How to survive retirement as a couple? Let's find out in today's episode. You can listen to the show at http://rockyourretirement.libsyn.com/retirement-as-a-couple-episode-30
Miriam Goodman is the author of “Too much Togetherness: Surviving Retirement as a couple”.
This book teaches us how to survive retirement as a couple. I asked her to come on the show because I’ve seen marriages break up after retirement she shared her insights on how to prevent that. As you know, Retirement is not just about money. Retirement includes all the other things that your financial advisor never told you about. Miriam can help us stay together after we retire.
To prepare for the book, Miriam interviewed couples with different situations, but many situations included the husband being retired, but the women weren’t ready to retire.
One thing to watch for when one member of a couple retires is that a job gives you structure, community and purpose.
In order to survive retirement as a couple, you need to replace that structure, community and purpose, or your relationship may take a hit.
Neither the wife nor the husband is apt to say, “I don’t want to be with you for 24 hours a day”, so have a plan.
Miriam suggests that to survive retirement as a couple you need to schedule time to be together. You also need to schedule time to be apart and to do your own thing. It is usually the role of the women to schedule these activities. It's also usually the role of women to make sure that the husband is still feeling vibrant after retirement. Baby Boomer men still have their identity wrapped around what they do for a living. Retirement can cause men of this age to have a self-image problem. Once he is no longer the “big cheese” it can also be reflected in the sexual relationship.
Also remember that if something new doesn’t work out you can always try something else.
Before you Retire: Make sure that you have a plan. Taking long walks is not a plan! Cleaning out the garage is not a plan!
If you are stuck: For some it might mean therapy. She told a story of how one wife went to the first session with her husband because she wanted to make sure that the therapist was aware of his behaviors.
For others it can simply mean a new activity such as dance, tennis or golf. You can also join a book club, read a book together, or simply get out of the house. Additionally, its important to keep your appearances up and not just let yourself go.
- Too Much Togetherness: Surviving Retirement as a Couple
- Reinventing Retirement: 389 Bright Ideas about Family, Friends, Health, What to Do, and Where to Live