|By HARRIET EDLESON|
LIKE many couples,
She had always wanted a second home, but he wasn’t sure about it. She didn’t want to sell their family home in
While they both preferred a coastal locale, they were torn about whether that should be the Jersey Shore;
And then there was the timetable.
“I’ve been thinking about retiring for three to four years,” said
Mrs. Thaller said, “I don’t think he was ever really ready to say, ‘O.K., I’m ready to retire.'??”
Figuring out when and where to retire can be a conundrum for anyone, but especially so for couples. Whether they have been married for almost 50 years — in the case of the Thallers — or living together for 20, like
After you have spent years living one way, deciding on a new lifestyle requires research, getting to know your spouse or partner better and being willing to compromise.
Experts say decisions about when and where to retire can be difficult. “It’s no one thing,” said
“Something else is going on,” he said. It’s “a failure of intimacy. Put everything on the table, not just the place. Explore the richness of these questions. There is a lot more than where. The place — location — is almost always more superficial than the other issues.”
Couples often need to reconnect and explore what is important to each spouse or partner as they face retirement. “The place issue becomes much more secondary and easy to navigate,”
What needed to happen in retirement, he said, was for couples to “fall in love again. It’s not just about where they want to go but what they want to do.”
But experts recommend planning ahead. Ask yourself, “What is my retirement going to look like?”
Envisioning what you really want can ease the transition to retirement. “The goals drive everything else,” he said.
For the Thallers, who have been married for 47 years, entertaining, gardening, travel and spending time with their children and grandchildren are priorities. “I don’t like being away from my kids too long,” said Mrs. Thaller, 68, who was a stay-at-home mother. It was important to her to keep their family home and to find a second home that would be within easy reach for their four children, their spouses and their eight grandchildren.
After 10 years of searching and considering places in
Though Mrs. Thaller was ready for her husband to retire sooner, she was patient. “What good is it if your husband’s not happy?” she said. Rather than saying, “I want to do this now,” she waited. “We’re happy about the decision, both of us,” she said. “He had to make sure everything was right. He doesn’t like to rush through anything.” He officially retires in November, and their three-bedroom condominium is expected to be ready in December. “It’s a house for us,” she said. “It’s a house for everybody.” They plan to keep their home in
For other couples, a different kind of compromise solves their problem.
In Ms. Hedrick’s case, moving to
If you are thinking of retiring, here are some guidelines from experts:
Research different areas, then rent a place in each of them for two weeks or more to get to know the place better and make sure you both like it.
If you have children or grandchildren, consider how they will be involved in your decision. Do you want to be near them, or will you go back and forth to visit them?
Think about whether you want (and can afford) a second home. Will you keep your original home at first and sell it later?
If you haven’t spoken to your partner in detail about how and where you want to spend the last part of your life, do it now. “Spouses are not always in alignment,”
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|Copyright:||Copyright 2014 The New York Times Company|
|Source:||New York Times Digital|