Have you and your spouse or partner ever spent a full week at home alone together?
If so, how did you do? Did you get along or did you get on each other’s nerves? Did you plan activities – together or individually – to fill your time? Or, did you wing it willy-nilly?
Who was the decision-maker, the planner? Was the other person happy to be in the more passive role? Or, did you trade off the honor of planning the day?
Was one person content to do very little while the other needed to be busy all of the time? How often did you get bored and say to each other, “NOW what do you want to do?” How did you combat your mutual boredom? Or, were you both happy to read, watch movies or putter around the house?
You’ll often hear experts advising pre-retirees to ‘take a long vacation together’ as a gauge to how you’ll get along in retirement. But, vacations are typically chock full of novel experiences. The fact that you’re away from home – seeing new places, people and things – stimulates the dopamine in your brain’s reward centers, makes you feel connected and gives you plenty to talk about.
A “staycation” at home – for two weeks or a four-day weekend – is a better way to get a preview of your real-life retirement. A staycation forces you to seek out novel experiences in your most familiar environs. You may be content to sit side-by-side with the latest bestsellers for a while. But, contentment may soon turn to frustration if you don’t plan for some stimulation.
Knowing your “couple dynamics” means knowing how much and what type of stimulation each person needs to be happy. It means being able to negotiate your wants and needs in a harmonious way so each person feels fulfilled. It means refining the art of compromise and taking your communications skills to the next level.
Fit-To-Retire can help. It starts with our exclusive and complimentary readiness assessment. Taking it individually then comparing your results with your partner will give you a baseline for where communication should begin. The assessment measures your preparedness and enthusiasm in Self Identity, Social, Personal Relationships, Health and Nutrition and Financial. Chances are, your results will not be the same as your partner. And, even if they are, you’ll need to start an ongoing dialogue to make your retirement mutually successful.
Start today. Take the assessment here. You’ll be glad you did.