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Manners Matter: Differing Views of Upcoming Retirement

Dear Mary Pat,

I’m ready to retire, but my wife says it’s too soon. I’m 64, and I have enough saved – or at least I think I do. I’m starting to think she doesn’t want me around the house all the time. She didn’t work outside the home while our kids were younger, and I think she’s so used to having the space to herself during the day. How do I reassure her that this would be a good thing?

Signed,

Worked Too Long

Dear Worked Too Long,

It’s time for you to have a direct conversation about your expectations as well as your wife’s expectations. Find out exactly what her concerns are so that you aren’t running on assumptions. Perhaps she’s nervous about the two of you adjusting to more time together, or perhaps she’s concerned from a financial perspective. If it’s the latter, go over your finances together to make sure you’re both comfortable with your retirement plan. If you haven’t already done so, perhaps talk to a financial planner to get another opinion.

If your wife is concerned about how you’ll adjust to spending a lot more time together, start making a plan for how you’ll be spending your days – alone and together. Maybe you want to volunteer or travel or pursue new hobbies or do some work around the house. Once you discuss the options and decide how you’ll be spending your time, I’m sure your wife will embrace the idea of your retirement.

Good luck,

Mary Pat