How To Convince Your Spouse To Work Longer So You Can Retire Earlier

How To Convince Your Spouse To Work Longer So You Can Retire Earlier

Want to retire earlier? Don't want to both retire early and live the dream life? Then learn how to convince your spouse or partner to work longer! This way, you can kick back and live the early retirement dream lifestyle!

One can either work hard for their wealth, inherit their wealth, or marry into wealth. No way is the right way to get rich. Although the most honorable way is probably getting wealthy with your own two hands.

When I wrote the post, “Stay At Home Men Of The World, UNITE!“, I was being a little silly. The post was just a fun way of forecasting life as a stay at home man as I sought to build my online media business.

Years later there's still a huge bias against men who are stay at home dads or non-breadwinners. However, I’m noticing more and more men retire early while getting their wives to still work. So impressive!

Therefore, please know you can retire earlier if you can work out a compromise with your spouse. For stay-at-home dads with fragile egos, this post is especially for you.

Encourage Women To Work Longer So Men Can Retire Earlier

Men who work traditional day jobs love to poke fun at men who don't. Women, on the other hand, don't seem biased at all against men who don't work. In fact, I know several men and women who don't work who ended up being secret lovers!

One of the strategies to retiring early is to have a working spouse. I have a couple lady friends who retired at 32 and now enjoy playing tennis and drinking chamomile tea during the day at my club as their husbands work their private equity jobs.

One lady worked in advertising, and the other lady worked in corporate retail. When I asked whether either of them missed working they laughed in unison and said, “Not at all!”

More Men Are Retiring Early Because Of Working Wives

During my time away from Corporate America from 2012 until now, I also met a lot of guys at Golden Gate Park (where I also play tennis) who retired early because their spouses worked. One husband's wife is a cardiologist at UCSF Hospital. Another guy's girlfriend is an executive at Salesforce.

No doubt both their partners are doing well. All of the early retiree guys employed nannies to take care of their children during the day so they could play tennis as well. Gotta love it.

Thanks to the strengthening equality of men and women in the work force, more men are able to break free from corporate bondage to live alternative lifestyles.

Men can be the stay-at-home parent now. Men can drink beers at the country club after a round of golf with their buddies and not have to worry as much about money anymore. The equalization of the sexes for career advancement and pay have been a big boon for men as well.

Personally, I'm feeling the pressure of having to go back to work now that the pandemic is over. I've had a great run from 2012 until now. I traveled the world, wrote a WSJ bestselling book called Buy This, Not That, and played a lot of pickleball and tennis.

However, now with two young children now in school full time, it seems irresponsible not to get a day job again.

In this article, I'd like to share some tips from early retirees who successfully convinced their spouse or partner to continue working so they don't have to. 

How To Convince Your Wife To Work Longer So You Don't Have To

Here are some healthy tips on how to convince your spouse to work longer so you can retire earlier.

1) Advice from a male ex-CEO of a small company

“Treat your spouse like an A+ employee. Even though you guys are a team working towards a greater goal, you secretly want your spouse to be your worker bee so you don't have to.

Give your spouse glowing performance reviews at year end. Sit down with your spouse during the new year and plan out her objectives. Reward your spouse with getaway vacations, shows, and fine dining to keep them constantly motivated throughout the year.

The most important thing you must do as a doting partner is give her a sense of purpose. Unless her work is feeding starving children or trying to eradicate poverty, work is pretty meaningless after a while for everyone. We work because we want/need to make more money so we can live a better life.

Give your partner a sense of purpose beyond herself. That purpose should be you!” We all know it's becoming increasingly hard to retire early on even $5 million as a family.

2) Advice from a male early retirement blogger

“I've convinced my wife to work at least until she's 55 so that I can stay at home and be an early retirement blogger. My community has grown and if she stopped earning a paycheck we would have a more difficult time raising our family.

I'd run the risk of having to go back to work and losing my community's respect since they'd realize I couldn't have retired early on my own. That would be very embarrassing. My hope is to make enough money online where she doesn't have to work either, but I've still got a long ways to go.

Every week I tell her she's great at her job. I also remind her that we need her paycheck so I don't have to go back into an industry I hate. Thankfully, she likes her job and is good at it.

So I asked her to just keep on working until she can no longer take it. I keep her in the loop on how much I'm earning online and tell her that if I have to go back to work, all this money will disappear. She gets it, and is happy to support my endeavors.” I call this type of Financial Independence Retire Early, WiFi, or Wife Financial Independence for short.

3) Advice from a female MBA grad who worked 4 years in corporate retail

“I met my husband in business school. We didn't click right away, but when we both ended up working in San Francisco, we reconnected. I worked at the corporate headquarters of Williams Sonoma, and he worked at a venture capital firm, and then as a C-level exec at a fast growing consumer electronics company. After he started making good money, we decided to start a family.

