With retirement we achieve a freedom we really haven’t felt since childhood. We can do what ever we want and when ever we want (within reason and your budget). So with all this new found freedom comes a few issues around our relationships that we just didn’t see coming.
So in order to address these I’m starting a small series of posts about your relationships in retirement. First off I’m going to deal with the most important relationship: your spouse.
Let’s face prior to retirement we are often so busy we just don’t even feel we have time to argue that much. Between the kids, jobs, the house and your hobbies it feels like some weeks you can just mange to find some time for sex and the odd conversation with just the two of you. Now suddenly in retirement every little thing they did that set your teeth on edge is happening five times a day because your spending so much more time with them.
Regardless if you are retired or not, a good relationship is based on communication. In retirement, there is an added pressure because you are in a state where you can chase your dreams so it might be a good idea to confirm you both still have the same dream. Additionally in retirement, both of you are redefining your lives and it can often bring up some surprising emotions (similar to what happened after high school, but now you actually have money and time really mess things up). So here’s a little quiz to ask yourself about your spouse.
- The most important thing in my spouse’s life is?
- In retirement where does your spouse want to travel to?
- Does your spouse want to retire in your current location or move somewhere else? If somewhere else, where?
- Do you honestly think your spouse wants to spend most of their day with you in retirement? Or perhaps just half the day?
- What is your spouse’s most important goal or dream about retirement?
If you can’t answer those questions regardless if you are retired or not it might be a good idea to have you both try the quiz and then compare answers. You might surprise your spouse and yourself with the conversation that follows.
Tomorrow we are going to look at your relationship with your kids when you get to retirement.
You shouldn’t read this post if you can answer yes to the following question. If your work stopped paying you tomorrow would you still go into work? Now be honest. If answered, no, then you are a likely candidate for early retirement. As far as I’m concerned that is all I need to know.
There could be other reasons, such as wanting more time with your family, starting a business or even an artistic career, but really what every is looking for is freedom. The ability do want you want when you want without having to worry about getting a pay cheque. To me this is the true meaning of early retirement or financial independence.
I dislike the common wisdom that we need to work until we are 65. Why would I want to waste even a single extra second on something as meaningless to my personal happiness as work? 55 sounds a bit better, but let’s face it. We really want to stop working as soon as possible. So this is what led me to dream about stopping work at 45.
Will it be hard to retire early? Yes, it will take some planning and effort to pull it off, but let’s face it spending an extra 20 years at a job you dislike could be a hell of a lot worse for your physical and not to mention mental health. In that sense, your family and not to mention the health care system will love you if you retire early. You will likely experience some interesting symptoms once you achieve your goal of early retirement. Common symptoms include increased laughter, more energy, increased thoughtfulness and exponential increases to your overall happiness.
Thanks to everyone for coming along on this journey. I value each comment and criticism. Your stories bring more depth to each post and teach me things I didn’t even know anything about some days.
In Part I we covered making a dream list, while in Part II we looked at how your spending your leisure time. Today we are going to take a lesson from young kids. Yes that’s right, kids. Why? Watch a young kid at a park or anywhere for that matter and you will notice they seem happy most of the time. So how do they do it? Simple the just live in the now.
They don’t worry about what’s happening tomorrow, next week or even the next 10 minutes. They simply just enjoy what they are doing right now. So how can do the same thing? Concentrate on your what your doing during your leisure time and shut out those thoughts about everything else such as: “What should I make for dinner tonight? Did I pay that bill? I should look at the tire on the car. Did I forward that email to my boss about that project I’m working on?”
I know this sounds a bit strange, but it really does work. Think back about the last time you were really enjoying something. Chances are you were thinking about much of anything else at the time. You might also notice that when you are really enjoying an activity how quickly the time passes, which is also a good indicator that you were concentrating.
So how do you improve your concentration? That is a entire book on itself, so I’m not going to get into too many details here. I’ll describe a method that works well for me. When I’m doing something that I want to concentrate and I get a stray thought. I merely note that it happened and then gently push the thought to the side. Keep doing that for every stray thought and after a while you will notice the number of stray thoughts will keep dropping when you doing things. This does take a while, but it is worth it in the end.
PS: You might have noticed the site is a little bit messed up at the moment. I’m trying some modifications to my template which has had a few unexpected changes which I’m trying to resolve this week. Don’t worry I have a back up of the original template so is I can’t get this one working right I will switch back by next week. – CD