My fiancé is 17 years older than me and is planning to retire; I want to travel
- I met my current fiancé when I was working as a freelancer for a company.
- Since he is 17 years older than me, he plans to retire and save for the long term.
- Because I’m at the beginning of my career, I focus more on travel and short-term goals.
Marriage a A distant colleague from Idaho, who is 17 years my senior, was never on my 29-year-old to-do list — but then again, most things in life aren’t.
My fiancé, Colleen, and I Met at work. He was a senior strategy consultant for a marketing company in Nashville where I was hired as a freelance writer. We have only met in person once.
After seven months of working together, he boldly texted me when he learned that my 10-year relationship had ended less than a week ago. About a month later, he flew cross-country from Boise to the South Carolina coast for the first time, and the rest is history.
Less than two years after meeting virtually, we are living together in Charleston, South Carolina, happily engaged and planning to marry in the fall. Although we know that our relationship will stand the test of time, we are not blind to the challenges that come with it Age gap relationships – Especially those related to professional and financial paths.
We are in two different stages of life and two different paths
We take Graduated from college Less than seven years later, I am still achieving exactly what I strive for in my career. I spent two years running a small freelance writing business and absorbed all the lessons I could.
Meanwhile, Colin is 46 years old He hopes to retire In less than 20 years, ideally 55 or 60 years old. He’s so focused on saving for retirement, while setting retirement money aside is — naively — the last thing on my mind.
According to Rob DeLucas, a certified financial planner and owner Afton ConsultantsOne of the biggest financial challenges couples face due to the age gap is staggered retirement planning.
“A lot of times, I feel like these conversations didn’t happen before couples met with me, or maybe they were swept under the rug,” DeLucas told me. “There should be a reasonable expectation that one spouse may have 20 to 30 years left to live after the death of the older spouse.”
He added: “The most important thing is frankness and honesty.”
These conversations aren’t easy to have, but DeLucas emphasized the point that we have additional things to consider when planning for the future because Age differenceincluding Colleen’s health as we age, inflation, and our individual expectations about our retirement lifestyle.
We also have different financial goals
We found that financial priorities also differ between the late 20s and mid-40s. For example, my bucket list includes traveling and seeing the world. Since Colin has already gone through this “wild and free” chapter of life, he is more focused on helping his family Old age mother Paying for her house and spending on things that help him stay fit, like cycling.
Since we each place financial importance in different areas, we must be more careful about making assumptions about where Our combined income he will go. This requires intentional, reciprocal conversations where we ask each other clearly about our personal goals and our short- and long-term goals. We then create a plan for how we will allocate our money to achieve our dreams.
When we had this conversation earlier this year, I discovered it was one of Colleen’s biggest conversations Financial goals A teenager’s college tuition was paid for because someone else paid for it.
We also take the timing of our financial goals into consideration. For example, Colin is concerned about his ability to keep up with me in the future when it comes to activity. Since I’ve always wanted to raise some of The largest national parks in the countrywe’re prioritizing this goal this year, because we realize it may not be an option to experience together as we age.
The power of dialogue
According to both DeLucas and Khatibi, communication is the common thread for making a connection with different life stages and career aspirations. all A relationship requires sacrifice And compromise, we are no different.
Although it may seem like we have a lot of differences, I know that Colleen and I agree best on the things that matter most: commitment, love, service, humility, and compassion. There are a lot of things about our love that make sense—however they may seem on paper.
When it comes to the advice we give to other couples far apart in age, I think Colin put it best when he told me: “Be open to learning from each other. It’s a relationship because it has the word ‘connection’ in it. Talk about everything, and love deeply Every day is a gift – even more so when there is an age gap.
Kelsey Herbers is a freelance marketing writer and journalist in Charleston, South Carolina. Connect on LinkedIn.