's the next logical question in that exchange, surely? We're you interrupted and then it never came up again or was it an awkward tumbleweed moment?

Why is he selling his house?

Why are you not moving in?

Where is he going?

Bearbehind Fri 15-Feb-13 22:15:05

How are you foxy?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now