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Staying Connected to Friends & Family
Written By : Dee Cascio 
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Just as you consider recareer options and finances when making retirement decisions, consider these steps as your begin your planning conversations with your spouse or partner and family. Having these conversations may prevent some costly mistakes along your retirement journey.

1. The first relationship to be considered is the one with your partner. Have honest conversations about what you both want and need, individually as well as together, before you make any major decisions.

2. If you are considering relocating, talk to your adult children early in the process and let them know about your plans. Early discussions will allow both of you to know where you stand regarding each of your expectations. You can also brainstorm ways to stay in touch and connected.

3. Determine how much time you want to spend with your grandchildren and other loved ones. This can have a profound impact on defining the parameters for relocating. If you can't bear the thought of not being close enough to be involved grandparents, choose the location of your retirement or second home accordingly.

4. If you fall into the category of a "sandwich generation" couple, timing and relocation must be considered for all concerned. Long-distance care-giving and monitoring of health issues can become quite a challenge. Talk to siblings who may or may not live close to aging parents so that all of you can clarify expectations for the level of care-giving you anticipate and how much time you can spend as the primary or secondary caregiver.

5. If you have an adult child who has life-limiting disabilities or problems, be thoughtful about how the decisions you make will impact their lives, the lives of your other children, and your lifestyle. Long-distance worrying can put a damper on what can be a successful retirement transition. Consider all of the options available to ensure the best care and safety of your loved one.

As your conversations unfold, you will most assuredly think of other issues that might influence your retirement plans as you work to stay connected to those you love. Remember that our relationships reflect who we are, and the deeper those relationships are, the better we can come to know ourselves. Please take this part of your planning to heart and be sure to make the best of your life for the best of your life.

Find out more about: retirement
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