You have made it to the final episode of the countdown to retirement miniseries on the Ready for Retirement podcast! If you didn’t catch the previous episodes, go back and listen to Episodes 12-14 of the podcast to have a full understanding of the countdown.
The fourth question, which is the topic of this episode, is: Is your spouse ready for you to retire? The answer really comes down to expectations, and there are 5 main pitfalls that James sees couples fall into:
- Misaligned expectations – While you may be planning to be with your spouse 24/7 and work on house projects, they may think that their ideal retirement involves tee times every morning and spending time with friends.
- Bringing the workplace home – You spent your entire career working up the corporate ladder, and by the time you retired, you were in a leadership position with many direct reports. When you suddenly aren’t in that leadership position anymore, it is likely that you will try to “manage” your spouse.
- Handling money – There is usually one spender and one saver in the family, so of course you will have different ideas of how to spend your money in retirement.
- Depression – Studies have shown that people are up to 40% more likely to experience clinical depression after retiring due to the loss of a sense of purpose. A great way to combat this is by having a solid answer to question 3 (from Episode 14).
- Disenchantment – Your entire working life, you have looked forward to retirement and built it up to be the best thing you could have ever imagined. When you actually retire and the honeymoon phase wears off, you may become disenchanted.
So what can you do now to ensure you and your spouse are on the same page? Share your visions for retirement with each other and communicate about compromises when necessary.
Set appropriate expectations about what you are both going to do. Listen to Episodes 13 and 14 of the podcast and have your answers prepared. Talk to an objective third party, whether that is another couple who are retired, a counselor, or a financial planner.
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- Is your spouse ready for you to retire?
- Are they ready for you to be home all the time?
- Five pitfalls
- Misaligned expectations
- Bringing the workplace home
- Handling money
- What can you do now?
- Share your vision
- Set appropriate expectations
- Listen to Episodes 13 and 14
- Talk to an objective third party
0:13 – A summary of the 4 questions on the countdown to retirement
1:02 – Question 4: Is your spouse ready for you to retire?
2:29 – Pitfall 1: Misaligned expectations
4:00 – Pitfall 2: Bringing the workplace home
5:32 – Pitfall 3: Handling money
6:58 – Pitfall 4: Depression
9:23 – Pitfall 5: Disenchantment
10:58 – Summary of the pitfalls
12:11 – What can you do now?
15:20 – Series conclusion