Some of us don’t do well when we have too much time on our hands and some retirees find that not having much to do is not as luxurious as they imagined it would be. But this only refers to you as an individual. Did you know that your extra free time might also take its toll on your marriage? The Washington Post columnist Rodney Brooks writes-
“Here’s some sage advice for retirement. Make sure you have something to do. Your marriage may depend on it.”
While you are trying to figure out how to have enough money in retirement, you may also need to consider this: “…when you leave your job, what exactly will you do every day? That’s the part financial planners say many people forget to consider.” And Brooks also puts some of the responsibility on the financial industry, noting that some financial advisers “have an incentive to make people retire.” They add up the numbers without helping their clients map out a plan for life after work. As much as money matters, there is more to life than money.
If you retire without an idea of what you will do, you and your spouse may be thrown together for more time than either of you anticipated. Your lack of direction and a sudden change in your lifestyle may cause friction and this may lead to divorce. With foresight, you can divorce-proof your retirement.
Instead, envision your retirement before you make that final round of goodbyes at work. And talk with your spouse about what you both want for your lives once one of or both you are retired. We have offered “Tips for Discussing Retirement Planning with Your Partner” and we suggest you emphasize teamwork. If you and your spouse have not been accustomed to discussing finances, you can work with a Fee-Only financial planner. Keep in mind that even as you discuss money and your goals for retirement, you also need to think about how you daily life will change.