How To Get Your Spouse Aboard the FI Train

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After “Trapped’s” reader case I realized something.

And no, it’s not that house horny people are crazy (they are), it’s that at the end of the day, regardless of whether “rent” or “own” wins, if the goal is to RETIRE, you have to sell at some point to capture the gains. Period. Otherwise you can kiss early retirement goodbye. (And don’t get me that bullshit about “oh, you can rent it out”. To meet the 1% rule of real-estate investing, a $1.6 Million dollar house will need to have a rental income of $16,000/month, not $6000.)

Which comes down to the one thing preventing this from happening:

“Retirement/job downsize is definitely out of the question as long as I stay in the home. Seems I would need to go somewhere cheaper to retire or at least get a less onerous job, but would need to get the wife on board with moving to a much less prestigious city and getting Obamacare….


Now, I’m glad Trapped mentioned this, because this is a challenge we’ve heard over and over again from multiple readers:

“How do I get my spouse onboard with FI?”

Now, I’m no psychiatrist (Hell, most days I NEED a psychiatrist), but let’s break this down.

Of the readers who’ve written in, here is a list of spousal personalities they describe:

The FI Virgin

This type of spouse has never heard of MMM or JLCollins and has no idea what FIRE stands for. Because they’re so busy following the herd, they think the only way to live life is to buy a house, work until you’re 65 to pay it off, and then ride off into the sunset with a big fat government pension. They are completely in denial that outsourcing exists and that 30-year jobs, which reward you with a big fat pension, are essentially extinct. Until this spouse finds out that FI as a concept exists, they will remain blissfully ignorant.

The FIX: This type of spouse is actually pretty easy to convince. Since they’ve never heard of FI, their ignorance can be fixed with a healthy supply of FI blogs. Once they know what FI is all about, it’ll be much easier for you to make plans on achieving FI together.

The “I Love My Job” Spouse

The “I Love My Job” spouse is stuck with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. They don’t want to even entertain the thought that their perfect job might not stay perfect forever.

Their retort to your FI dreams is “FI is only for people who hate their jobs.”

The FIX: The best example of this type of spouse is Brandon (MadFientist)’s wife, Jill. If you’ve ever read his posts “My Wife is Not a Fientist” and “An Unexpected Guest Post”, you’ll see that Jill went from “I love my job, why would I bother becoming FI” to “let’s do this together.”

So how did this happen? In true diabolical MadFientist fashion, Brandon convinced Jill to hop aboard the FI train by getting her to proofread his blog posts, and let the concepts sink in over time. Once she realized becoming FI doesn’t mean giving up the job she loves, but instead just giving her the benefits of having a more flexible schedule, time to travel the world, and the ability to spend more time with family, she jumped onboard.

The Spendy Spouse

This type of spouse coined the term “burning a hole in my pocket” and regularly confuses “wants” with “needs”. Like the lab mice pressing the button that continuously delivers endorphins to their brain until they starve to death, the spendy spouse wants to do one thing and one thing only: SPEND. And while splurging on investments, experiences, and things that bring you happiness enriches your life, spraying money at the latest iWatch or Louis Vuitton purse, only to be bored of it within a week and needing another fix, is not.

The FIX: The problem with spending money to get that dose of endorphins is that due to the hedonic treadmill, our minds get used to anything (bad or good) over time. So whatever thing you spend your money on, you quickly tire of it and then revert back to your normal level of happiness. This is why people say you “can’t by happiness”. You can only buy freedom and choice, not happiness. Happiness comes from creating, not consuming.

So in order to cure Spendy Spouse of their Spendiness, they need to find something to work towards. A goal of some sort. Whether it’s to publish a book (like me) or start an Etsy store (like Mrs. Money Mustache), once the Spendy Spouse discovers that deriving their meaning from creation rather than consumption generates a happiness high way stronger than buying the latest Roomba, they’ll be hooked. And no longer Spendy.

The Scaredy Spouse

This was me. Even though I hated my job, I was terrified to quit. I kept thinking about every single scenario that could go wrong and why we SHOULDN’T retire. News lines kept popping up in my head about how dangerous the world is (it isn’t) and why we shouldn’t travel (we should). I kept worrying about running out of money in retirement (we actually have more money than when we left 2 years ago). I kept thinking about how bored and lonely we’d be (we met all sorts of wonderful friends all over the globe, and we have enough passion projects to keep us busy)

The FIX: Ask them to think about it this way. “One day we are all going to die”. If we don’t do all the things we want to do because of fear, we’ll regret it forever. Oh wait, was that supposed to help or make things worse. Hm…

Okay, If that doesn’t work, show them all the back up plans you have to alleviate their fears. I.e. The fear of running out of money?

