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How to Live Well Together With Your Partner in Retirement

Retiring couples often spend the majority of their efforts planning for their financial future while neglecting to plan for the emotional and behavioral aspects that come with retirement. Without the diversion of work providing space, independence, and a fount of new conversation, how will you and your spouse live well together?

Everyone approaches retirement differently, but there are a few items to consider when doing so with your spouse. Co-dependency can be one of the first traps to be aware of as you relax into your new chapter of life. Time together is a top priority; however, social interactions should not be sacrificed for it. A social community is essential for mental health and can keep your marriage thriving for years to come. 

Always remember that your spouse may have different ideas and expectations regarding how you will live as individuals and a couple. It is important to maintain an open flow of communication during such a transitional time. Being on different pages may result in disappointment if either partner is feeling neglected or isn’t receiving fair consideration of their needs during this time.

Communicate Clearly

It’s never fair to expect your loved ones to read your mind or for you to expect them to know how you’re feeling. You might need more alone time and if that’s the case, it’s important to make sure your partner is aware that it’s part of your nature, not necessarily a rejection of their company. After so many years together, it’s safe to assume that your spouse knows a bit about your temperament, but spending an increasing amount of time with one another may alter how you’re both feeling. A need for space can be addressed by detaching yourselves to encounter new hobbies and interests. 

Cultivate Separate Hobbies & Friendships

It’s important to focus on building your individual social life in order to avoid becoming too dependent on your partner. In addition to strengthening and maintaining existing friendships, you may want to consider joining a club or organization or volunteering for something you are passionate about so that you have opportunities to develop new relationships. Additionally, the time you spend apart is likely to give you something to talk about when you are together. 

Spend Time With Others as a Couple

Individuals have reported that they experience the most content or happy feelings when they socialize with both their partner and other adults, as opposed to only their partner. Developing, and ultimately maintaining friendships beyond your family or spouse is extremely important to your mental and physical well-being.1 Growing with others who share similar interests can help you maintain a well-rounded and consistently positive attitude. 

Allow Yourselves Time to Adjust

Above all else, it is important to remember to be patient with each other during this time of transition. Change takes time and involves experimenting with various ways to succeed before finding what works for you. At the end of the day, you and your partner are individuals who have different interests and personalities, which is presumably why you fell for one another in the first place. Keeping in mind these details and being respectful of one another’s thoughts and feelings is key. 

Recognizing that retirement represents our last, and often most momentous, chapter in life can help one realize that it is the time to take on challenges that you’ve always dreamt of. Through communication, understanding and patience couples can experience these cherished moments together. 

  1. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/relationships-21st-century-forgotten-foundation-mental-health-and-wellbeing

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.