How to Survive Retirement with Your Spouse

As couples approach retirement, many believe that they will retire the around same time and live happily ever after fulfilling each other’s dreams. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case. Most of the time, one spouse retires way before the other spouse does. This can create tension if the retired spouse wants to start carrying out their retirement plans. Then, there’s the other scenario when a couple retires around the same time, but their retirement plans turn out to be extremely different. Whether you and your spouse retire around the same time or not, here are some tips on how to survive retirement with your spouse.

1.) Discuss Retirement Expectations

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It’s important to realize that typically men and women have different expectations for what retirement will be like. Retired men typically feel less valued and apprehensive since they’re no longer working, and those feelings can transfer to their wives who still work. Research has shown that wives with retired husbands have a significant chance of suffering from symptoms that their retired husbands do such as, depression and tension headaches. As for when women retire, they typically feel guilty that they’re spending time doing things other than working.

In order to avoid the negative side of retirement, discuss your expectations and game plan for retirement with your partner. Discussing these topics can ease your doubts and anxiety about what life will be like after retirement, and might even create a stronger bond between you and your spouse.

2.) Be Patient

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Once you and your partner are retired, learn how to be patient with one another. It’s important to realize you have a ton of free time, and you don’t have to rush your plans. So, take it easy for a few weeks.

3.) Express Yourself

If your spouse wants to do something that you don’t, simply don’t do it. In the past you may have participated in things you didn’t want to just to keep the peace, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Since you have free time to participate in something you want to do while your spouse does an activity that they want to do.

4.) Stay Connected

Don’t lose contact with your friends and community because you and your spouse are retired. Participate in your community by taking classes or volunteering together. This is also a great tip to keeping the bond strong between you and your partner.

5.) Share Household Responsibilities

If one spouse used to do more household responsibilities than the other, change it. Since both of you have equal free time, each person should be able to handle equal household responsibilities.

6.) Stay Active

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Research has shown that exercise is extremely beneficial for your overall health, especially in the morning. So, try starting your day by taking a walk, going on a run, playing sports, or going to the gym with your spouse. You could also use this time to discuss your daily plans with your spouse.

7.) Spend Some “Alone Time”

While retirement should be a time where you spend the most time with your spouse, and your bond is stronger than ever, it’s important that both of you get enough “alone time”. Whether it’s on a daily basis, every few days, or once every week, designate a time where you can do whatever you please, and your partner can do the same.

8.) Don’t Excessively Plan

When you’re retired, it’s important to have some sort of structured plan for your future. But, planning too much can be a disadvantage. Instead of planning every little detail of each day, keep a generalized plan of things you want to do and accomplish each day, week, and month. It’s important to have an open plan in case unexpected things occur, or you want to just relax and hang out for a day. Overall, the key is to remember that retirement is not a race.