Plan A: keep expenses within the Yield Shield so you never have to withdraw from the portfolio.

Plan B Have 3-5 years of living expenses as a cash cushion.

Plan C: Move to inexpensive locations where the cost of living is $20K/year and the weather fantastic.

Plan D: Take on a part time job or side hustle for extra income.

If fear is holding them back, alleviate the fear.

The “What About The Kids” Spouse

This type of spouse thinks it’s a parent’s job to make a kid’s life perfect, and if they don’t do exactly what’s dictated in the “Keeping Up With the Jones’ Kids” handbook, they are a failure as a parent and a failure at life.

Yes, I get that you need them to have stability, go to a good school, have a good life, etc. This does not mean you should throw in the towel and use your kids as a shield to avoid becoming financially independent. Like I said before, being FI doesn’t mean quitting your job and dragging your kids around the world. It simply means you can CHOOSE to work less and spend more time with them.

The FIX:

People who have become Financially Independent with a kid: MMM, Jeremy, JLCollins

People who became FI and/or retired with more than 1 kid: JustinMr. Tako1500 Days

I’ve said this over and over again.

Kids are not expensive. Parents make them expensive.

My parents raised me on a song and I ended up becoming the youngest retiree in Canada. Your kids are not going to be a failure if you don’t blow tons of money on them. Sometimes they could use a bit of CRAP.


One of the biggest misconceptions we’ve heard about FI is that it’s involves sacrifice. Only by living in a basement, eating cans of cat food and subsisting on your own tears, can you accomplish such an insane feat.

To which I say, does this look like sacrifice to you?



And it’s not just us. Check out all the Hell these other FIRErs are putting themselves though after escaping the rat race:



FI is NOT about depravity. Or sacrifice.

It’s about freedom.

And no, I don’t mean the running off to “find yourself” type of freedom. I mean the freedom to CHOOSE.

Becoming Financially Independent doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and travel the world. It simply means you can CHOOSE to work or not work. If you love your job, great! Continue doing what you love. In fact, once you become FI, you will find that you can do your job even BETTER because everything you do is genuine and no longer influenced by money. Where you were fearful, you now have courage to speak up. Where you’ve been greedy, you can now be generous. And where you’ve been afraid to push your boundaries and reach for that promotion, you can now take that risk because you are invincible.

Hate your job? Now you can build that dream you’ve always wanted. Or spend more time with your spouse and amazing kids.

Okay with your job but want to cut back on your hours? Great, do that. Make a flexible schedule that’s perfect for you.

Money is simply a tool that gives you choices. It doesn’t define who you are. Nor is it a pissing contest.

Follow MadFientist’s lead. Start a blog. Ask your spouse to help you proof read it. That way, instead of brow-beating them into accepting your plan, you are giving them the chance to understand where you are coming from. The more they understand FI, they more they will be willing to accept it. But at the end of the day, THEY need to be the one to convince themselves. Not you.

What do you think? What type of spouse do you have? Can you get them onboard the FI train?

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62 thoughts on “How To Get Your Spouse Aboard the FI Train”

  1. Please elaborate on this “yield shield”. A google search suggests it’s some kind of agricultural implement to harvest canola.

    1. Yield Shield is a term we coined to mean “living under the yield of the portfolio”. So for example, if you build a retirement portfolio to generate 3-3.5% dividends + fixed income, live off this income instead of relying on capital value growth. Then you never need to sell.

  2. A great (and timely) post. I’m getting married later this year. When I first met my soon-to-be wife, she had no concept of budgeting. She saved a bit of money but was investing jn crappy (and unnecessarily conservative) mutual funds with obscene MERs. Now she’s opened a TFSA, invests in individual stocks and ETFs, and tracks all of her spending. Shes still sceptical about the concept of FIRE but I’m sure I can gradually persuade her.

    What’s worked so far is 1) providing fact based arguments and 2) explaining what’s in it for her (ie she wants to do volunteer work for charities and that would certainly help her do so at a younger age). I also find it’s easier to “sell” FIRE to her when she’s had a stressful day at work :p

    Apologies for typos, sent from phone.

