Adjusting your relationship to retirement

03 February 2014

The first few weeks of retirement can be both exciting and challenging for a couple.



Whether one or both members have been working, your pattern of life will change and it can be helpful to take time together to plan and prepare for this phase of life so as to ensure that you both share the same vision of how to make retirement enjoyable.

This article will give you a four-step plan to help you work together to make the most of your retirement:

Step One: Dream

Arrange a moment when you are both feeling relaxed and dream a little.

Find two large pieces of paper and each one of you make a list individually to start with.

What are some of the activities you would love to spend time doing, whether together or separately?

Have you planned to learn a new skill, undertake a new hobby, travel, garden, sing, dance?

Would you like to spend more time with your children or grandchildren? Do you have friends to visit?

Perhaps there are stately homes or gardens you would like to see. Have you always wanted to go to the Lake District, or walk the Cornish coastal route?

Museums, lectures, concerts can be inexpensive ways of keeping your mind alert and interested.

Read more about preparing yourself for retirement.

Step Two: Share

Once you have made your individual list start to share the ideas and circle the ones you have in common.

Agree a principle whereby you will not criticise the other person's ideas. Listen with an open mind, support their dream even if it does not tally with your own - you can always work out a compromise later.

Step Three: Agree on three things

You do not have to shape the whole of your retirement in this first session but make a start with agreeing three things you would like to do together and one or two things you might want to do separately.

Step Four: Be flexible 

Realise that you can always adjust your decisions as the months go by but it is good to have some things to look forward to.

How much money will you need in retirement?

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.