Your Retired Spouse and You: Survival Tips and More

Life with a retired spouse may not look the way you dreamed. Did you picture a time of traveling the world? Maybe traveling the country via motorhome? Did you envision freedom, adventure, and nothing but time?

Reality likely looks a little different. You may still enjoy traveling, but you don’t want to blow your savings on a luxury trip, and life in a motorhome doesn’t hold the allure it may have when you were young and starry-eyed. And freedom? Maybe not so much. You’re still providing childcare for your grandchildren–and maybe also acting as caregiver for aging parents. You don’t want to be far from your family!

You’ve worked hard to get to the point of being retired, and your retired spouse feels the same way. You can enjoy retirement without giving up family obligations, and you can enjoy retirement on a budget. 

Retired Spouse Activity 1:
Volunteer Together

Giving back to your community is a special thing, but employment limits the time you can donate to the causes you care about. Now in retirement, you finally have the time to volunteer. Find something you are both passionate about, and donate your time together. Do you love animals? Your local animal shelter is always looking for people to love on their homeless pets (or to take in foster pets). What about church? Lead a small group to mentor newlywed couples. Maybe you’re both politically minded–this is a great time to campaign together for a candidate you think will make a difference.

Retired Spouse Activity 2:
Rediscover Friendships

Raising a family takes up a lot of time. Add in work, and you probably have not had time to cultivate friendships. Now is the time! Whether you and your retired spouse want to find other couples to hang out with, or whether you each find new (or grow old) friendships individually is up to you. Facebook provides a great opportunity to reconnect with those you’ve lost touch with, so make a lunch date with someone and catch up! Or ask someone from your neighborhood to come over for coffee. Join a reading group at your local library and get to know your fellow bookworms. You can have some of the most rewarding friendships of your life during your retirement years because you finally have the time for it. And double-dating can be fun!

Retired Spouse Activity 3:
Find New Hobbies

Your retired and you have a retired spouse and you have plenty of time–spend it on a hobby! That may mean finally sitting down to get back to something you enjoyed, or maybe it means doing something new! Have you ever talked with your spouse about doing something you both wanted to do? Many people talk about wanting to be an artist, and your local library or craft store likely offers art classes at reasonable rates. But don’t be afraid to try new things; the sky’s the limit!

Retired Spouse Activity 4:
Focus on Your Health

Working out together can mean anything, from taking walks, to joining a gym, to making a home gym! As we age, we may develop arthritis, and the best way to have full use of your muscles is to use your muscles for as much as you can, as long as you can. This is also the perfect time to experiment with fun recipes for healthy food. But with any changes in diet and exercise, don’t forget to consult your doctor first!

You’ve Got This!

Retirement can be the best time for you, and you don’t have to spend big money to live a big life. So get living, and spend some meaningful time with your retired spouse.