Planning your retirement should cover all areas of your life. We tend to think about our financial independence and how much we will need for a comfortable retirement. However, little thought is put into our relationship with our partner and how it may be affected by retirement.
We are generally healthier and living longer. Retirement, especially if you have retired early can be almost another lifetime so you better make sure you are happy and enjoy life to the full.
How often do you hear of relationship breakdowns during midlife and early retirement years? Retirement can be an exciting and a new adventure for both partners but unless you have the discussion of how you want your retirement to be, it can go horribly wrong.
Don’t wait until you are ready to retire to discuss your retirement years with your partner. Communication is so important in any relationship and you both need to communicate to each other what your expectations for retirement will be.
Do you still want the same things? People change over time so you need to be sure you are both understanding of what the other person needs to be happy in their retirement.
My husband is a few years older than me and took early retirement. Eventually, he persuaded me to retire at 55 and after working full time for most of my working life the idea was very tempting.
It wasn’t as easy as I thought and actually took me a couple of years to feel comfortable with our new life. I was used to being busy all the time and work defined me as a person. I felt lost and set adrift with how to use all of this extra time.
We discussed this and eventually I realised I needed something to keep my mind active, so took on some part time work and now I’m blogging!
Accept You Will Spend More Time Together
The biggest adjustment you both have to make is spending more time together. This sounds wonderful at first, and isn’t that what you have both been working towards? You are now ’empty nesters’ with more freedom and less responsibility for your children.
However, if you have let your relationship lapse during the parenting years, you may find that you are living with a ‘stranger’. Relationships need work and nurturing. You can’t just put it on the ‘back burner’ and then expect everything to be perfect when you are ready.
[bctt tweet=”Relationships need work and nurturing”]
Keep Your Identity
Just because you are retired you don’t have to spend every waking moment together. Make sure you keep your identity and do the things you want to do. I am quite social, however, my husband is more comfortable sitting at his computer and having ‘alone time’. We discussed this and are quite happy for each other to do our own thing, but we also love doing things together like travelling and exploring the world.
[bctt tweet=”Encourage each other to be happy in retirement – it isn’t a one-way street!”]
We recently purchased an apartment as our future home and are having fun decorating it together as a project.
Make Time For Each Other
You can spend 24/7 together but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is quality time. You can just be existing in the same house. Be spontaneous! Make each other feel special! Turn off the T.V.! Remember how you fell in love and why you love each other.
Don’t let yourself go! That goes for both of you. Take pride in how you look and keep fit and healthy so you can enjoy your retirement years together and have FUN!
[bctt tweet=”Now is the time to make time for each other and bring back some of the spark and romance into your life.”]
Set Boundaries With Your Children
If you have children and grandchildren, you need to think about how much involvement you want to have. Do you want to assist in looking after your grandchildren while your children go back to work?
Don’t feel that you are automatically the babysitter now. You have worked hard and now in retirement years it is your time. Discuss with your partner how you see your involvement with your family and then discuss with your children. I’m sure they won’t begrudge you your freedom now and probably don’t expect you to be on hand all the time.
I mind my grandson one day per week. It is great for me because I can spend quality time with him, but we also have an understanding that if we want to travel we have that option without it affecting the family too much.
Keep Dreaming and Planning Together
Never stop making plans or having dreams together. We love travelling and are always planning and dreaming of where we would like to visit next.
If you are in a relationship then you know IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! Compromise is still in the vocabulary and even more so in retirement.
So sit down now, way before you retire and have the conversation then look forward to a happy and exciting phase of life!
Let’s Keep Sizzling!