    1. “I also find it’s easier to “sell” FIRE to her when she’s had a stressful day at work”

      Ah trickery. The key to a honest, healthy, relationship 🙂

  3. I think this could be one of your best posts ever FireCracker. Really love this one (thanks for the mention too!)

    My wife still struggles with the “What About The Kids” mentality, but she’s slowly coming around.

    It’s been a long process to get her on board — She came from a fairly well off family that never had to save a day in their life. But, like a force of nature, I continually wearing away at waste and excess.

    Some spouses respond negatively to all this FI stuff. Don’t ruin your relationship trying to force it. Go at it real gradual like. The desire for FI needs to come from them, and be a part of achieving their life goals…not just supporting yours.

  4. Good article. I agree selling and downsizing or renting could get a lot of people to FI quite quickly and getting a spouse on board can be a huge challenge.

    The 1% rule doesn’t work in most of Canada, or LA, but people can make a lot in HCOL areas on such houses over time due to leverage combined with appreciation and the primary residence tax exemption for capital gains – if they have the down payment and credit and ability to hold through a downturn or interest rate rise. Once you’ve paid off your home, or even half your home, the leverage factor really declines and the ROI drops.

    We would consider an expensive paid-off SFH only in a situation where we were FI without the capital invested in better producing assets and it was a lifestyle choice. Unless you are wealthy very early, or willing to work to keep that house because you love it more than not working, keeping a very expensive home is a trap long-term.

    1. I became intrigued with what this 1% rule is so I took a look and you’re right, at least in Vancouver. There is a cats chance in hell someone could get 1% of the property value back in rent each month here. The apartment I rent costs near $600,000 (new landlord just bought it) and I rent it from him for $1,800 a month so he is getting 0.3% back each month, or based on Afford Anything’s projection, a 55 year payback period. You would be lucky to get 0.5% back anywhere near Vancouver.

      I don’t know, that 1% rule seems off to me no matter where you are living, at least in Canada. Perhaps the US is different in certain places where houses are dirt cheap but rent is really high. I’d be nauseated at paying $2,000 a month for a $200,000 property.

      If the 1% rule was accurate it would also put the price to rent ratio at 8.33 (100,000 / 12,000) (, which is a ludicrously low price to rent ratio where everybody would buy a house instead of renting. Considering the borderline ratio for buying vs renting is 15, 8.33 is crazy low. You’d be an absolute idiot to not buy in an area with an 8.33 price to rent ratio.

      So, I’m not buying it, 1% is far too high of an expectation to get back in rent each month. Perhaps 0.75% would be more realistic, this gives a price to rent ratio of 11, which is much more reasonable yet still highly favourable for buying over renting.

      1. >You’d be an absolute idiot to not buy in an area with an 8.33 price to rent ratio.

        Not really. It costs money to own and maintain a house. Where prices are low and rents a bit higher there is a reason for this – prices often are appreciating at lower than inflation rates, property taxes are relatively high, and the area is not really desirable for some reason so your chances of selling later at a profit are low – likely at a loss after adding in costs of ownership. Much of the US rust belt is like this and some of the Eastern provinces in Canada. You can make money in these areas more reliably on cash flow.

        Go over to for more info.

      2. My head can’t quite get around the 1% rule either. If you find a place that meets this rule and never goes up in value or goes up very little, or will require quite a bit of wrk over next few years, but meets the 1% rule it’s ok? I think it’s way over simplified. I do have one investment property that meets this rule, but only because it has two dwellings. My other properties don’t meet this rule, but since they are in great overall condition and have gone up in value (in one year alone I’m ahead 60G) with the other two houses. In Canada it is difficult to find properties that meet the 1%, and ones that do will cost down the road in repairs, vacancies, and lower return on property value. In Vancouver where I used to live it is not going to happen. Each area and each property has to be looked at in terms of positive cash flow it produces, condition of home…seeing realistically costs in maintaining or improving home where necessary, and while not being able to foresee future, ascertaining the increase in value of property over the years.

        1. The 1% rule is used just as a way to gauge whether a property is in the right ball-park in terms of price, and was created by millionaire real estate investor Paula Pant from If it meets the 1% rule, she will then dig into the property further to see if it’s worth buying. If not, she doesn’t even look. So it’s not a hard and fast rule, it’s just a shallow first-order feasibility test.

