When husbands retire

The news today featured a story about Britain’s Prince Philip’s retirement from his royal duties at the age of 96. So many thoughts come to mind:

Way to go, Philip!

Well deserved, old chap!

What does one give a retiring Prince? A gold watch seems insignificant somehow.

And, most importantly, how will HRH deal with RHS?

RHS is short for Retired Husband Syndrome and it’s definitely a thing. Our certified Fit-to-Retire coaches have seen it, in some shape or form, for years.

American researcher Charles Johnson coined the term in 1984 after collecting anecdotal evidence from unhappy wives of retired men. “They’re always getting in my way,” they complained, in so many words. More recently, Italian researchers studied Japanese women whose husbands had retired and found increased incidences of depression, insomnia and heart palpitations. The situation seems to be universal. Regardless of whether the wife has worked or is still working, the family dynamic is going to change. Without a plan, the change could get stressful and downright unhealthy.

Fortunately,  we designed the Fit-to-Retire program to promote honest dialogue between couples, encouraging them to address concerns BEFORE the transition to retirement.

As you move through the comprehensive three-step process, you’ll be asked important questions, such as:

Where do you see yourself living in retirement?

How close to the grandkids do you want to be?

How much interaction with family do you desire? Quantify future time spent and duties (like childcare) assumed.

How much togetherness is going to work for you on a day-in, day-out basis?

What activities do you want to pursue together? What do you want to do alone or with other friends or family?

How will the division of household labor change when you’re both retired?

What are your feelings about eventually moving to an older adult community where you can transition to assisted living, if necessary?

By thinking through the tough questions and discussing them in advance, retirement can be a celebration…not a syndrome.

Want to find out if you’re on the same page? Take our complimentary readiness assessment here and start planning today!

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