“Happiness is only real when shared.”
—Chris McCandless, from Into the Wild
According to the Social Security Administration, nearly 80 million people are retiring at a rate of about 10,000 per day. Meanwhile, since 1990, divorces among the 65+ population have tripled. Coincidence? Probably not.
Sociologist Stephanie Coontz, director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families headquartered in Austin, attributes the rising divorce rate to heightened expectations of marriage and longer lifespans. “Most people are no longer willing to stay in a boring marriage ‘until death do us part,’” she says.
Indeed, retirement can be challenging for couples. Maybe you’re not used to being together for long periods of time. Or you have separate interests that seem to conflict. Here are six tips that can help you make the transition together:
• Communicate. Better to argue than go silent.
• Have separate hobbies and friendships. Avoid co-dependence.
• Be a couple in social situations. Show others what love and friendship are all about.
• Retire simultaneously if possible. It’s less disruptive that way.
• Be patient with each other. Big adjustments take time.
Meanwhile, protecting your physical and financial health can go a long way toward reducing the stress of retirement on a relationship. Supplemental health coverage through your association and AMBA can cover out-of-pocket costs and various services Medicare doesn’t.
With a little teamwork, retirement could be the happiest time of your life.