Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage. - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

OK, I promised myself that I would leave the darkness of the CWI topic and move to the Long Term Success in marriage topic. Unfortunately when I looked at specific threads they seem to be more about troubled marriages.

So My question is, "Any thoughts on setting up a successful transition from active work life to retirement that builds one's marriage.

My wife an I are about two years out from retirement. We are healthy, like/love each other, have some shared hobbies, travel, certain activities. We are well set for retirement financially, we have all our legal documents updated. We also have individual friends and hobbies so we will not be too clingy with each other. We have further taken some seminars on active retirement and how to transition into retirement.

I have talked to many older friends who have shared some of what worked and caused problems when they retired in their relationship with their wife.

Based on all of the above, my wife of 46 years and I have decided that sometime next year we should get into some marriage counseling sessions together. Not because we have a real problem, but more in the sense of expressing our fears about life transition and getting a marriage "tune-up" before the next big change in our lives. I have seen where some MC's offer life transition counseling, whatever that might be (probably divorce, empty nest, widow(er) or death of parent).

Part of what is a huge plus and minus is all the time we can spend together doing things we like, or getting in each other's way or actively doing things to avoid each other.

I would love to hear from folk on their thoughts as to what you have seen working well as people transition from a two career family to a two-retiree family.

So far my wife wants a month or two long second honeymoon when she retires with us traveling to different countries she has always dreamed of.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 03:12 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

We are planning extensive travel together when I retire, and are easing into it over the next few years (six trips this year). We anticipate being away from home anywhere from 10 to 26 weeks. We each have extensive interests and hobbies that we can pursue separately so that we have time alone whenever desired, but we truly enjoy spending our time with each other - having more time together will be a positive thing.

We read various articles about these transitions as we come across them, are planning for the change, and have friends who have done well moving into retirement, so I think we're pretty well prepared.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 03:22 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

I hate retirement. I need structure.

Do all the long trips and the tedious journeys and activities sooner than later. Things that you can easily do in youth can become challenging as you age. Especially, if one of you were a lifelong couch potato [not me!].

You cannot count on your health or your spouses health to last. You may be healthy and your spouse gets sick and stays sick. There goes all your grandiose plans.

Keep in mind, every thing that you want to do will cost money. Lots of it. Have fun but keep an annual budget.


Plan out every year together. You can plug in the dates later. Use AAA and other providers, on occasion. Do a few bus tours.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 03:25 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

I also enjoy going on trips with other couples.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 03:27 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

I would recommend against counseling, especially since there's nothing wrong and no real reason why. I get that you want to be abundantly prepared for retirement and in doing that I think you over did it. Counseling will just be a way for someone not familiar with you or your situation to pull and prod around at things that may not have been issues and make them issues. Counseling have nothing at stake and if they mess with the wrong thing, their apt to make either you or your wife mad when there was no reason.

Don't over complicate things, DON'T do counseling.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

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Originally Posted by Married but Happy View Post

We read various articles about these transitions as we come across them, are planning for the change, and have friends who have done well moving into retirement, so I think we're pretty well prepared.
Maybe we should create a "reading list?"
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 05:24 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

Retirement is wonderful especially when you both are retired. But there are some downsides too. First the upside, your stress is reduced tremendously especially if you are empty nesters. My advice is slow down, stop and smell the roses. Don't be in a hurry to do something or get back from somewhere. Keep your relationships outside of marriage strong, you will need time and activities away from each other. Plan your day together and don't be upset if the spouse doesn't want to go with you, likewise they shouldn't get upset if you chose to pass on their choice of activities for the day, but do a lot of stuff together after all you did marry each other.
Now for the downside. If your sex drives are opposite it's tough on the high drive spouse. You quickly realize you can have sex whenever you want and as often as you like, morning, noon or night whenever the mood strikes the problem comes when the LD spouse still searches for excuses not to have sex.
Good luck with your upcoming retirement, I highly recommend it, it's better than I thought 👍

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Last edited by peterrabbit; 05-10-2017 at 05:40 PM.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 07:45 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

Retirement seems to be a make or break moment for many couples......Whatever you have to do to enhance your chances of success is what you should do.....Kind of scary......
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 08:00 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

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Originally Posted by Betrayedone View Post
Retirement seems to be a make or break moment for many couples......Whatever you have to do to enhance your chances of success is what you should do.....Kind of scary......
I guess the cracks(if there are any)show up far more when you are together all day.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 08:03 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

This year's interns are particularly cute. My projects are science fiction interesting. Why retire?

