November 2, 2022 – Thanks to everyone who took the time to take last week’s instant poll on spousal compatibility around retirement decisions. The good news is that the vast majority of you all are either extremely compatible (25%) or mostly compatible (41%). Luckily, only a handful are extremely incompatible. Many of you added insightful comments to explain your particular situation, and offer lessons learned to others. We have incorporated some of those into this article, along with ones from previous articles. (see Further Reading below to see all of them).
The worst situation
The biggest problem is when two partners disagree on major issues about retirement. If they can’t agree on when and where to retire, how much money to spend, how close to family, or what is the right climate, somebody might end up extremely unhappy. Let’s hope that didn’t happen to you. But if it does, here are some tips on how to make the best of it, along with some of the common pickles that couples find themselves in.
October 26, 2022 – The topic of spousal compatibility around retirement planning is an intriguing topic. We are not talking about how you and your spouse or partner get along day to day, but more specifically about retirement planning. Did you/do you have the same ideas about when and where to retire, what to do everyday, climate, real estate…. everything to do with retirement decisions. To that end we have prepared this one question poll, asking you to rate your spousal compatibility on retirement planning. If you are not married or don’t have a significant other, answer the quiz if there is a close friend or relative you are considering retiring with or near.
Just click the box that best describes your answer.
Please feel free to enter your own answer, and add Comments below. There is nothing better than the actual experiences of our Members, so please contribute your experiences below. In the next weeks we will provide a summary and additional comments from previous articles. Thanks!
September 28, 2022– As a follow up to our recent article, “There Might Be More Than One Kind of Home for You in Retirement“, this one concentrates on the latter stage of retirement. What you will do when you are a little less active, and your abilities are not quite what they were in the beginning and middle phases of retirement? The idea for this started when the eldest sister in our family, approaching her 79th birthday, asked our relatives what they were planning for their late retirement years. We agree this is an important conversation to have, particularly with one’s children and other family members. We hope that you will add your thoughts in the Comments section below, so we capture a wide range of opinions and plans.
The conversation started with this question:
We have no plans to sell our houses or to move, but it is certainly time for us to think about the future. With our children spread out, we could go many places. Our policy up to now has been, when we need help we will pick up and move close to one of our children. But I wonder if that might be too late. It’s hard for an older couple to make a big move, particularly if one is needy. Since both of our parents lived to a ripe old age (92 and 102) with most mental faculties intact, our genetics make it seem like we should be planning for the long term.
April 7, 2022 – A few weeks ago I attended a concert by Ellis Delaney, a folk singer and songwriter with a lovely voice and inspiring lyrics. “You’re Royalty to Me” is one of her best songs, in my opinion. It is a tribute to her grandmother, her main source of support growing up. Ellis spoke about the great times they had together, playing cards and enjoying each other’s company, and most of all experiencing unconditional love. The song’s message gave me goosebumps, particularly from this line: “I am who I am because I was loved by a queen”. You can read the beautiful lyrics to the song here.
Wow, that song seemed like a direct message about our potential as grandparents. Sure, savoring the joy these kids bring to life can be pretty great. But this song is a message that grandparenting is bigger than just enjoying them. To me, it shows that if we can be a reliable source of unconditional love and support, we might make a difference in their lives, just like Ellis’s grandma did. That extends to supporting the parents, who face incredible pressures in trying to raise children in this age, even before Covid.
August 24, 2021 — The assumption has always been that you would bring up your children and they would go on to raise their own families. Empty nesting and retirement would follow for you, bringing relaxation and less stress. But for the 2.3 million baby boomers who are raising an estimated 2.7 million children, the days of child care are not over yet. These “Grandcarents” are often in need of “Grandfamily” Housing, and the economic and other pressures are usually enormous. This article will discuss some sources of help if this is the situation for you or someone you know.
The ways that older adults become responsible for young children vary. Often it can be pinned on a drug epidemic like crack or opiods. Adult children get hooked, have children of their own, and the grandparents or uncles and aunts have to step in to avoid foster care and neglect. In other cases there might be psychological problems, the inability to hold a job, or incarceration. The pandemic has contributed to the problem too. Whatever the cause, assuming responsibility for young children when you are in your 60s and 70s is a forbidding challenge. We even know some people in their 80s who are raising their great-grandchildren.
November 14, 2020 — Not surprisingly, occupancy rates at assisted living and independent living facilities are off 2.5% since March, according to data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. Rates in skilled nursing facilities are declining even sharper, they have declined by 12%. One big reason for the soft markets is fear of the coronavirus. After tens of thousands of nursing home residents died in the early phases of the pandemic, nervous relatives have been considering safer alternatives for their loved ones. It is estimated that 40% of Covid-related deaths occurred in long term care facilities (WSJ). Adding to the anxiety are rules where residents are usually not permitted to have visitors, or if they do, only for very short times and under restrictive conditions.
August 26, 2020 – Do you know someone completed devoted to Walt Disney characters or Disneyland/Disneyworld? MagicalPassings can arrange for loved ones to say goodbye with the help of Disney characters and themes. According to their website, the company “specializes in customized and themed end of life experiences for you and your loved ones… (with) Disney funerals.” You can have character visits, a kiss goodbye from Mickey, listen to favorite melodies, or even have Captain Jack send them off to Davy Jones Locker.
August 19, 2020 — If you are like a lot of the people we know, the pandemic might have led you into thinking about adding a pet to the family. Across the country and maybe the world, animal shelters and rescue operations have slimmer pickings, and breeders are not returning phone calls. So this seems like as good a time as any to revisit “Pets and Retirement”. Topretirements has two very popular articles on this topic, “Are Pets and Retirement a Good Mix?“, and “Pets, the X Factor in Retirement“. Between the two they generated almost 100 reader comments, so we know this is a topic that resonates among retirees, who have different needs and lifestyles than working families. If you are tempted to add some type of pet to your family, these articles are a good place to help organize your thoughts and plans.
Q: My husband retired three months ago. We took a two-week trip right afterwards, and then the frustrations began. He claims he’s joking when he criticizes me if I miss a spot with the vacuum or the kitchen mop, but it’s getting annoying. He complains that I’m buying the wrong peanut butter for his lunches. He turns on the TV at 7 a.m. and sits around watching cartoons and soap operas. When I go out for the day and I ask him to do the laundry, he mixes the colors with the whites and leaves them dripping wet in the washer all day, so that they smell as if they’ve just come out of the New England Patriots locker room. I have to push him to get up and do anything. He says he’s just taking some well-earned time off after 45 years of working. How do I deal with the love of my life now that he has morphed into this freeloader?
….Frustrated in Frostproof, Florida
Dear Frustrated: Ah, the age-old problem that affects tens of millions of households eventually: A husband or a wife retires and sits around the house as if he or she owns the place! You need to take this by the horns and indoctrinate your better quarter in the new reality – the updated rules of loving togetherness!
First, though, please keep in mind that both of you should be prepared for an adjustment period – and show sympathy for each other’s psychological and emotional well-being, changing identities, and new needs for self-fulfillment and self-esteem.
November 20, 2019 — Last year, my husband Kevin was counting the days to his retirement. He had planned the financial aspects thoroughly. On January 1 he would leave behind his demanding job as an operations executive who traveled worldwide and would spend all his days at home.
As a novelist and part-time English professor at a community college, I worked at home three days a week and was on campus two days during the academic year. Although Kevin has plenty of interests and hobbies, I was concerned that the aspect of work he’d miss the most was managing events and people. Once he retired, he’d have no one to manage.