It's a full-time job raising two kids. Your patience will be tested every single day, and it gets lonely sometimes when you're the only person in the house. Pool boy, anyone? We employ a day sitter to help around the house.

I always thought I wanted to work forever until I had kids. Harvard was no joke and it was expensive too. It is kind of weird for men to say they've retired early when they have a working wife, because no wife says they retired early if their husbands have to work. But, more power to them.

My husband was very supportive of me staying at home to take care of our little ones. He trusts nobody more than me.”

Related: The Best Time To Work May Be During Or After A Pandemic

4) Retirement advice from a male tennis junkie at Golden Gate Park

“My wife is a cardiologist at UCSF. She works with stents and stuff like that for people who eat way too unhealthy and exercise far too little. She's seen a lot of bad patients or patients who end up dead from a heart attack within several years of seeing her. It's not a pretty site.

Given I think my wife loves me more than any other man, I decided to make her a deal. I told her that if she let me stop working, I would work out at least four times a week, stop eating pizza, and regain the physique I had when we first met 23 years ago. Many of her friend's husbands had let themselves go by the third year of their marriage.

She agreed to my proposal back in 2006, and I've kept up my end of the bargain by playing tennis almost every day and getting back into fighting shape. She makes good enough money as a doctor that it's kind of pointless for me to make more for us.

We lead pretty simple lives by spending free time at public parks and eating $25 meals for two on date night. Life is a good balance now.”

5) Retirement advice from a male artist who used to work in finance

“Like you Sam, I burned out by the age of 35 after 10+ years in the financial services world. I developed chronic back pain and gained about 40 pounds due to all the stress. Thankfully, I saved a decent amount of money and my wife was receiving promotions throughout her career in consulting.

The only problem was that she also doesn't really like her job. She doesn't hate it, but if it was up to her, she'd join me as a non-starving artist (but maybe we would do a little starving if she didn't work).

I told her that there was no point in both of us being miserable, and she agreed. She loved me so much that she let me escape the pains of working 70+ hours a week.

I made her a promise that if I could retire early, she'd come home to a clean house, with all our errands for the week done, and a foot massage at her request. She smiled at the foot massage reference because that's what I gave her the first time we met.

She enthusiastically agreed that I should get laid off. Healthcare is no problem since I'm part of her plan. We're much happier as a team now and are trying to have a baby.”

Life Is Easier As A Team

never laugh at your wife's mistakes

The best line I remember as a teenager when trying to convince a girl to do something for me was the phrase, “If you love me then…...” I used it and it was also used plenty of times on me.

I've discovered through my interactions with early retirees with working partners, the line still holds true today. It just takes more convincing given adults have much greater responsibilities.

The best way to convince a spouse to continue working so you don't have to is to give them constant positive reinforcement of how awesome they are for sacrificing for the both of you.

Even if they are miserable at their job, if they really loved you, they'd be happy you're free. Give your spouse greater meaning to work, and they'll work longer.

Eventually, you'll be able to upgrade to a dual early retiree household. But before then, make sure your spouse works his or her tail off for you so that you can live the life of leisure! There's no point both of you being miserable at work!

Recommendations To Build More Wealth

1) Manage Your Money Better For Free

One of the best ways a couple can build wealth is to stay on top of their finances together. Check out Empower's free financial tools that allow you to see all your accounts in one place online using your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

The tool tracks your cash flow, tracks your net worth, offers free investment analysis tools to optimize your portfolios, and let's you see whether your retirement is on track with their award-winning Retirement Planning Calculator. Best of all, it's free!

2) Negotiate A Severance Package To Be Free

I recommend everybody negotiate a severance if you want to leave a job you no longer enjoy. If you negotiate a severance like I did back in 2012, you not only get a severance check, but potentially subsidized healthcare, deferred compensation, and worker training.

When you get laid off, you're also eligible for up to roughly 27 weeks of unemployment benefits. Having a financial runway is huge during your transition period.

Conversely, if you quit your job you get nothing. Both my wife and I were able to negotiate a severance to be free. It felt amazing to walk away with money in our pockets from jobs we were going to quit anyway!

Check out the book How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye. Use the code “saveten” at checkout to save $10.

How To Engineer Your Layoff Ebook New Edition

It's the only book that teaches you how to negotiate a severance. In addition, it was recently updated and expanded thanks to tremendous reader feedback and successful case studies.

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For more nuanced personal finance content, join 60,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Everything is written based off firsthand experience to help you achieve financial freedom sooner!

