Should Older Couples Seek Pre-Retirement Counseling?

Happy senior older adult couple

If there is one thing that many couples have learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that they aren’t quite prepared to spend almost all of their time at home with their partner. This isn’t to say that these couples don’t love each other and enjoy spending time together, but it can be a big step to go from working to being at home most of the time. Some recent retirees develop feelings of depression and feel a lack of purpose.

Retirement Can be an Adjustment

Whether retirement goes smoothly or is rough, it is likely to be an adjustment. It is a major life change and talking through plans as a couple can help get everyone on the same page. Financial considerations may change. New communication styles may be necessary if partners are spending a lot more time together. Expectations may need reset as far as the division of chores. A couple nearing retirement may want to talk through if they want new living arrangements and their financial priorities.

How Pre-Retirement Counseling Can Help

Many people planning for retirement think the change will be easy and mostly positive. For some couples, it is. It can be helpful to be proactive and talk through what life will be like in retirement. What does your partner expect of you? What do you hope for yourself? Are you on the same page? Perhaps one person wants to travel, and another would prefer to stay home. One member may want to spend a lot of time with friends, while another may expect to spend a lot together. One partner may want to develop individual hobbies like golf or pickleball, while the other may have different ideas. Couples may be able to talk and think through the various scenarios themselves, or they may need retirement couples therapy as a guide.