Here’s a real life retirement story: You may find yourself in a similar situation. Read on . . .
A few years before our retirement, we were at a social gathering with other couples who had already retired. The group laughed wholeheartedly when someone said, “for better or for worse, but not for lunch”.
What this woman meant was that although she was very committed to her husband, through thick and thin, sitting down and spending a few hours of uninterupted time with him for every meal was a different story.
I did not, at the time, think it was very funny, but soon learned the meaning of those words after our retirement.
Here’s a simple question: Are you prepared to spend more time together after retirement?
At first, it will be like being on vacation or a “second honeymoon.” But what happens when the honeymoon ends? It is becoming more and more clear that retirement planning is not just about getting your finances in order, but also about examining and preparing for other challenges that you will face as a retired couple.
Unless you make it a point to sit down and discuss what retirement looks like with your spouse, I promise both of you will have a different mental picture. For example: what does a typical day look like? Will you get up together? Have breakfast together? Or will he want to go jogging and leave you to have coffee by yourself? As the days turn into weeks, what does a week look like?
Will you volunteer together? Golf together? Spend any time with one another during the week? Who will do the household chores, grocery shop, or run errands? You get the idea….
On another occasion, we were invited to a new friends’ home for dinner. After friendly conversation, snacks, and beverages, the husband, Warren, got up to tend to dinner. He had prepared, cooked and served the entire dinner!
This was amazing to me, as it would never have happened in our retirement years.
Later, when I asked Dottie if he always cooked, she replied, “Oh no, just since we retired. He asked soon after we retired, what I would like for him to do for me, now that he had the time?” Dottie replied, “Just cook for me.” After raising three children, while working and balancing meals along with everything else, she was tired of cooking!
“He said, yes, and now he loves it!”
Now that to me is thoughtful retirement planning, crucial to long-term happiness.
I am not saying every husband should or even would want to cook every night, but you never know until you ask. Since retiring I have had several surgeries, leaving my husband to do a lot of what I usually did like grocery shop, laundry or running errands.
After I was well, he continued to do those tasks. At first I resented it. How dare him come into my domain when now I am perfectly able? But then, I mentioned that to a friend, she said, “Then let him! My husband doesn’t even put his dish in the dishwasher. Never has and probably never will.”
Then I thought about it and said, yes, why not, as that just gave me gave me much more time to write my book and blog posts and prepare for my workshops and webinars.
So, is your marriage prepared for retirement?
Are you ready to meet the challenges and make the most of your opportunities as a couple? Are you equipped to take the next steps to ensure the next phase of your lives can be the best it can be?
Put the date on your calendar to “intentionally” sit down and discuss the tough questions you will face as a retired couple. And click on the link below to receive a guide to help you talk about your retirement. Don’t retire without this.