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91 thoughts on “How To Convince Your Spouse To Work Longer So You Can Retire Earlier”

  1. Hate to say you sound quite light in the loafers or just a loafer in general. Real men go out and support their family by working hard, sacrificing and saving in order to retire early and do so with dignity and the satisfaction of well earned success, not by staying home to play house and tennis. As a retired Teamster I am distressed at the demasculinization of men in today’s society and we are a weaker nation as a result. Strong male figures in traditional family roles is the cornerstone of how America was founded, built and prospered to become the greatest nation we used to be. If we don’t preserve what made this country great in the first place we will forever regret not realizing and reinforcing the factors that made America the envy of the entire planet. Just because something works for you does not mean it is good for a productive and healthy society. Stop allowing yourself to give in to your self defeating mentality and be a real man for God’s sake. Your sons will be better men because of it ( if you are blessed with any).

  2. larrybejamin

    I talked to my girlfriend about it and she wasn’t having it. I’ll keep trying and maybe some day I can convince her.

  3. Great discussion. Depends on jeolousy etc. . .generosity. Quality of experience. I am sick from work. Day off.
    Funny comments. . .so when a person falls in love gets married. R they in love with the salary deal or the equality.
    Would wifey divorce us if we got into car accident. Probably. Right

  4. Wife loves her job…private school teacher…we use her job for its reasonably-priced health insurance until Medicare kicks in around a decade from now, with the rest of her salary going straight into her retirement account.

  5. I love this post!

    My wife is also a doctor. I retired at 38 to be a writer and also a stay at home dad. She brings home about $400,000 a year. There’s no way she should retire early after going through so much schooling.

    She’s got us to support! I give her as much encouragement as possible and remind her about the greater good of her profession.

    1. Wow. Manipulative golddigger. If i was her doctor i would advise her to find a man who loved her and cared about her health. A one year sabbatical rest as being a doctor can be heartbreaking as well as overwhelming. . .depends on bedside manner amd scope of practice.
      Using my friends computer to write this. Touche golddiggers unite!!!!!!

  6. I enjoyed this article! Exactly the type of thought-provoking yet somewhat tongue-in-cheek post that keeps me coming back to the Financial Samurai website. Last year I stepped down from a high-paying full-time corporate job to give me more time to focus on building my own online business, which is all about teaching people how to invest and trade in the financial markets so they can advance on their own paths to financial freedom. This change also allowed my wife and I to move closer to family and friends.

    “Start Your Own Website, Be Your Own Boss” is great advice. Just don’t expect it to be easy. You’ve got to be passionate about the subject, product, or service and the process of building that business up from scratch. I also feel strongly that you should have a strong financial cushion built up before taking the leap – at least a year or two of living expenses, so as not to put the financial burden and pressure all onto your partner during the time it takes to create a revenue stream from your own business, and to feel that you are still contributing during this time – even if their job is stable.

    I wouldn’t want to do leisure activities all day, every day, even if I could – what I want is to do work that I enjoy and that provides value to others, and to have the freedom to design the life that my family and I want for ourselves. I still do part-time remote work for my prior employer, and part-time work for a family business. Down the road, I could shift my focus towards whichever income stream is performing better, or potentially towards child care or homeschooling too. My wife has a good job in the healthcare field that she enjoys and finds fulfillment in. The stability of that paycheck is an important part of the whole picture for us. Life is truly easier as a team. Collaborate with your partner to design a lifestyle that works well for both of you.


    I am lucky because my boyfriend is 8 years younger and has no plan to retire early. I expect his salary to increase substantially in the next 10 years, affording me the opportunity to retire early. I am working on my passive income streams to replace at least 50% of my current salary. That, put together with his salary should allow me to retire. I just have to ensure I convince him of how great it would be if I didn’t have to go to a job every day – all the benefits I could provide him.

  8. I’m 32 and I plan to retire at 40-45. My wife already knows this and she plans to retire at 65-70. We keep our finances seperate as I have been saving and investing in rental property very aggressively since I was 21 with the goal of retiring asap. I have a net with of 900k and I’m retiring as soon as I can get to 80k a year of passive income. So in a sense I’m not asking her to work to support us because I’m actually retiring myself. Yes retiring together is ideal but that would mean I would have to work into my 50’s and I’m Not ok with that.

  9. I thought this site’s content was great, even the comments were entertaining.

    It’s funny to me having one partner work while the other partner does not. Sure, lots of scenarios can make this appear “cool”, but the relationship will change dramatically.

    Plus if you have an active mind, your going to be board as all hell when you no longer have to think about something during the day. The purpose of your life is really elusive at that point. That’s a scary, dangerous life circumstance.

    Factor in a life partner and/or family and you’ve got a potential hot mess brewing.

    Go find work that matters. Life is much more enjoyable and rewarding that way.

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