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Free Money Finance

Free Money Finance

First Year of Retirement Surprises

Posted: 25 Oct 2016 02:05 AM PDT

US news lists five first year retirement surprises as follows: 

  • It might be stressful.
  • It's not a permanent vacation.
  • Your relationship with your spouse will change.
  • You may need to re-negotiate your division of household responsibilities.
  • Your relationship with money will change.

Well, I'm only a few months into retirement but I thought I'd comment on these based on my experience so far:

  • It has not been stressful. In fact, it's been the opposite of stressful. I am more relaxed than I have ever been in my life. I had a fairly high-powered career and that was certainly stressful much of the time. But not working is the opposite of stressful. The key: if you have enough money to cover your expenses, then what is there to be stressed about?
  • It took about a month to get out of vacation mode. And it wasn't me as much as it was my family. Because I was home during the day, they would always ask "what are we doing today?" and expecting something unusual like we'd do when on vacation. I eventually got to the point where I'd simply say "nothing" (versus coming up with a trip to the movies or something similar) and they got the message. This said, we do try to do something with the entire family a couple times a week -- usually during the week when places we go are less busy. We now avoid weekend outings like the plague.
  • My relationship with my wife has changed -- it's gotten better. We now take 2-3 long walks a day plus spend more time just being around each other since we're both at home. So far we haven't driven each other crazy. :)
  • My household duties have changed. Now that I have more time I do more cooking and cleaning than before. I also have had the chance to get to several home projects that have been "on my list" for some time.
  • I don't think my relationship with money has changed. It's a tool and one I use and manage to help me accomplish my life objectives -- the same as it's always been.

So, those are my thoughts on their list. Are there any other retirees out there with comments on these five "surprises"?


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