It’s classic. He’s ready to retire – play golf, be with his mates, travel when you can get away from the office. Sounds like the perfect plan – at first.
He starts sitting around the house, messing up the kitchen, not using the gym equipment he was going to and generally messing up your perfectly running house and schedule.
So how does a happy couple stay happy when this new household order comes in to play?
Firstly, planning for retirement is NOT similar to planning for a holiday. And nor is it just about the money. Carefully and respectfully discussing both your expectations is important.
- For example, will you hope he can take on some of the household chores while you’re at work? Do you expect a meal when you come home?
- Do you mind if he has friends drop around to visit?
- Are you encouraging of his sport and hobbies?
- Is there a major project for the home he may like to work on?
Remember, respect is all important for this time of life. So, don’t try to reform him. For many men—and women—retirement is a major transition. The phone doesn’t ring as often, emails dissipate, his decisions aren’t heard, and he might feel useless.
If he’s just hanging around the house, find out what some of his retired friends do all day – and check with their wives to find out how they coped with their husbands’ retirements.
What about more couple time? You’re busy in your week and you may need to remember that this phase will eventually morph into time where you are both home together. So you could schedule “dates,” at least once a week such as dinner out, a movie, or a special time for just the two of you.
We asked Relationship Counsellor, Sandra Kimball to write a book on the case studies of couples in retirement. The book “How your relationship can thrive in retirement” is available on this website.