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Marriage and Retirement

(52 Posts)
upsanddownsandaround Tue 08-May-18 17:43:17

Did you and your spouse sit down and talk about the time when the main breadwinner would retire. Were you each able to express your thoughts, any plans you had. My husband is due to retire in a few years and I am getting more and more anxious. I realise I haven't had any (not one actually) of my hopes and ideas for the future realised because his career (and he) dictated so much of our lives. I have tried to broach things many times, but have not been able to discuss with any honesty. He has always lived in the moment, now with retirement a few years away and because of job loss a few years ago which resulted in no pension from that job, its really making me very concerned. Any one else experience similar and if so, how
did you manage things.

Jane10 Tue 08-May-18 18:55:37

What do you want to do? What hopes and dreams are still realisable? Soon you won't have to be tied down by DH's job.
We always talked as we went along so no surprises or arguments. So far so good.
Hope things go well for you.

Bridgeit Tue 08-May-18 20:16:20

Not wishing to come across unkind but may I ask if you are a bit apprehensive about talking to your husband because it’s not something you usually do or that he is used to ? Either way you have every right to expect him to discuss this with you, especially tallying up things like outgoings & income,he can’t expect you to run a household without knowing what the situation is going to be. You and your thoughts are as valid and worthy as anyone else’s. Good luck

Bluegal Tue 08-May-18 21:03:00

I may be wrong but sounds like you have never had much of a say in anything so far? I don’t think you can hope for anything to change in retirement tbh unless you start planning your own life in the way you want it. Figure out what you would like to be doing and present him with the fait acompli. It’s odd that you are so worried about what may or may not happen in a few years time. Health permitting retirement should be fun.

I hope it all works out for you

stella1949 Wed 09-May-18 04:57:39

Maybe you are one of those women ( it's usually women) who never liked to burden your husband with your hopes, dreams and goals. You always deferred to him from the sounds of things, and his career dictated what happened to you.

You still have at least a little time before he retires - try some honest conversation, you've nothing to lose !

I was just like you - my ex husband was in the Army and our whole lives revolved around his career and the constant moving from one base to another. The children suffered a lot , and my life was just as a adjuct to his career. I never had a career of my own - just a string of unrelated jobs. And yet, when he retired in his 40's, he never once mentioned his famous army career again, or ever mentioned his job at all. We'd all made so many sacrifices for something that meant virtually nothing to him. He started a lawn care business and that was that.

The moral of the story is - don't let his career dictate your whole life ! Make a life of your own ! Good luck.

Willow500 Wed 09-May-18 06:02:26

Do you work yourself - is there any possibility of promotion within your workplace? What hopes and goals did you want which you feel haven't been achieved? You say your husband is due to retire 'in a few years' so I guess you're in your late 50's/early 60's? That's not old and you still have time to plan for the future but you do need to talk about it. It's possible that due to his job loss he is burying his head in the sand about finishing work and what lies ahead of retirement. Do you want to travel, move home, pursue hobbies? There are many possibilities post retirement depending on finances but without discussing what either of you want to do you'll just drift along and get there feeling as you do now. Make a bucket list - if he sees it he may add his own ideas but if not then go ahead and do as many as you can on your own.

Marthajolly1 Wed 09-May-18 08:40:03

My poor mother never had a say in anything all her life. As the years passed into old age she became quite lonely as she had never been allowed to develop any interests or friendships of her own. She secretly hoped DF would go first and she would have a little time to do things she had always wanted but never brave enough to be 'her own person'. Sadly that didn't happen. Good luck upsanddowns, I hope you can have a full on discussion about your worries.

Panache Wed 09-May-18 09:08:08

I think talking through your hopes,dreams,expectations need to be the first move.Perhaps you will find you are both very much planning from the same hymn sheet and therefore there should be no real problems............however if you are both very different with separate hopes and hobbies for instance,you then need a very different approach and there will be a lot of "giving in and taking" until you reach a position you are both happy with and in total agreement.
Retirement is that very important stage and well worth planning and getting the best out of it,whether you have elaborate plans or just simple ones much as ourselves.
Talking though must be the key,with each allowed to put forth their own ideas.Retirement should be a collaboration of two hearts,free now of children and it should centre entirely on just you both.
Wishing you a lot of future planning and I hope your Retirement turns out to be everything you had hoped for ..........and may it be long and happy.

