At one time, it was considered normal, even expected, that a couple would retire together. But it is much less usual these days.
Today, it’s far more common for one person to continue working while the other finds different ways to spend their time. The following is a story of a retired couple that found a way for both of them to lead interesting lives at the end of their careers.
John retired from GM before the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009. After 35 years, he received a full retirement, but at the age 56, he wasn’t quite ready to throw in the towel and sit on the front porch. Instead, he created a landscaping business that cares for most of the lawns in his neighborhood. He also returned to school to study as an emergency medical technician and volunteers for his local fire department.
Now, John is selling his landscaping business and starting a new career with the public works department in his town.
Meanwhile, John’s wife Dorothy continued working at a major publisher until her own retirement a couple of years ago. After retiring, she became a master gardener at the American Horticultural Society.
John and Dorothy may be retired, but they are no less active than they were before retirement.
Tips for staying active after retirement
If this sounds like the kind of retirement you would enjoy, financial services company TIAA-CREF suggests the following strategies to help you make this transition.
Communication is key
It’s crucial that you know what your partner’s intentions are for retirement. Disagreement can prove to be a huge stumbling block. You may think you’re avoiding a confrontation with your partner, but if you aren’t on the same page, you may be in for some surprises.
Review your budget occasionally
You need to have an idea of how you’re going to pay for the transition, and how it could affect your later retirement. Remember that everything you do could potentially affect your partner, especially in terms of medical care and social security. If you think you’re going to make a change, you need to consider how that change will affect your entire situation.
Find a financial planner
A good planner will insist on having both parties involved in the process. Even when one person is less interested in finances than the other, both should be involved. Sharing the planning is vital to making it work.
Is dual retirement something you strive for? Share your plans with us in the comments and read the following articles that may help you: saving money in every stage of life and assessing your financial health.
Still looking for more? Feel free to check out our comprehensive personal finance guide to learn more about managing your budget and staying financially healthy.