September 2nd, 2016 | Judy Chambers

When you and your spouse see retirement differently

My husband has been retired since 2013 and enjoys spending time doing the things he enjoys.  He’s a handyman at heart and has remodeled every house we’ve lived in, including a house in Roslyn, WA built in 1896.

The issue at hand is that he would like for me to retire as well.  The thought of retiring causes me angst.  I have worked since I was 16 and the idea of not having a paycheck would take some getting used to.  For me, work is a motivating factor in starting my day which would also need to be replaced.

I’m sure we are not the only couple going through this, so here are some topics to discuss.  Remember, each of you could have a different outlook on retirement so compromise is paramount.


We have this taken care of, however, couples need to discuss their own wishes as to when and there they would like to retire.


This continues to be an issue.  I want to keep the same lifestyle we have grown accustomed to which means I must continue to work.  What happens when I am no longer able to work needs to be discussed long in advance of my retirement.


If you are like us and started saving for retirement later in life you might not have saved up quite enough.  Think about your life expectancy and what will happen if one spouse outlives the other.  Will you be worried about your finances at that point?  Start planning and having these conversations now as it is never too late.


The unexpected in life is the most difficult to plan around.  Expenses such as home improvement projects, medical expenses, new car, etc. can temporarily offset a retirement plan.  Keep these unexpected expenses in mind when creating a retirement budget so that when they occur it’s not such a surprise!

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Abraham Lincoln

 Start the retirement conversation with your spouse/partner now and remember that clear communication and compromise are the keys.