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Your Love Deal: Solutions that Work

Divorce-proof Your Marriage After Retirement

January 3, 2018

These days it’s common to see couples divorcing later in life, particularly after one of the spouses retires.

Once a couple is faced with spending more time together, they may find their interests aren’t as compatible as they once were. Add to that women’s financial independence and the fact that divorce no longer has the stigma it once did, and you can understand why some couples literally untie the knot.

Successful retirement planning must be twofold: joint financial planning to address your new budget and how you will spend your time both together and apart.

Costs for items like a yard man or dinner with friends can start to feel extravagant when you find yourself living on a fixed income. Issues about downsizing and moving to smaller quarters may need to be addressed. Then there’s those spur-of-the-moment purchases like a new set of golf clubs or new dress which you didn’t need but had to have.

Many older couples focus on how and when to spend money but never give much thought to how they’ll spend their time. Retirement can easily lead to boredom, depression or even an unhealthy weight gain. Men especially may feel lost when they don’t have a daily job to go to. Some retirees may find the answer is a part-time job, teaching, or charitable work. Others can’t get enough of golf.

Prospective retirees should be sure to share their retirement plans early on with their spouse. Couples also need to discuss the amount of time they will spend together. A stay-at-home wife may find it difficult to have her husband around all day. As the saying goes: “I married you for life but not for lunch.”

Societal changes have made it more acceptable for older couples to divorce, but many married couples still love each other and want to be together. The answer to thriving as a couple is realistic expectations and flexibility. Marriage is a lifelong process that needs to be worked on – even after retirement.

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