Our lives and retirement was mapped out for us in the most unexpected way.
My DH was strongly advised to take early retirement at age 55 years as he had already been my sole carer for some 11 years........whilst not only taking care of our home but keeping up a 10 hour working day which often involved much driving to and from.
So we were plunged in at the deep end,having planned nothing and in fact the thought of life after 65 had not even crossed our mind.
I will not say it has been a period of sweetness and roses,it has been extremely difficult at times now as I look back on the last 20 + years.
Over latter years we have made plans mainly based on need .......and sadly as yet they have not come to fruition.
However we are rather determined to arrive at our planned destination................very simply a pleasant Retired Apartment within a complex of similar aged folk so that we can have a community around about us making up for the family we no longer have.
Preferably of course in the nearby town of our choice right on the clifftop overlooking a lovely beach,harbour and bay.
We are very alike in a lot of our likes and ways,we ask for little after the hardships we have managed to survive through,and so it would be lovely just having our ideal setting........together........for at least a few more years.
Meanwhile being very resilient,we shall hobble on,counting our blessings and making the most of what we already have,that is a bungalow that we have worked hard to turn into a real home whilst the virgin ground together on better days we have managed to turn into delightful garden areas.
All far more than we need,and much more to the point,too much to manage and now my once robust DH is also troubled with health issues we are busily planning the one and only final move...............our choice little apartment!!

Teetime Wed 09-May-18 09:27:06

We talked and planned for a bout 2 years doing endless spreadsheets. But the best laid plans etc etc. We moved house to an area we both loved and it didn't work out so back to the spreadsheets and moved again. We took up hobbies that didn't work out so we tried others. We had a few rows over who did what in the house believe it or not he wanted to do all the housework and none of the cooking I wanted to share. In the end now ten years after retirement we have arrived at a regime that suits us both but heaven knows where we would have been if we didn't talk about it.

kittylester Wed 09-May-18 10:01:47

That's the trick all the time, isn't it though, Teetime. To talk. You, and I, have been very lucky to find people we can talk to (and laugh with and argue with!) not everyone has that luxury.

Harris27 Wed 09-May-18 10:06:40

Read this with interest. The only real time we get together now is a week in Spain once a year due to his work commitments. He was in financial services for years but the recession took a end to that.mhes in law paid job now but happy so our retirement is a long way off. But food for thought.x

Floradora9 Wed 09-May-18 10:27:46

Sit down and first of all ask him what he would like to happen in retirement what are his dreams , is there anything he really wants . You then have the chance to air your views. I made the mistake of asking DH if there was anything that he really wanted to do it . He bought a motor bike now it is luckily long gone .

Day6 Wed 09-May-18 11:15:13

I cannot really relate to your situation upsandownsandarounds. I divorced my husband and from then on rowed my own boat, so to speak, working and paying the mortgage bills and bringing up the children alone. The world has always been my oyster, or would have been if I'd ever had much disposable income!

I can understand your apprehension, and sadness. (I detect sadness in your post.)

It's now or never for you really, isn't it? You have to speak up. What is the worst that can happen if you say you'd like a bit of life and a few adventures now that you can enjoy them together?

Perhaps he will need a lot of help in relishing a new life. Retirement can be difficult when you have been used to working and a routine. He may flounder and need guidance and help in adapting to leisure time, who knows? Make his new life of freedom sound exciting. Ask him if you can book things for you both to do, maybe?

I hope this is the start of a new and more exciting time for you both.

Synonymous Wed 09-May-18 12:26:57

Ups... it is so important to talk so that you can both be kind to each other. Do you talk? Can you put yourself first, ever? As regards talking always ask yourself, "What is the worst that can happen and what is the best?" This should be the time when you can do so much together and enjoy yourselves because you just don't know what is around the corner.

We planned and hoped and dreamed and were getting there but then came injury and illness and so in our case the "Best laid plans ......" and all that sadly! We are still looking forward and talking together of our hopes and dreams and are waiting to see how things turn out before we make (new) proper plans - but with much anticipation. smile

SunnySusie Wed 09-May-18 12:35:07

I so much identify with most of your post upsanddownsandaround. My husband retires in eighteen months at the age of 67 and so far as I can tell he has barely given it a thought, when I broach the subject he says he is too busy to discuss (admittedly he does work about 50 to 60 hours a week by choice). I think genuinely he is just constantly caught up in the moment. Possibly he is also apprehensive and avoiding the issue. I retired two and a half years ago and love every moment but I am quite sure OH isnt going to like the things I love doing which makes me quite concerned. He has no concept of leisure and wouldnt even consider for example a nice day out at a National Trust property. Sorry I dont have any answers, just wanted you to know you are not alone!

KatyK Wed 09-May-18 12:38:16

DH and I never gave retirement a thought or had a plan. We just retired and took it from there. He did a bit of voluntary work but has stopped that now. I do a bit of voluntary work now but we enjoy our retirment on the whole.