          1. I get it, but I just feel that overlooking properties based on it is FAULTY. To start looking at a property that only meets this rule, is completely overlooking properties that could be far better investments, I’m all for rules and guidelines, and if you can get it to wrk for you great, but this rule seems to put lucrative rental property investing in most of Canada as impossible. That simply isn’t true. Now I agree that markets like Toronto and Vancouver at this point can’t even break even with rent. Using that rule as the first way to rule out a properties investment potential is a mistake.

    2. “Unless you are wealthy very early, or willing to work to keep that house because you love it more than not working, keeping a very expensive home is a trap long-term.”

      Exactly. He doesn’t love working and he doesn’t want to be trapped long-term. So selling (either now or in 5 years) goes towards that goal. I’m glad we agree.

      1. I agree that for some in hcol areas the equity in their house can provide a faster way to retire if they are willing to sell and downsize or relocate and high cost housing can delay retirement and may have diminishing returns as the mortgage is paid off. Also, you may want to change scardy to scaredy.

          1. Great! I let it go but then so many posts were quoting it… And I’m pretty sure in person we’d agree on a bunch of stuff. You both are doing great. Just be careful about the housing math because someone with experience will call you on it with their real numbers and Garth might not be right on everything even if he has been right on some important things for you.

            1. Garth is not right on everything? *clutches pearls*

              Seriously though, it might seem like we’re fighting, but at the end of the day our solutions end up at a similar point. Neither of us want anyone to be a debt slave for decades of their lives. I do appreciate all your input and the effort you took to add to the conversation. Hopefully we can meet sometime in real life and have a fun debate over some beer. 🙂 Booze-filled rants about ‘rent versus own’ are all the rage these days.

              1. Sure – if you are ever in Victoria I’d be happy to talk. Or maybe somewhere else in the world. I leave for Asia tomorrow 🙂

  5. Great post. For those who don’t want to start a blog, I think simply reading lots of material yourself and sharing with your spouse could work. Through enough repeated discussion, sharing what you’ve learned, and asking “what do you think?” good progress can be made 🙂 -Aaron

  6. My spouse and I just sold our property and will soon be quitting our jobs to pursue our creative interests. The original goal was to pay off our mortgage (which would have been done within 5 years assuming we were able to keep paying it off at the rate we have been) and then work part time while we worked on our creative goals. After finding your blog I thought it would be better to sell our place and invest the money and I knew of a place we could rent for cheap (so long as we didn’t need to worry about finding jobs because there isn’t much work in the area). My spouse was on board as soon as I mentioned it to him because the place we are moving is his favorite place in the world to be. I don’t regret buying our house despite having to pay maintenance costs and realtor commission because having our own place allowed us to have a lot more freedom while we saved (like being allowed to have pets, having our own garage to park in and not having to live under anyone’s stomping kids like the two basement suites we used to live in), plus we live in the greater Vancouver area so with the recent real estate boom our property value went up a lot so being “house horny” paid off for us.

    1. I just wrote a post about this that hopefully will be approved. We had a similar experience. Our house was purchased and paid off in less than 5 years in Chicago which has a relatively high COL compared to a lot of the US. We’re still in our home tho and would also likely sell it if we move on. We’d probably just roll the money from our current house into our fully owned future home.

      We enjoy owning our place; its gone up in book value about 30% in 5 years and the maintenance costs are predictable and not burdensome. I guess we were “location lusty” instead of house horny b/c after doing the math and deciding we wanted to be in Chicago for 10+ years we made the decision to buy and it has saved money compared to renting. Glad to hear some other folks out there share this experience.

    2. Glad it worked out for you two! How awesome that you have a spouse who’s onboard. Hopefully you’ve set aside some money for a cash cushion and have structured the portfolio so that you can use the “Yield Shield”. Enjoy early retirement!

  7. Enjoyed and relate to this post. My spouse is a mix between the scardy and what about the kids variety. She’s frugal and on-board with the heavy savings (we’ve been saving hard since day 1 – “we were FI before we knew it was movement”) but I don’t think she’ll ever want to fully RE (even when she can); I on the other hand am working towards being done in 4 years.

