Retirement – Survive and Thrive with the Big Change

Your significant other has just made the big announcement “I’m retiring!” And the first thing that comes into your mind is, “Uh oh, what do we do now?”

After hearing multiple friends complain about having their spouses home all day, I was also wondering how to handle this big life change. After someone has worked for decades, a relaxing, welcoming situation should be the reward. Right?

Through some thoughtful planning, I am probably enjoying my husband’s retirement more than he is. Here are a few tips that are working for our family and they may be good for yours, too!

-Divide and conquer by splitting up the chores. Gardening, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning can be done by just one of you. It allows for a sense of individual accomplishment and an opportunity to compliment each other on achievements.  

-Not every trip has to be taken together. Some of our children like to travel and hike. Taking just one of us along allows for relationship building and unique communications.

-No hobby, no problem. There’s no need to start developing all new interests. There are plenty of pastimes that a work schedule likely did not allow.  These may be as simple as developing better computer skills, taking more photos and sharing them, reading, longer walks, or socializing more.

-No two retirements are alike. You may speak with people who make retirement seem like a never-ending pleasure. Not so. Consider what is working and what isn’t. Be ready to communicate expectations.

-Discover your locality. We never knew about all of our state parks, historical sites, public gardens, museums, and parks. Day trips have proven to be fascinating.

-Stay organized! We started to keep a calendar that lists not only appointments and special events, but goals such as improving our diet, communicating with family and friends more often or making a home improvement.

-Take advantage of perks. Whether it is “Sr. Bowling Day” or a bird watching group at the nature center, find out what is going on that that you never had time to do.

-Don’t sweat the little things. Retirement means a lot more down time so take it easy and enjoy the freedoms that have been well earned.

Marina Kennedy is a writer for Woman Around Town and Broadwayworld.  Her husband, Chuck retired after 40+ years in the workplace. She hopes that your significant other turns out to be as happy has he has with this new chapter in life.

Top photo: Bigstock

About Marina P. Kennedy (152 Articles)
Marina Kennedy began her writing career when her four children were grown and she returned to college to study in the humanities. She is delighted to be a contributor for Woman Around Town. The majority of her articles focus on the culinary scene, theatre, and travel. Marina and her husband Chuck enjoy the rich cultural experiences of the New York metro area and beyond. She hopes that readers like reading her articles as much as she enjoys writing them.