Nannarose Wed 09-May-18 13:04:20

We have always talked about our hopes, plans and dreams, so I too have some difficulty relating. But it did occur to me that if your husband has been used to being a good provider, he may also be anxious, and have difficulty talking about it.
We find long car journeys ( on motorways!), holidays, and walks good times to talk. You might find it useful to look at your current budget and do some sums, so you have an idea of how you stand.
You may also like to think about your wishes and how they might be realised. We live an area where there is plenty to do and we can have a good cultural and social life without spending much.

Telly Wed 09-May-18 13:05:50

Retirement planning is essential - you should ideally give it some thought in your 40s but most people dont. Insist that you sit down with your husband and firstly work out the finances. Without this information you don't really know where you stand and how much will be available. Then plan what you both want to do and how you can go about it. Equally don't wait until then before you start to live your life - think about what you want out of life, short, medium and longer term. Go for it.

pollyperkins Wed 09-May-18 13:07:23

I wondered the same about DH as his work was his life and he had no outside interests (other than family. ) But he thought about it and just before retiring he joined a band and also started playing golf. When this wasn't enough he took on a part time job too! After a couple of years he gave up the job but joined a couple of committees which he is still on. These activities as well as gardening, DIY and family commitments (with a growing number of GC) takes up most of his time. He also relaxes with crosswords &sudoku - and helps with housework so keeps quite busy.
I think you need to find activities you are i terested in. U3A is great and covers a wide range of interersts (Im in a couple of groups but DH says he is too busy to go!)

pollyperkins Wed 09-May-18 13:09:43

Oh and we enjoy travelling and have more holidays than formerly including long haul flights every couple of years.

Norah Wed 09-May-18 13:35:57

We never gave retirement thought. I am perfectly content in my same roles and he is happy with time to give his sporty pursuits.

Aepgirl Wed 09-May-18 14:03:20

My husband and I knew exactly what we wanted to do when we retired. We were going to move to the Isle of Wight, had even decided which area there. However, he took early retirement, whilst I was still working part-time, and then upped and left me for an old flame, and guess what, I still have to work part-time to make ends meet. So even if you talk about the future, it doesn't always pan out as expected.

petra Wed 09-May-18 14:13:14

I don't think I've ver planned anything in life. I never thought about getting married, never thought about having children (but I did)
Never gave retirement a thought. In 2004 we were both working part time at what we wanted to do.
We went on holiday, bought a property, came home, sold the property we were living in.
3 years later grand children started to come along so sold the property abroad, bought a motohome. Fortunately we still had a flat in the uk so we could still see the family and travel.

widgeon3 Wed 09-May-18 14:24:20

to Stella

I was an army wife, too. We moved 31 times during his army career: on 30 of these occasions I did all the packing and unpacking which took me several months each time as I also had to prepare the accommodation for ' March-out' a dreaded inspection which had to be prepared for to the complete satisfaction of the ' inspector'
Both husband and I were graduates but I remember on one interesting occasion I tried to report the non-functioning of a lavatory. ' Is your husband not able to phone himself?' said the man to whom I was speaking
'No, he is busy, but , in any case, I can identify a turd as well as he can'.

cornishclio Wed 09-May-18 15:00:20

My husband took early retirement about 18 months ago at age 58 and I retired at the end of last year. My husband was the main wage earner and I worked part time mostly since our children were born. We discussed the financial aspect as soon as we got quotes and decided we did not want to move as our children live local to us and we now have 2 young granddaughters. I was already looking after the oldest 1 day a week and we have a newborn which we will also look after the same day.

My husband has hobbies which involve railway exhibitions, railway day outs and a voluntary job with a local school running a garden railway 1 afternoon a week over the spring and summer months. We both have a country club membership which I use more than my husband who just uses it for 1 exercise class a week and we sometimes eat out there. We also take our granddaughter to soft play there or the outside park area.

My hopes and dreams were to explore the UK more. We have done quite a lot of overseas trips and my husband is happy to come on those with me but he is not that keen on coastal walks or National Trust properties and gardens etc whereas I love them. I have decided when I am fit and well I am doing them anyway and will give him the choice of whether or not to come with me if he is not busy and if not I will ask a friend or go on my own. When the weather was nice last week I did one on my own and it was fine. I think you have to take responsibility for your own retirement and not let your partner stop you doing things or you may turn round one day and really resent that. I take the view my husband does not make me go on railway trips (I don't mind the odd one and we have done a few rail holidays) so I cannot really make him do things I want to do.