    One thing on being house horny that FC seems to continually overlook (or just doesn’t believe); a lot of FI folks think home ownership is a good thing (me included). I think that MMM, Jeremy, Paula, the Frugalwoods, etc., all own their homes (I think the Frugalwoods still rent out their first place). As long as you don’t break the bank and WANT to stay somewhere, owning a house can be great. It’s an investment which you get enjoy everyday – if you buy the right way (paying in cash, or putting down a hefty deposit). Locking up your money in a home is theoretically no worse than say having bought equities during a market boom, experiencing a correction and than just waiting for the market to rebound.

    The problem for Trapped and folks like him is that the house they chose is more a prison then a home. If you factor home ownership as a type of investment (part of your overall strategy to control long term costs), you don’t necessarily have to sell your home to reach FI or FIRE. Home ownership (and subsequently the lack of rent and housing [schooling if you’ve got kids] instability), especially in a high COL city, can make your life and finaces a lot more stable (e.g. you estimate your yield shield with a lot more accuracy for the housing component) and happy. And honestly, isn’t happiness one of the main factors of FI – the older you get, the more folks like stability so it’s not just a herd mentality reflex purchase.

    I’m just throwing this out there b/c while I agree with FC on most things, I don’t think home ownership in and of itself is evil. It is just one of those FI choices (like the continued earn more, save more never-ending conversation) that is a personal preference. Owning a place can be helpful to reaching FI and FIRE if you play your cards right; especially if you and your spouse are on the same page.

    1. I’m not against home ownership, I’m against overpriced houses. And of the bloggers you mention, all of them do not own overpriced homes, and each one meets the 1% rule derived by Paula Pant.

      And hey if Trapped was happy with getting paid that salary to afford a house costing him $7000/month, then I have nothing to say. But clearly his goal is early retirement, not simply home ownership for the sake of home ownership.

      And congrats on working towards FI in 4 years! Looks like the finish line is so tantalizingly within reach!

    2. Yep, bang on. For us, home ownership was actually key to reaching FI (well, hubby’s retired, and I’m looking at either going part-time or saying bye-bye this year). Owning was not only the key to being able to control some of those nasty externalities like well above inflation utilities increases (the key here being you have to actually own the walls if you want to open them up to add insulation…or the roof that you want to put the cash cow solar panel array on), or having to unexpectedly go apartment hunting in a crazy rental market because the landlord sold your place out from under you, but it also allowed us to increase stability through additional income streams.
      The rule of thumb about % spent on operating costs is also just weird….can’t say that this has been our experience, and we’ve opened walls…and floors…and ceilings…

  8. Hahaha, fortunately Mr. Picky Pincher and I got on the FIRE train roughly at the same time. I was resistant at first because I didn’t understand the math. Once I saw the numbers I was totally on board. I’m down to be proven wrong as long as there’s data to back it up. On the flip side, Mr. Picky Pincher was also resistant to money-saving measures like getting a different cell carrier, eating more at home, and paying for a car with cash. Oh, how people change. 🙂

    1. I was all about buying a house until I heard about FI. “Oh how people change” is right.

      I’m glad you guys are on the same page. It makes getting to FI SO much easier.

  9. My SO is definitely not the FI kind. At first he was a FI virgin, but now he’s just scardy, more of the, well if one of us gets sick, how’re we going to pay for healthcare? Having been on Obamacare before we were married, he was not impressed. Also, it’s not hard for him because he works from home, as in he’s still in school and does freelancing stuff, so I work 9-5 to bring home most of the money, but he’s understanding. We at least have a budget and we’re doing pretty well against the budget.
    One small step at a time.

    1. Yes, one small step at a time. I get that he wouldn’t be as enamoured with FI if he already gets to work from home, but I’m glad he’s understanding for your sake. Kudos to having a budget and tracking your progress!

  10. Where is the “mixed” option? haha

    Mrs. Jane is in between supportive and spendy. It’s not that she doesn’t want to retire early is that she is afraid that we won’t be able to do everything we really want to do in retirement. With an income it’s easy to justify that splurge because “you can earn it back”. When you’re retired you don’t have that option.

    That being said she’s onboard with saving like crazy, dumping debt, and working towards FI with an option to RE.

    1. That’s perfect! The whole point of FI is to have choices. If she prefers to keep working to justify splurges and likes her job, why not? As long as you’re saving, dumping debt, and working towards your goals, you’re all set!

