BOSTON (CBS) – The reality is you need to plan for the soft side of retirement as well as the financial side.
People fantasize about leaving their jobs and having the good life, a better life in retirement than what they have now! This is the biggest myth of all.
I have heard from many listeners who have flunked retirement not because they ran out of money but because the good life was not so good.
We want this time in our life to be perfect. But we will have retirement 24/7. That is like living a month of Saturdays with maybe dinner out.
How are you going to spend your days in retirement?
What about your spouse? If you’re heading into the sunset coupled what does your spouse want to do in retirement? According to Sara Yogen, author of “For Better or For Worse but Not for Lunch”, retirement 24/7 with your spouse may actually be a marriage wrecker.
Long before retiring, five to ten years out, start talking about what you really would like to do. Communication is key to surviving retirement with a spouse.
How do you want to spend your time and where do you want to spend your time? Get a calendar and fill in the days with what you want to do and can afford to do.
Build a social network outside of work. When you work you have a reason to get up. Find a new reason to get up every morning. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Volunteer? School? Travel? Play? Garden?
If you are coupled look to do things independent of each other, pursue different interests. Dinner conversations will be oh so much better.
And if you are coupled what happens when one of you dies? Your income may drop. Possibly the loss of a pension or at least a reduction and you will lose the smaller of the two Social Security checks as well.