Retirement seems quite distant when you start your career until it suddenly approaches. Devoting more than half of your life to doing your dream job, pursuing your passion, or simply working to support your daily needs, it’s not easy to cut contact and give someone more the key. young.
Well, some may object to the previous statement and would come out with joy and grace. But the same question arises in both cases. What happens next? And oh, an even bigger question. Are you and your spouse ready for this?
Retirement is a adaptation period, but the bills will keep coming. Opportunities may still be knocking at your door, and the highest part of Abraham Maslow’s pyramid will likely continue to fidget, your self-realization waiting to be fulfilled. However, it is not just the new retiree who has to adapt.
When one spouse or partner retires before the other, both must work together to adapt to the new rhythm of retirement. Otherwise, it will put unnecessary strain on the relationship. In this article, I’ll share seven tips for getting back on track when you or your spouse decides to retire first.
Tip #1: Plan for your retirement.
You might think it’s a no-brainer, “retirement comes naturally. It is not necessary to plan it. Others may say, “Who does not planning for retirement?”
Good for you if you’re in the latter group. However, even though they know they have to prepare for it, some wake up one day and find themselves a few months or a few decisions away from retirement.
So before either of you even reaches early retirement age, give your partner a steaming cup of coffee and spell out each other’s expectations for when to retire.
You can consider when your mortgage is due, how complete of a project you worked on, or how old you intend to retire before submitting your retirement notice. There are no premature plans about preparing for a future that affects both of your lives.
If you’re retiring first, talk to your spouse about their expectations. Be clear about what they expect of you and what you expect of them. And work on those expectations to plan for the future. It is essential to manage your expectations through planning; it means preparing emotionally, physically and financially. Timing may not be everything, but it helps things settle.
Tip #2: Assess your finances.
Your finances are the hardest hit in retirement. Your income changes and the state of your finances greatly influence your future plans and decisions.
Assessing your finances means answering questions such as, do you have enough buffer funds to explore other opportunities and interests? The answer determines your next steps as a retiree.
Basic economics tells us that we must manage scarce resources. Your spouse’s income remains constant. However, your pension and other retirement benefits may not be enough to replace lost income from your previous position. While some think they can cover the difference by getting a new instant approval credit card when financial problems arise, it is not a smart decision. You’ll be forced to carry over a balance every month, so you’ll plug everything into your finances but open a new, bigger one because of the interest.
This is also why tip #1 is essential. Your finances should be a top priority in your retirement plan. Having a solid financial plan helps you prepare for the inevitable. You must be able to identify if there is need for additional income to meet your daily expenses or take advantage of opportunities that may arise later.
You need to manage both your finances and those of your spouse well, but it’s also important to support your spouse if they retire first. Let your retiring spouse decide what he wants to do with his pension. If they want to invest it in something they’re passionate about, grow it by doing business, or use it to fund a new business or hobby, help them make it a reality. This way, they’ll feel understood and know that it’s okay to take a risk once in a while, which could open doors to great opportunities.
Tip #3: Manage your time wisely.
Time is another aspect of life affected by your resignation or that of your spouse. When you first retire, you need to recognize that your spouse has a different schedule than you. You’ll probably have more free time on your hands when you don’t.
This can put unnecessary strain on a relationship, especially if overnight you no longer travel to work together or share the same activities you once had. But that’s nothing a little compromise can’t solve.
You can manage your time easily during retirement, so you can join your spouse for breakfast before they leave for work or make sure you’re there when they come home for dinner. The truth is that you will now have more time to accompany your working spouse. You can now accompany them to their dental appointment or general check-up. You can also accompany them on their errands or even on their coffee or tea break without significantly disrupting your new daily activities. Far from becoming a burden, it can help bring you closer as a couple.
Tip #4: Divide household chores evenly.
Household chores are another common source of contention between couples during retirement. Who is supposed to do the chores and take care of the house now that one of them is retired? The expectation generally falls on the retired spouse since he is presumed to have all the time in the world.
However, that shouldn’t be the case. You can schedule task assignments that match everyone’s available time to establish that you are a team and that nothing changes after retirement. You may take on more chores than usual now that you have more free time, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be doing everything around the house. It also gives each spouse a few moments to have the equally important “Me Time.”
Tip #5: Venture into new projects
Humans have a natural need for growth at any stage of their life. Thus, a retired spouse may feel a lack of advancement and development if they are stuck at home and forced to “rest.”
Working spouses should encourage their retired spouse or partner to do and learn something new. This will help them feel motivated and give them a good reason to get up in the morning.
Your partner may have set aside some personal projects or given up on some ambitions in the past to be a good team player in your relationship. Thus, retirement can be a time of rediscovery for the new retiree. As a spouse or partner, you need to support them in this process so that it doesn’t become a source of alienation in your relationship.
Investing in new projects requires the support of the working spouse, not necessarily in a financial sense but rather on an emotional level. This can be risky, but since you should have already planned this and assessed your finances, your retired spouse should be able to work on a new project without going broke.
In short, let your spouse take a risk. It’s a great way to stay active, mentally and physically. Additionally, a successful venture on a new project will have a positive impact on your financial stability as a couple.
Tip #6: Learn new hobbies
“You have a new project! Great!”
However, “all work and no play makes John a boring boy”, so encourage your spouse to learn new hobbies as well. This will help your spouse cope with the change in their routine. Does your retired spouse want to learn to ride a bike or bake cakes? Or are they busy knitting this piece of yarn they call a sweater? These things may seem boring to you but not to your partner. This is another avenue of growth; it’s another thing to look forward to every day.
Appreciate your retired spouse’s new hobbies by supporting them and acknowledging their progress, no matter how small. This will keep them motivated and enjoying their new hobby. Being supportive may not bring additional income (although it may), but if it makes your partner happy, it’s time well spent.
Tip #7: Keep the flame burning.
“I’m too old to be in love.”
As cliché as it sounds, age is just a number when it comes to love. As a pensioner, you have enough time to make your partner’s heart beat again. What adds more color to a person’s golden age than reminding them that they are and always will be loved?
So go out on a date like you used to when you first met, or dance in the moonlight.
Experience a vacation at the beach or in the mountains, or visit another country and enjoy its rich culture, traditions and flavors while having fun together. Ask your retired spouse what their most treasured moments are in your travels and what they love most about your relationship. Make them feel loved and cared for.
Your partner deserves more passion than you poured into your previous job.
The bottom line
We cannot define every relationship based on a single set of criteria. Every relationship is unique and no one formula can solve every problem that arises. The easiest and shortest way to do this is to communicate openly with each other to understand and be understood.
Retiring is not about resting from everything; it’s more of an opportunity to live again, enjoy your life more, take care of yourself, and even learn more about yourself.
Retirement is a great time to appreciate and enjoy the times you didn’t have the chance to experience when you were working. This is an opportunity to move forward slowly.
As a partner of a retiring spouse, it is crucial to always be supportive as this is a time of change and adjustment. We go through many phases of our lives, sometimes facing them alone. But if we face them with the support of those we love, it makes everything easier and more enjoyable. With this support, we know we can move forward, no matter what.
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