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Making Retirement Work for You and Your Spouse
Written By : SeniorsList 
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A Golden Opportunity to Reconnect

Ah, retirement. You’ve dreamt night and day about how relieving and freeing your work-free lifestyle will be: sleeping in, taking trips to the Caribbean, planting that garden you’ve always wanted and spending time with your spouse. But, have you thought about the new and additional challenges you’ll be faced with as well?

Retirement for many is a wonderful and rare time to reconnect with their partner, but it also can represent a time of challenging transition from work life to home life. Is your marriage prepared for the challenge? Are you? For a smooth and stress-free transition, here are some tips so that your marriage stays afloat and can easily conquer any challenge that comes with retirement.

Tip #1: Be Realistic

Some retirees travel nonstop to exotic destinations with their spouse and have the time of their lives. But what happens when the ‘honeymoon’ phase of your retirement is over and you come home from your latest trip with nothing to talk about with one another? How do you help your relationship transition with a new satisfaction and appreciation for one another? Don’t gaze into the future and wonder if your marriage over the last 25 years has been filled with work gossip and not much else. Instead, take the pressure off of yourself and consider a mini-retirement. Spending your entire marriage in a fast paced career can be difficult to let go of, even when all that free time seems like an invaluable perk. If you enjoy working, you can always consider going back part time (especially if the sanity of your marriage depends on it!)

Tip #2: Give Back, Together

Don’t feel bad if since retiring, you haven’t felt that ‘spark’ in your marriage. Going from spending a few hours each day together when you were busy with your career to seeing your spouse 24/7 can be difficult to do especially if you appreciated that time apart. The solution? A bit of bonding may be in order, and what better way to appreciate one another and feel connected again then by participating in a 5K marathon, volunteering at the soup kitchen or putting together a book drive to help out the local elementary school. What values brought the two of you together in the first place? Was it your kind heart that always wanted to mentor inner city children? Entering retirement gives plenty of opportunity for the things that matter most such as giving back, together. A monthly or weekly commitment can kill two birds with one stone and make you feel closer than ever in the process.

Tip #3: Stay Connected to Your Career

For many of us who have has successful careers, our identity can be strongly attached to our work lives. When we retire, we may lose sight of who we are or find that truthfully, we haven’t at all discovered who we are apart from our sales record. No longer working a 9-5 job can pose a real threat to our identity and an even bigger threat to our marriage. Instead of going cold turkey and leaving behind our career altogether in exchange for a work-free life, consider staying connected to your work while also enjoying retirement. Spend time picking a few hobbies while also picking up a work project you can do at home. This way, you can ease your work life and retirement life together without it being such a shock to your lifestyle.

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