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.
September 4, 2019 — A constant question that comes up about retirement, and one that produces hundreds of comments, is “Is it a good idea to retire near my family”? Whether family means parents, children, grandchildren, or siblings – the question has many complex and potentially conflicting elements. In this article we will go over some of the pros and cons, as well as a short checklist to help you determine if retiring near family should be in your future. We also look forward to your comments on this topic about your preferences and experiences.
Pros of Retiring Near Family – Ability to help new parents as they juggle careers and child-rearing – The chance to see your family members often – Be part of the lives of your grandchildren as they grow up – Support for your parents or siblings as they age or need help – Support for adult children who need it – Support and companionship for you as you age – Built in social network MORE Blog articles like this
November 13, 2018 — Having an elderly pet can be a challenge; in some ways it is similar to caring for an older family member. But looking on the bright side, there are any number of lessons that Felix or Fido can offer to improve the enjoyment of your retirement. We’ll explore some of these here.
– Stretching is a good thing. Cats, and to some extent dogs too, naturally stop and stretch to get the kinks out – and so should we. Daily stretching is one of the best things you can do to avoid injuries as well as (more…)
October 2, 2018 — Your Editor’s children gave him a very thoughtful gift for Fathers Day this year – DNA testing from Ancestry.com. This article will explore why genetic testing might be useful, its pros and cons, a list of the various providers of these services, and some comments from a Facebook post on the topic. We also hope that all of you with experience on the subject will chip in on the Comments section, so we can all learn from one another.
Like most every family, mine is interested in and proud of our ethnic heritage. We know from our parents that we are largely Scotch-Irish, have quite a bit of German/Sudetenland, along with a dash of Native American blood. Our relatives from that line were part of the infamous Trail of Tears into Oklahoma. We looked forward to confirmation of all of that heritage.
Common DNA tests cost about $99, but there are many different levels of plans, along with occasional deals. To give the company your genetic makeup you usually put a tiny amount of your saliva into a small vial, or swab your cheek. Then you (more…)
January 30, 2018 — When you are planning your retirement there is one factor you might have overlooked – how your pet(s) fits into your plans. Retirement often means big changes in lifestyles that can affect our furry friends. For example many of us might want to move to an active community, where there might be restrictions on the breed, size, and number of pets we can own. We might be traveling more, either on long delayed bucket list trips or visiting grandchildren, and that means more periods when you need to find someone to care for Flossie.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association 36% of American households own a dog and 30% have a cat. Surprisingly, cats outnumber dogs – 86 million to 76 million – because people tend to own more cats per household. Pet owning households are very passionate about their pets, usually viewing them as members of the family. This comment (more…)
November 10, 2017 — Today is the official celebration of Veterans Day because the actual date, Nov. 11, falls on a Saturday this year. Veterans Day remembers the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when the Armistice to end WWI, “the war to end all wars”, was signed and hostilities ended. We know that many of our Topretirements members are veterans, and that virtually everyone has a relative who served to defend our wonderful country. We are in debt to you, and especially those killed in action and their families; your sacrifices have made our freedom possible.
The timing this year is propitious, as I just came into possession of my father’s WWII dog tags (pictured). My dad, like so many of our baby boomer fathers, served in this world changing war. A newly minted dentist, he volunteered in the US Public Health Service and Coast Guard as the war broke out. According to the legend my father, who didn’t clear 5’5”, had to hang from a bar so he was tall enough to get his naval commission. His first assignment was to British Columbia in Canada, where he provided dental services for the workers building the Alaskan (Alcan) Highway, that amazing project to shore up the defenses of vulnerable (more…)
March 28, 2017 — Golf carts are an increasingly popular way to get around. They are inexpensive, easy to park, generally environmentally friendly, and fun too. But just because they are cute doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt in one.
In communities like The Villages in Central Florida the golf cart is THE transportation mode of choice – with 65,000 carts in residents (1 for every 2 residents!) Many have been customized to look like a Rolls Royce or other exotic car. The Villages has 42 miles of paths which golf carts share with pedestrians and bicyclists. Peachtree City near Atlanta is another community where (more…)
January 24, 2017 — Earlier this month we wrote about “The Retirement Wrecker You Never Considered“, which turned out to be about adult children that fail to fledge. Today we will tackle the other half of the sandwich that often squeezes baby boomers; what happens when elderly parents and relatives need help that interferes with your retirement plans. We are certainly not saying that having elderly parents is a “problem”, it is a blessing if you get to enjoy your parents and relatives as they age. Unfortunately for some adult children, they experience challenges with their parents that can turn into a problem for their retirement plans. We know many of you have had experience dealing with this sometimes difficult issue, and hope you will contribute your knowledge and experience in the Comments section below.
To get started we have 11 tips to offer when it looks like your elders need more help but don’t seem to want to get it. After that we have re-posted some comments on this same topic from the past. Obviously there is a range of (more…)
Editor’s note:The family we described in this article are not real, they are hypothetical. However the kinds of problems they experienced are real and painful. For a variety of reasons, more and more Americans are living in multi-generational households – 31% of those aged 25- to 29 in 2014 were living in households with parents and/or grandparents.
January 3, 2107 –June and Jim thought that their exquisitely laid retirement plan was solid. They had done so many things well – they had set up a regular savings plan, hired a good financial advisor, thought about how they would stay busy, and even made some scouting trips to potential retirement destinations. But due to circumstances they never imagined, June and Jim are worried that their retirement dream is probably finished – before it even started.
The problem wasn’t with the couple’s plan, it was their adult children. Margaret had been a great student and athlete in high school and even into college. But she lost focus somewhere along the line, and even though she graduated with a B.A. she couldn’t land a good job. So she moved back home, where she remains, not making enough to move out on her own, and her parents haven’t have the heart to ask her to pay rent. That was 5 years ago.