Do you anticipate conflicts with your spouse when deciding where to retire? Do you already have differences of opinion? Has it caused you to push the “where should we retire?” question to the background? The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article this past week on this very subject.
According to a survey discussed in the article, 42% of 50-year old’s plan to move when they retire. The number one reason given (81%) was for a lower cost of living.
The problem is that couples do not discuss the “where should we retire” issue early enough. If conflicts become apparent, it takes time to explore and eliminate them. The alternative is that one of the spouses feels bullied. Or, they both compromise and neither is truly content with the location decision.
I suspect that a lot of us have dreams or fantasies about retirement in a place we have never lived before. These fantasies can include different types of destinations, such as golf communities, beach resort communities, or even living abroad. Conversely, some boomers can’t imagine leaving where they are, preferring the comfort that familiarity brings.
In an ideal world, the different interests of both spouses can be accommodated in a single location and/or by living in different regions at different times of the year. Otherwise, there should be a defined process for resolving spousal conflicts in retirement locations. Agreeing to test drive both places would be a start. Another option would be to explore the entire retirement scenario as a couple by attending a program such as those offered by the Center for Creative Retirement at UNC-Asheville.
Bottom line advice: Start talking – now.
Here is a link to the complete article which is definitely worth a read: Deciding Where to Retire