What Do You Do When You’re Ready to Retire, but She’s Not?

What Do You Do When You’re Ready to Retire, but She’s Not?

Some of you may have seen the Wall Street Journal special report on retirement earlier this week. Several topics were covered, and while we definitely plan to discuss a few of them, one article in particular grabbed my attention. A lot is written about where and how to retire, but this piece talked about a decision many of us take for granted… when to retire. 

The WSJ reported that 62 percent of married couples in the United States disagree on their expected retirement ages. Additionally:

  • 47 percent disagree on whether they will continue to work in retirement
  • 33 percent disagree on lifestyle expectations
  • 73 percent disagree on whether or not they have completed a detailed retirement plan
  • Only 50 percent of couples retire within two years of each other

The article offers one possible explanation, and it’s one that has been getting a lot of attention in the news lately. Women increasingly are finding success in the workplace, to the point that they are replacing men as primary family breadwinners.

From the WSJ:

The days when a husband automatically retires at 65 with a corporate pension and his wife dutifully follows him to a golf course in Florida are officially over. Most women approaching retirement age are now working, and many have their own retirement savings—and viewpoints.

Read the rest of the WSJ piece here.

3 thoughts on “What Do You Do When You’re Ready to Retire, but She’s Not?

  1. My husband is dragging his heels about the idea. Our health is good, our home is paid for. He hates change. His basic concept is “if isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” I, on the other hand,feel finding the right place will be a step up for future happiness. I feel it is important to make this lifestyle change
    in advance of actually needing it. In fact, more than time to do it.
    Sunie Levin
    e-book “Ready or Not Here I Come! How To Choose Your Best Retirement Community”

    • I can definitely understand both viewpoints, Sunie. Although retirement is a long way off for me, I have experienced my fair share of change, both expected and unexpected. I can say that being able to manage those experiences always makes for a smoother transition. Still, it is good to have a plan, and also be able to react quickly to unexpected turns. Even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

    • I retired eight years before my wife; she had a job she loved, but I didn’t (see today’s new post). I figured that once she saw me in freedom, that she would soon follow. But that was not to be.

      You mention the “right place” and “lifestyle change” so I’m thinking you want to move and your husband doesn’t. We faced something similar—we wanted to move after retirement, but had to wait until my wife pulled the plug. By then the housing market was in the tank, and we were reluctant to move. Also, I love our current home and lot. So we were forced to reconsider our original plan. That’s okay—it is not the first time in life that things did not work exactly as planned.

      Thanks for writing.

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