Yes, it sounds like we're in very similar situations. I'll be retiring soon from my job, but I have other big career plans after that!
However, during the transition period, I'm going to be pretty poor, so I'm trying to implement my "Mirage Plan" as I get closer to pulling the trigger on retirement.
My kids are grown and gone, and make their own car decisions, so I don't have to worry about that.
I'm in a better position than you on the wife front, though-- my wife is totally unpretentious and, like me, is kind of embarrassed to be seen in anything too flashy. On top of that, she is terrified of driving anything big. She's driving a 2018 Honda Civic Sport hatchback now, and her biggest complaints are that 1) she's tired of driving a stick, and 2) it's too big!
When I told her about the Mirage Plan last month, I was interested in how she would react. I played the Doug Muro video for her so she could get a feel for how badly the Mirage is looked upon.
Knowing how she thinks, I wasn't surprised when she told me that she was in love with the car! Like me, she kind of likes the underdog that everyone is dumping on. Plus, the fact that it's tiny and an automatic made her want to trade the Civic the next day on a new Mirage!
Her first car was a '79 Ford Fiesta that she bought used in 81. She loved that car and drove it for more than 10 years before it finally wore out. She said the Mirage reminds her of that car, and she's very excited to get one!