  11. I’m not sure every spouse really falls under those options, but certainly many will. My wife is more of an “I couldn’t care less as long as it doesn’t affect my current life too much” kind of person. The moment she feels deprived because I’m pushing FI too much we have to assess our spending to find a nice balance. She likes to live in the “here and now” and FI is so far away she isn’t motivated by it whatsoever, but she’s content to have it as our financial goal for the time being as long as it doesn’t seriously impact our living standards. It’s sort of a balancing act of me wanting to increase investments as much as possible, without affecting the happiness of my wife too much. Thankfully she isn’t very spendy, isn’t motivated by a house and has no urge for children (yet) so I’ve managed to find a fairly decent balance where we can maintain around a 35% savings rate, which is good but certainly nothing like 50%-70%. I figure we could likely reach FI in our early 40’s if we maintained this rate and gradually increased it with pay rises.

    The biggest hurdle with this setup has actually just come to fruition. My wife just received a 75% pay rise (moved job). I know deep down we could put 100% of this rise towards investments and increase our savings rate to something like 55%, which could literally shave off 8 years of our retirement, but trying to convince her of that is essentially impossible as she has all these ideas of improving her current lifestyle, at least somewhat.

    The urge for “lifestyle creep” is difficult to halt entirely. So, I’m having to compromise and just accept a marginal increase to our savings rate, with the remainder going to things we both enjoy, like travel. I think the main thing to be wary of is to avoid increasing your fixed costs, such as rent, as this locks you into a lifestyle you now expect and find it had to downgrade from. This is the problem with buying (or renting) a nice big house. When it comes to downgrading in early retirement, it’s almost impossible to accept.

    The most important thing to remember is FI is really just about options and flexibility. We may reach our 40’s and be able to retire, but it turns out we don’t want to as we like our job. At least at that stage we will have a significant portfolio spurting out tens of thousands of dollars we can use on whatever we want, be it travel, dabbling with a rental/vacation property or even just leaving it in investments for longer. Having serious cash gives you serious freedom.

    1. “The urge for “lifestyle creep” is difficult to halt entirely.”

      I totally agree with you. One of the reasons we were able to retire early is because even though our salaries went up over time (with promotions, raises, etc), our costs went down. So not only did the “lifestyle creep” never happen, it actually went backwards. But this was not the case with most of our friends. Once you get more money you start thinking “I work hard. Why not?” And especially if the person cares more about being in the present than sacrificing now for future, it’s very hard to make a change.

      But in your case, if you like your jobs and are okay with retiring at 40, I don’t see any reason to push your wife into retiring early. Seems like you’re doing just fine.

  12. We’re pretty lucky that we both are on this path together and keep each other in check. The Mrs definitely loves her job and plans to do it forever, just for free while volunteering as we travel.

    It took some convincing, but luckily she didn’t care much at all at the beginning. I had control of all the finances, so I just did what I wanted and she trusted me. Now she’s reading “The Simple Path to Wealth” and she’s asking all these questions. It’s great.

    I would consider us lucky in that regard. But this is definitely something that a lot of folks deal with and it’s great to just casually mention it here and there. Untilet they get it.

    1. Oh crap. Now that you mention it, I should’ve mentioned “give them a copy of “The Simple Path to Wealth” as the fix. Problem solved. 🙂

    1. Lucky you! It seems like our poll is showing that majority of readers have supportive spouses, so that’s promising 🙂

  13. I’m lucky to have a supportive spouse. She would retire today if I let her.

    I love it when people try to bring down those on the path to FIRE by making it seem like they’re sacrificing all happiness to get there. I’ve received some comments to that effect on my blog. Like you and others, we spend a lot of money on experiences rather than worthless crap that will sit in our closets for years.

    1. Using the “FI = sacrifice” is the easier excuse to justify doing nothing. Sometimes it comes from a place of fear, where the other person is afraid that they’ve done something horribly wrong with their finances and are missing out.

      From experience, people who are happy with their lives are just happy for you, and the ones who aren’t are the ones making up reasons like “it’s deprivation”.

  14. I had a category 1, 2, 3, 4 ex (luckily no kids then), the fix was more drastic there (of course she’s still alive 🙂 ). Fortunately now I have a very supportive wife. Couples should really be on the same (or at least similar) page on finances, otherwise it can be really frustrating for both sides.

    1. Wow, a 4-category ex. Yikes. Yeah, not surprised that relationship was doomed. Glad your current spouse is supportive! I’m guessing you appreciate her SO much more now that you know what you could be dealing with.

  15. I like your advice. I find though that the blog idea has some consequences. In my case, the spouse thinks I should follow all her advice on editing my blog, I beg to differ and make changes as I believe are needed, but not all of her feedback makes the cut.

