With most of the emphasis around retirement planning being on finances, many people are surprised to discover there are also personal matters that need consideration.

Often, living with a partner 24/7 is not as easy as anticipated. In fact, the early years of retirement can be a danger time for a long-term relationship.

The reality for many couples is that they have grown apart over the years when their focus has been on careers, children and their individual lives. So, the change of being together in retirement all day, every day can cause a strain on the relationship.

Understanding in advance that this challenge could be waiting for you in the early years of retirement is a major plus as this allows you to be better prepared if or when it arises.

Even well into retirement, it’s never too late to work on and improve your relationship.

Here are seven tips that you could consider if living together 24/7 is, or could, strain your relationship:

  1. Talk to your partner about what you want to do in retirement as you may have different ideas and some compromises could be necessary. It’s important that you both listen as well as talk.
  2. Discuss changing domestic chores and responsibilities so that both partners make a similar contribution.
  3. Focus on what you can do to improve the situation first, rather than thinking or saying what your partner should change.
  4. Take responsibility for your own happiness rather than expecting your partner to make you happy.
  5. Focus on the positives of your relationship and your partner, rather than only seeing the negatives. Show that he or she is special to you and you value the relationship.
  6. Learn to resolve disagreements without damaging the relationship. If you are having some problems, be prepared to discuss them openly and calmly. Not everything needs to end in an argument.
  7. Give each other space. It’s ok to follow your own hobbies and interest.

Sometimes, resolving relationship tensions with your partner can be difficult without help. Depending on your situation, talking to a relationship counsellor might be worth-while.

For more tips on retirement-proofing your relationship, check out Paul McKeon’s book titled “How your relationship can thrive in retirement” available on this website 50plusbooks.


Paul McKeon, 50plusbooks