Passages of Retirement: Personal Histories of Struggle and Success

By Richard S. Prentis | Go to book overview

IV
RETIREMENT PLANNING

"I consider myself a planner . . ." "I didn't plan for my retirement far enough in advance . . ." "We didn't do any planning for retirement . . ." "What we did was look ahead . . ." "I've always tried to make plans ahead of time . . ." "Retirement--that was the plan . . ."

If you are married, the advent of retirement presents another crisis--a turning point in your life and that of your spouse. Retirement is more than a cessation of employment regardless of the satisfaction and stress the job provided. It is the most personal time for both partners to consider the meaning of their future years together.

Recognition that the years ahead are relatively brief compared to the past, that such matters as health, abundance of leisure time, fewer tasks and less responsibility are now some of the issues of focus facing married couples.

Problems of a major or minor nature do arise in this period, as we have seen: boredom with one's spouse; the struggle to maintain individual interests; dissimilar leisure interests. But, in truth, your life has been a pattern of problems requiring solutions and accommodations, regardless of your marital compatibility. What is now called for is a determined effort to communicate by husband and wife to understand new issues: altered finances, the death of a spouse, future living arrangements, and individual and shared schedules as they seek enjoyable, meaningful use of their leisure time.

The conversations that follow illustrate how some retirees addressed their future years by retirement planning.

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