    I would also like to advise that Rome wasn’t built in a day. That is, it may take multiple, calm discussions to get your spouse on board with FI. It’s highly unlikely they saw an example in their house growing up, so you will be the only one presenting this idea to them. You are also likely to know a lot more about it than your spouse, so getting your spouse more knowledgeable will take time.

    Early retirement is a totally foreign concept in the developed world, or anywhere, for that matter. You must work until you die, and spend every dollar you make.

    1. Butting heads on writing/editing. Yeah, I have no idea what that’s like 😉

      We ran into that problem a lot when Wanderer were working on our children’s novel. Very difficult to write when there are 2 people.

      But yes, continuous discussions are the way to go. It will take time but you will eventually get there.

  16. As Mr. Tako already stated, this is one of your best posts. I know you wrote it to help people with a spouse that is not entirely on board with FI but it also applies to all those others in our lives that are also not up to speed with FI (friends and family) and I intend to use it to help “break the ice”, so to speak.

    I didn’t “retire” until I was 50, though now I realize I could have done so much sooner. I was part of the “scardy” category do to lack of knowledge. I’m going to try to prevent friends and family from doing the same but I will “Go at it real gradual like.”

    1. Thanks, Patrick! I think most people will have the “scaredy” mentality. It’s pretty hard to undo decades of hardcore conditioning of being an employee. But once you’re out, the fear goes away.

      “Go at the it real gradual like” is definitely the way to go. Also giving them a copy of JLCollins’ “The Simple Path to Wealth” doesn’t hurt either 😉

  17. Great article FIRECracker!

    I used to be an FIRE Virgin. My husband spent years talking about compound interest, savings and early retirement. I understood it but I never appreciated its power.

    Each year I prepared a spreadsheet for my budget but there was never any long term goal in sight.

    My husband was showing me the Chautauqua in Ecuador and I came across your blog. I. WAS. HOOKED! Now I’m reading blogs and books and listening to podcasts about FIRE.

    I have no doubt I will be a “scaredy” and “what about the kids” spouse when we get further along in our journey but I know it will be worth it in the end!

    There is hope out there guys!

    1. “…spreadsheet for my budget but there was never any long term goal in sight.”

      This was me before FI. I was always an avid saver but had no idea what it was for. It was like I was gathering bricks for the sake of gathering bricks. But once we discovered FIRE, Wanderer helped me use those bricks to build a castle. Now the castle just spews more bricks, and we no longer have to work (okay, that analogy kind of got away from me, but you know what I mean ;).

      The fear will come when it’s time to leave. And it will paralyze you at first, but once you get out from the corporate prison, you’ll realizing there are so many people out there living unconventional lives and it’s really not scary at all . Definitely worth it!

  18. Lol…can we combine this with the previous post and get a “how to” on getting a Korean spouse on the FI train.

    1. And then immediate get flamed for how I should be convincing said spouse to move to Korea and buy more property instead? No thanks. 🙂

      Though I do love a good fight…

  19. I’ll share how I did it.
    I setup a very tight budget (after investing a fixed amount already) and shared it with my wife.
    I said: You can have a quarter of all the money we can shave from this monthly budget (as she makes most of the shopping anyway)…
    Buy the end of the month we sit down and if we have shaved $100, she can keep $25 and we invest an extra $75. It works and every month we are a step closer from FI !

    1. That is so good, it’s positively MACHIAVELLIAN!

      I’m going to have to pick your brain on sneaky ways to get my kids to eat their veggies if I ever have any.

  20. My spouse was on the FI train before I was and fortunately for him I hopped on not long after. I admit that in the beginning I wasn’t a believer, I just didn’t think that it was feasible since it was so against the grain. I began reading a few blogs and listening to Mr.Wow rant about it. It finally sunk in when I realized that my dreams of slow-traveling/living/ volunteering abroad could be a possibility; I was a full-blown converter. This mindset has been a life-changer for Team Waffles! All aboard the FI train choo-choo!

    BTW, this was a great post and even some of the comments had me crying I was laughing so hard!

    1. Team Waffles…yum…now you make me want to go back to Belgium.

      Seems like the conversion from non-believer to “all aboard the FI train” took lots of time and reading FI blogs for most people. Glad you and Mr.Wow are both on the same train and heading to FI town. Choo-choo!

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