While many couples looking forward to their retirement dates to arrive are anticipating a long, stress free holiday, there are some challenges that can get in the way of this ideal dream. My suggestion is to do some serious thinking and talking before the big day, or days arrive.
Any married or partnered person would have learned that men and women think differently and when it comes to life in retirement, this can become painfully obvious. Each partner may have their own vision of retirement and that vision could be quite different for both of them.
But don’t despair. There are challenges out there, but there are also solutions to most of them. It’s called “communication” . It’s critical for couples to discuss how they see their lives in retirement before one or both retire and during the early years of this new stage of their lives. Most couples will find that that they have different view & expectations and some lengthy discussions and probably some compromises will be necessary.
Life is going to get strained if he wants to tow a caravan around Australia and she doesn’t want to be away from the family for lengthy periods.
We are all different and each of us will have our own concerns and goals, but to help get the conversation started, here are a few topics you could think about –
• You will probably be together 24/7 and for many this will be the first time this has happened for a lengthy period in their entire relationship. Have you considered how to handle this?
• If you are both going to be at home, have you considered re allocating some of the domestic chores?
• What do your combined and separate social networks look like?You may lose contact with old work friends. What friends do you want to spend more time with and which ones less time.
• Will you have separate bank accounts, a joint account or a combination of both? Who will take responsibility for managing the finances?
• How will your retirement affect the relationships with your family? Will there be a new role with the grandkids?
• What are your plans now that you have the time to travel? Where do you want to go?
It’s advisable to do any big trips in the early years.
• Do you plan to spend some time apart so that you pursue your own interests, sports and hobbies?
You can find lots of useful information to help the discussion on this web site and in our books.