How To Adjust To Husband’s Retirement? | 12 Helpful Tips


When your husband is retiring, you’re probably wondering how you can adjust to his retirement. You want to focus on having the best time together in retirement. I created this list with helpful tips so that you can adjust to your husband’s retirement more easily. 

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1) Take Time To Adjust To Husband’s Retirement

A Retirement is a life-changing event, and it can change the dynamic of our relationships. Often married couples are spending much more time together in retirement than before. And while at first, this might feel like the quality time you didn’t have when your husband still was working. It can also result in learning more about each other personal habits that might be annoying or irritating.

Communication is key in this sort of situation. Talking about your feelings and emotions helps a lot with understanding each other. We talk more about the importance of communicating later in this list.  

Adjusting to retirement takes some time — both for you and your husband. Of course, it depends if you’re still working or also retiring at the same time. However, for everyone, there’s a similar process in adjusting to retirement. 

This process is known as the stages of retirement. There are five stages almost every retiree gets to deal with; 

  • Pre-retirement: The phase before retirement.
  • Honeymoon: You’re fresh in retirement, as a newlywed!
  • Disenchantment: Reality sinks in. Is this it?
  • Reorientation: You’re re-inventing yourself; you find your purpose.
  • Stability: You have found your new identity as a retiree and living your comfortable retirement life.

Knowing more about these stages helps you to adjust to your husband’s retirement more easily. I wrote the article What Are The Fives Stages Of Retirementwhich is a helpful guide if you want to learn more about these adjusting periods for a retiree. 

As you can see, each stage describes an emotional adjustment period for the retiree. Thus it’s important to keep communicating with each other all the time. If you know which stage of retirement your husband is in, it is easier to adjust to those feelings. 

Your goal is to have the best time in retirement together with your husband. And if you take time to adjust, communicate, and learn more about each other’s expectations in this new phase of your lives, there’s a good chance you end up having a great time in retirement together! 

2) Discuss Your Expectations In Retirement

I already mentioned it a few times, it’s important that you communicate with your husband. Only then you learn more about each other’s expectations in retirement. And knowing your husband’s expectations will help you to adjust to his retirement. 

You probably both have ideas on how to spend time in retirement. You might still be working or busy with other things, like volunteering or a fun hobby you like. There’s a good chance you want to keep doing these things, even when your husband is retired. This is, of course, totally up to you. However, your husband needs to know that you stay busy with your current schedule. 

Perhaps you change some things in your schedule to spend more time with your husband. Still, you probably also want to know how he plans to spend his time. 

So, take the time to discuss both of your expectations. Make a list of the things you want to do or keep doing individually. And make a list of the things you want to do together. Knowing about each other’s expectations is one of the most important things to adjust to retirement.

3) Make Plans Together For Retirement

It is important that you have something to retire to. Like we discussed in the stages of retirement, having a purpose helps to know what you want to do as a retiree. 

The same goes for couples. If you discussed your expectations like I mentioned in the previous part, you probably have a list of things to do in retirement. Don’t just leave it there, turn those ideas into actual plans! 

Maybe you both want to travel the world for a longer time, or perhaps you want to spend more time on sports together. The most important thing is that you actually plan those activities and do them together. 

If you both find it hard to come up with ideas, you might find my article 101+ Ideas For Your Retirement Bucket Listhelpful to read. 

4) (Re)-Divide Household Activities

You probably both have your chores in and around the house. Retirement can be a good time to re-divide those activities. 

For example, when you’re still working, and your husband is retired, maybe he can do the grocery shopping. It can be more efficient that way and results in having more time left that you can spend together. 

Depending on your household, your list of activities and chores can vary. Discuss these when you talk with your husband about expectations in retirement, and maybe re-divided those activities. Ensure that it is evenly divided so that you can both spend enough time together and on your individual hobbies. 

5) Know and Discuss Your Retirement Budget

For many people, retirement also means living with a different budget. You and your husband probably saved up for retirement via specific saving plans, and know how much you can spend in retirement. 

However, this retirement budget often differs from the amount you could spend when both of you were still working. When you don’t have insights into how much you can spend during retirement, I recommend talking to a professional financial advisor. You can use the website of Napfa to find an advisor in the United States. 

Knowing the available budget is important so that you can discuss it with your husband. It makes it easier to plan activities in retirement, and you learn if you need to save up some more money or not.

Many couples ask themselves if they should retire at the same time. It is a question that’s often answered financially, which is important, of course. When there’s an age difference, it is often advisable that the youngest person keeps working and saves up some extra money for retirement. Still, many other important factors can help to decide if couples should retire at the same time. You can find out more in my article Should Couples Retire At The Same Time?

6) Plan Date-nights With Your Husband

If you truly want to adjust to your husband’s retirement and get the most out of this period as a couple, make sure to plan date-nights, or even better, just plan dates.

It can be a night, but also weekend getaways, fun things to do together. It’s all about spending quality time together as a couple. 

Many couples didn’t have enough space in their schedules to spend quality time together, because they were too busy with their careers and other stuff. Retirement can be a perfect period to catch up on that.

If you talked together about both your expectations and made a list of things to do in retirement, you might even plan a surprise date!  

