Entitlement. This is a big worry for me. When I retire and leave my company (in 3 years) I know my social circle will change and I’m OK with that. But my spouse will have the same friends and they constantly compete in keeping up appearances with vacations, cars, and luxuries. There’s no way I can sustain that, even in my ‘optimistic’ projections.
My original idea was to relocate and distance our family from these kinds of influence. My wife thought about it and decided our family and our sanity came first. We liked our neighborhood so we decided to stay put and see if people shunned us when we stopped competing on their terms.
So, we moved to a small apartment just off Park Avenue in New York City. My wife’s friends all lived in the Co-ops on Park Avenue.
Guess what? Most of them couldn’t have cared less. I’m sure some thought we were weird, but we knew we were doing what was right for our family.
Ultimately we moved abroad and we got to “reinvent” ourselves and find like-minded friends.
The key is to embrace you wife’s concern but be resolved not to act like you’re “entitled”. You have to address the financial reality.