Can your marriage survive retirement? 7 tips for drama-free living
For many people, retirement means free time to pursue new hobbies, travel or spend with their grandchildren. But for some couples, it can also mean spending day after day in close proximity to a spouse or partner as they grapple with the reality of the new normal.
When couples aren’t accustomed to being together all day, retirement can disrupt daily routines and ruffle feathers. So it’s no surprise that divorce after 50 is on the rise. In 2017, the Pew Research Center reported an increase of 109% from 1990 to 2015 for this age group.
Even happily paired couples have their challenges. But it’s better to face them head-on before minor annoyances turn into major struggles. Planning ahead can help keep the drama at bay — and save your relationship from becoming a statistic.
Start the discussion early. Talk to your partner and create realistic expectations about how you envision your post-retirement lives. Waiting until after retirement to open the communication channels can make spouses resentful of one another if their lifestyle plans don’t align.
Eliminate ambiguity. What individual activities do you and your spouse hope to pursue? Keep a calendar so there are no surprises when someone has plans. When it comes to running the household, lay the groundwork for what’s expected of each person — whether that’s taking over some chores or running more errands now that you both have extra free time.
Renew your purpose. Retirement is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your family, but you also need to schedule time for solo activities that you enjoy. Consider volunteer work, a hobby or a part-time job to give yourself a fresh sense of purpose.
Maintain some separate friendships. Individual friendships can help you maintain your own identity. Don’t feel obligated to invite your partner to every football game or book club meeting if it’s not something they’re typically interested in. Your emotional well-being is important, and the time you spend away from one another will give you something to talk about when you regroup at the end of the day.
Establish your own space. Couples need individual space — especially during retirement. Set aside a room or a space in the basement where you can go to pursue your hobby without stepping on any toes. The alone time will also make you less likely to get on each other’s nerves.
Reset a retirement gone wrong. If plans aren’t working out as expected, don’t hesitate to go back to the drawing board. Couples should openly discuss what is and what isn’t working for them — without judgement — then create a plan that works for both. If you can’t reach common ground, consider a counselor or life coach who can offer neutral feedback.
Transitioning to the next phase of your life
Couples can expect to hit some bumps in the road during retirement. But don’t let your cash flow be one of them. A reverse mortgage can help homeowners age 62 and older live a more comfortable retirement by freeing up home equity for travel, healthcare expenses, home renovations and more. Call Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC (RMF) at 888-277-1567 to connect with an experienced reverse mortgage specialist.
SEE WHAT FUNDS YOU MAY HAVE AVAILABLE
If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.
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