A unique way to plan a date-night is using Date Night In A Box from Cratejoy. The box offers unique things to do, and you can even apply for a monthly subscription so that you get a date-night-in-a-box delivered at your home each month! Spending quality time together was never so easy 😉 

7) Explore New Things To Do

If you both want to experience a great time in retirement, it is important to have an active lifestyle. Staying active is related to healthy aging. I’ll tell you later more about it. 

One of the easiest ways to stay active is by exploring new things to do. It is also a great way to adjust to (your husband’s) retirement and spending more quality time together. Some couples find it challenging to come up with new things to do after a while. To avoid getting into a boring routine, you and your husband can decide to do something new each month. 

It helps to keep things fresh and have fun in retirement. Doing new things and keep learning are closely related to each other. I feel that one of the best online platforms to do so is Masterclass

Via the online platform Masterclass, you can follow video courses by the most successful and famous people in the world. It is a great activity to do in retirement, together with your husband. You can, for example, follow the course of Aaron Franklin, and learn how to have a Texas-style BBQ. If you finished the course, you can invite your friends and show off your new skills with a BBQ party! 

Masterclass offers over 80 different video courses, and more than 1000 lessons. You can also give an all-access pass as a gift to your husband. Either way, it is a great activity to do together, individually or both. Get your all-access pass here

8) Discuss Your Feelings With Your Husband

You and your husband both need to adjust to retirement. I already mentioned it a few times. Retirement is a life-changing event. If you want to enjoy it in the best way possible, it is important to communicate with each other. 

The best way to do that is to communicate how you’re feeling during the process of adjusting to retirement. You both must share the way you feel in the process of adjusting to retirement. It’s essential to understand each other.

When you’re still working, and your husband is retiring, it might be possible that there isn’t changing that much for you, but more for your husband. Still, if this is the case, your husband is going to a life-changing process. This is just an example of one situation where different feelings and emotions can apply. 

There are so many different situations of how retirement can develop. But for every situation applies, keep communicating with your loved ones. Share your feelings, and don’t be too hard for each other. Your goal must be to having the best time together with your husband in retirement. 

9) Focus On Having The Best Time Together

When I was doing my online research for this article, I found many pieces focusing on the differences between spouses in their relationships when they retire. Of course, when you live together for a long time, you probably developed your own interests along the way. Some of us even might lose that pure connection when they’re focusing too much on their careers instead of their loved ones. 

The beauty of marriage or living together with your loved one is that you have so much in common, it feels like you both are one. If you lost that connection, try to use this adjustment period in retirement to find that sparkle again. Focusing on having the best time together helps you to get the most out of retirement. 

It can also be a fun period. Like your dating again, getting to know each other for a second time. When I think of it, this adjusting period in retirement is about learning more about each other’s interests and needs. 

10) Plan Time For Yourself

It is always important to have some alone time. Some personal time where you can reflect, process your experiences, or just do something for yourself. It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong. It is only natural and healthy to be alone sometimes. 

Planning alone time can mean that you plan activities like sports or meditation. Reading books, or doing a puzzle. Or even when you go for a walk outside. It’s all up to you and depends on your interests.

If you find it hard to plan time for yourself, talk about this with your husband. Share your feelings, maybe he experiences something similar. To make it easier for yourself, you can block a day or half-day in your agenda where you plan time for yourself. 

11) Stay Socially Connected 

Did you know that people with broad social interactions often have a more healthy and active lifestyle? According to this article on Harvard Health Publishing, strong social life is linked to many health benefits that come with aging. 

So, it is important that you have different social contacts in life. Your social circle can help you to adjust more comfortably to your husband’s retirement. Try to have a common social circle, where you share the contacts with your husband. And also a group of friends that are more individually based, maybe from sports activities or even friends that go back to the time before you met your husband. 

Sharing the experiences you have during this adjusting period with your friends also helps to easier adjust to retirement. 

Also, encourage your husband or spouse to do the same. Of course, you’re both focusing on having a great time in retirement together. But sometimes it’s just fun to go out with your friends.

If you having trouble keeping up with social activities in retirement, you might want to read my article How Do I Socialize After Retirement?

12) Stay Active In Retirement

We just talked about staying socially active in retirement. And that’s actually just one of the three categories of staying active in retirement. 

The other two are staying mentally active and staying physically active in retirement. All three categories are known to be beneficial with healthy aging and are often mixed together. 

Many people are scared they stop using their brains when they’re retired, like that they don’t get challenged enough with difficult problems to solve. There are actually easy ways to keep up with that and stay mentally fit. You can read a complete guide in my article How Can I Keep My Brain Active After I Retire?

Staying physically active in life, and thus in retirement, is probably one of the most important things you can do for healthy aging. According to the CDC, physical activity helps to keep up with your strength. Even when you get older, it helps you to do your day-to-day activities independently. 

The best thing about physical activities like sports, fitness or aerobics is that you can easily do this with your husband or spouse. And often, these activities are done within a group, so you also work on your social interactions. 

If you like to do your sports activities alone, that’s okay, of course. But it might also be a great idea to plan some activities together with your husband or spouse. So that you both adjust to retirement more easily, and have an extra, fun activity that you can do together. 

Recommended Articles

You might be interested in reading some of my articles. I always try the be as helpful as possible, so that you can have the best time in your retirement. 

Some of my articles that might interest you are; 

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my boyfriend Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. With my articles, I want to help people enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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