Seriously, the biggest change and challenge is where to live. My top retirement spots are all cool places: Cambridge MA, Lincoln Park IL, Arlington VA...

Active retirement... Sounds like work 😎

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 08:17 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

We are in a slightly different position in that my husband works from home part time and I don't work. So I suppose you could say that he is semi retired and I am retired. We dont get our pensions for another 5 years, so we still need an income and he can earn much more than me He also enjoys the work he does.
So we are both at home and he does the work there when he gets some. Neither of us ever did any retirement courses or retirement/marriage counseling and didn't even think about it or feel we needed it. I always preferred being at home to working anyway.

We get on really well and have never had any problems with being together all day.
We go away about twice a year, to nice parts of the UK, where we live. We have recently moved to a new part of the UK which has been good for us and a new challenge(I had lived in my last area for 32 years),so we are making new friends mainly in our really nice new church, and we each have groups we go to during the week. He started up a mens group as there wasn't one.

We love to walk the dog, he cycles 3-4 times a week, I love reading and in the better weather we often go out exploring new places/towns/villages/parks and seek out dog friendly coffee shops! We are intending to start swimming again soon as we used to go regularly.
We visit the children/grandchildren who are spread throughout the country, or they come and visit us.

There is always plenty to do. I am never bored.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

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Originally Posted by peterrabbit View Post
Retirement is wonderful especially when you both are retired. But there are some downsides too. First the upside, your stress is reduced tremendously especially if you are empty nesters. My advice is slow down, stop and smell the roses. Don't be in a hurry to do something or get back from somewhere. Keep your relationships outside of marriage strong, you will need time and activities away from each other. Plan your day together and don't be upset if the spouse doesn't want to go with you, likewise they shouldn't get upset if you chose to pass on their choice of activities for the day, but do a lot of stuff together after all you did marry each other.
Now for the downside. If your sex drives are opposite it's tough on the high drive spouse. You quickly realize you can have sex whenever you want and as often as you like, morning, noon or night whenever the mood strikes the problem comes when the LD spouse still searches for excuses not to have sex.
Good luck with your upcoming retirement, I highly recommend it, it's better than I thought 👍

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
Thanks for the advice. I am HD and she is LD. At one point we had a sex starved marriage. After a few months with a nationally knows sex therapist, we reached an agreed upon sexual frequency (twice a week). I have learned that more than that is too hard on her and she has learned that less than that is too hard on me. So I think we have that one worked out.

One of my concerns is that there will come a time when either temporary or permanent medical conditions will mean less sex. One of my hopes for marriage counseling prior to retirement is to discuss and figure out and agree to what happens then. My desire is that if the body can't handle sex, then I hope that we can substitute other intimate orgasm producing behaviors to maintain intimacy and connection.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

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I guess the cracks(if there are any)show up far more when you are together all day.
Very true. That is why I really want to make sure to fix as many as possible and then figure out how the two of us can institutionalize a degree of flexibility for the new crack or reappearing old cracks that come to life during retirement.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 02:05 PM
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

All I can say is you have to enjoy each others company. I think that's as important as being financially prepared. I've seen so many couples who are unable to get along that are quite miserable/resentful.

We are retired a few years now. When we became empty nesters we put a lot of effort into reconnecting. It's paid off well. We are both enjoying doing things together and our individual hobbies too. If I knew it was going to be so much fun I would have done it sooner. haha

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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thoughts on setting up a sucessful retirement years marriage.

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Originally Posted by Betrayedone View Post
Retirement seems to be a make or break moment for many couples......Whatever you have to do to enhance your chances of success is what you should do.....Kind of scary......
Very true.

I have for years done retirement planning with my wife. We have just switched from asset acquisition to tax efficiently modifying our investments for income during retirement. That was an incredible challenge.

Then their are issues of getting the home ready for retirement. They range from reducing future maintenance as we get older to allow us to remain in the home longer (gutter cleaning, types of landscaping, etc.). Doing health related modifications so we can age in the house (grab rails in the bathrooms & showers, reducing slip dangers with proper floor coverings, changing out shower nozzles so that a person can sit in a chair and shower, etc).

Figuring out medicare supplemental health care was another planning issue.

Perhaps the one we have both been warned the most about is the unwritten and assumed expectations of each other. The "honey do" list or the assumed grandchild visitation/child care schedule.

Knowing that at some point there will be medical reasons that change our independence and figuring out how to be flexible so that a quality life together is what we have seen from others to be the biggest challenge in aging. It sure makes you believe in the "life is short" "use it or loose it" approach to living and to remaining flexible and positive in all things.

Thanks.
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