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A tough week rethinking what I want and what I don’t want in my life for the next 30 years… boy that’s a long time! Just thinking about how long we could be retired makes me more committed to “doing it right” and including my husband in my journey. Our goals and actions need to be aligned in retirement, just as they have been over the past 28 years of marriage.
Pre-Marriage and Pre-Retirement
One of the aims of pre-marriage courses or weekend retreats is to have couples discuss really important topics such as finances, children, and careers to see if their values and goals are aligned. These are often hard conversations to have with the “love of your life” as each person is afraid the other won’t approve or agree with what is said. The same is true for retirement!
Throughout our marriage, we made career, parenting and business decisions together with the vision including:
- saving or investing to make sure we could afford the standard of living we wanted
- raising our children(4) to be independent, contributing members of society and to be respectful of each other as well as their fellow-man
- supporting our children so they left the “nest” with a post-secondary education, reliable transportation and minimal debt
- being involved with our children’s activities
- operating business ventures in a profitable way
- choosing jobs or positions allowing us to realize the work/life balance we desired
We have realized this vision. Now, with my 9 – 5 job winding up April 30th, we enter the Pre-Retirement phase and need to have conversations about the future. Once again, we are registering for a 2 day session to work with a group and have these conversations facilitated. Until we have a shared vision for what retirement looks like and what we need in that life to be fulfilled with a purpose, I’m hitting the pause button on my “work” project. If we’re both envisioning a porch swing, we need to make sure it’s on the same veranda!
My husband laughs when I tell him I’m never going to quit working. I told him all the other options that I am considering to keep me engaged in community, learning, colleagues and the family cost money: I could work or I could go to school ( maybe do that PhD after all.) I explained that I thought engaging in a few activities that brought money into the household would be a good idea, but if he supports a “lifelong learning” plan, I’m okay with that too.
What do you think? Any suggestions for working through the pause and hitting the play button again?