For most of us retirement is a period of major change. So much so it can put considerable strain on even the most rock-solid of relationships between a spouse or partner. So, in an effort to maintain and strengthen those relationships as you approach retirement, we recommend two things: effective planning and open, honest communication.
Here are some ideas to go about it.
Make lists of the all the things you would like to do, both individually and as a couple. Don’t rule anything out. If you want to climb Mount Everest put it on the list. You’ll have fun planning what you want to do and how to do it. Talk your lists through together, taking care not to criticise one another’s plans and dreams. Compromise may be needed. And as a result you may find you have goals you want to achieve separately, as well as things you want to do together. Be clear on your expectations for retirement. It will make life easier in the long run.
The next step is to explore the possible costs associated with achieving your goals. Work your finances through together. That way you’ll both know what you can expect. Plus, you’ll be better able to deal with challenges should they arise. By preparing together you’ll reduce the potential impact and strain of money worries.
It’s also important to invest time in relationships and interests beyond your partner or spouse. This will give you both the space you need, and it can help avoid potentially damaging dependencies. With an independent social circle and series of activities you’ll be able to maintain your own identity in retirement.
Of course, it’s entirely possible to create a new social circle. And it is recommended you do. Try volunteering or getting involved with local groups or societies. You’ll stay engaged and your skills will be put to good use.
Retirement brings change. And that can be daunting. But it also offers a host of wonderful opportunities. And through open and honest communication, and by planning ahead, you and your partner can take full advantage of them all. And you’ll enjoy this exciting new phase of life.
Our new ‘Making the most of your retirement’ courses are a great way to do exactly that. Have a look and see if they would be useful to you and your partner.