Dear Miriam

My husband and I have recently retired and are looking forward to enjoying what we hope will be a long and happy retirement together. The problem is that my husband believes we should downsize to one car, seeing as we no longer have to drive to our respective workplaces anymore. I was appalled when he came out with this and did not answer him straight away. I have been driving independently since my 18th birthday and really do not want to go car-sharing at this stage of my life.

We are both on good pensions and have no financial problems. How do I get my message across to him without having a row and creating disharmony in our otherwise happy home?

Connacht Reader

Dear Connacht Reader,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you both on your retirement. It is a great achievement and certainly is a time for enjoyment and rewarding yourselves for many years of hard work and building a home together.

With regard to your husband’s idea about downsizing, I can understand where he may be coming from, but I also see your point of view. You are both entitled to your independence as well as enjoying quality time together. Car sharing may prove difficult if you both have different plans for the same day or even the same week.

I suggest you take time to have a chat about this and listen to each other’s viewpoint. Take pen to paper and see what the actual financial impact would be.

What would it be like to hold on to both cars for a year and then review the situation? By then you will both have a year put down doing your own thing as well as enjoying time together. Hopefully, it will enable him to see the bigger picture and let go of the idea. Indeed, you may come to the conclusion that the financial impact is too great.

In a year’s time, one of you may consider trading in for a smaller car, thus reducing costs yet helping maintain independence. Rather than writing the idea off straight away, listen to each other but suggest it is too early into your retirement to be making any major decisions just yet. I hope this helps and I wish you both a long, happy and healthy life together.

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