Mrs. 39 Months Doesn’t Trust My Numbers…..

I have a wonderful marriage with a great wife who has supported me throughout 33 years of fun. I always talk about how brave she was for marrying me when I was 22, just graduating, and didn’t have much in the bank. A lot of potential, but pretty raw. We met in August, starting dating 5 months later in January, and then I proposed in May (5 months after we started dating). Six months after that, we were married and heading to Germany for a five-year tour with the US Army. Think about that – starts dating in January, and in December of that same year, she is married and leaving her family and country behind. That takes some guts (and a lot of trust).

As we have gotten closer to FI (ten months!) I have been talking it up a great deal, hitting our “number” and asking her what she wants to do once we get there. She has been patient, but not too forthcoming with her own ideas on what she wants to do once we hit it.

She finally expressed some doubts about how I had done the calculations, and if we actually would achieve FI. She is very conservative with her money (see some of my previous posts) and prefers to be 100% sure. We had gone to a retirement presentation about six months ago at our local library, and the financial analyst/counsellor who presented impressed us both. He seemed to concentrate more on the five years leading up to retirement and post-retirement, more than the “accumulation” phase that so many financial advisors do.

Some folks might have been put off (or grumpy) about having someone else go over your work and numbers, and potentially critique your information. I saw this as an opportunity to draw out Mrs. 39 Months into answering some questions, especially in terms of prospective spending/budget in retirement, travel and spending ideas for the first 3-5 years, and general thoughts on early retirement. This would be an excellent opportunity to get everything out on the table and share our views for the future years.

I went into the meeting fairly confident in my own numbers, but interested in seeing it from the analyst’s viewpoint. He had a laundry list of information that he needed, including:

No Description
1 2018 Income Tax Return
2 Payroll Statement: Mr. 39 Month
3 Payroll Statement: Mrs. 39 Month
4 Pension Info: Mrs. 39 Month
5 Mr. 39 Month’s 401K Statement
6 Mr. 39 Month’s Deferred Statement
7 Mrs. 39 Month’s IRA Statement
8 Mr. 39 Month’s IRA Statement
9 USAA brokerage account statements
10 Mrs. 39 Month’s Bank account statement
11 USAA Bank account statement
12 Mr. 39 Month’s Social Security Statement
13 Mrs. 39 Month’s Social Security Statement
14 Life Insurance (Mr. 39 Month’s)
15 Work Life Insurance (Mr. 39 Month)
16 Work Life Insurance (Mrs. 39 Month)
17 Health Insurance
18 Auto Insurance
19 Homeowner’s Insurance
20 Umbrella Insurance

As you can see, there is a laundry list of items, which shows the thoroughness of the analysis. Its going to cost us $2,900 for the analysis and four sessions (initial one, rollout of base analysis, two follow-up sessions where we deal with “what if” scenarios). The analyst also provides some annual updates for a small fee.

I’m excited to see what comes of this. Our next session is in 3 weeks, so I’ll let you know.

Mr. 39 Months

4 thoughts on “Mrs. 39 Months Doesn’t Trust My Numbers…..”

  1. Curious to know how the analysis goes after all 4 sessions. I have a similar issue in that I’m the instigator, and my husband needs convincing. But we have found that if he does the tracking and works with the numbers firsthand, it has really helped him get on board. He left his corporate job end of 2016, and I think he’s just starting to get comfortable that we’ll be alright financially (he’s loved it from day one from a lifestyle perspective however!). For our analysis, we track in Excel. I also like the Ultimate Retirement Calculator from Financial Mentor b/c it allows us to model different types of investments, including real estate and business income. We have found that retirement isn’t all-or-nothing. We are very much building up business income, albeit in projects that we enjoy.

    1. I’ll have to check out that software. It sounds good.

      I’ll provide updates after next session (in 2 weeks).

      I’m glad your husband is coming on board. That is one of the reasons I was OK with doing this.

  2. That’s a planner, not an analyst. He’s using a fee-only model, which is fine. Just make sure you brokercheck ’em. Good luck!

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