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Could retirement put a strain on your relationship?

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Retiring couples face arguments, bickering and having to learn to live together again as adjusting to retirement puts a strain on their relationships, according to research from Skipton Building Society.

The study of 660 retired people found that instead of celebrating their new life together, eight in 10 discovered they didn’t share the same hobbies or interests anymore. One in five argued about finances and four in 10 admitted to having to learn to live with each other again once their children had left home. 

A third of retirees said they spent much of their time arguing about silly things and 13% admitted they “irritate each other beyond belief”.

Of the 660 surveyed, 29% found that they didn’t have the same expectations as each other for their retirement.

Finding time to adjust

Stacey Stothard, Corporate Communications Manager at Skipton, said: “It is easy to believe that, when couples reach retirement, they might encounter all sorts of problems with their relationship.

“For the previous 30 or 40 years, they will have been set in a routine – going out to work, juggling looking after the children and pursuing their individual interests.

 “Day to day, they might only have had an hour or two of quality time together, with the rest of their day allocated to other commitments.

“Suddenly, when faced with the prospect of spending 24 hours a day together, seven days a week, without work or the children to talk about, couples can find it hard to adjust.”

Money worries

While most enjoyed being retired, a quarter said that managing their relationship was more difficult than they thought it would be and understandably, money worries came high on the list of things couples disagreed about.

50% of those polled said that bickering about finances put a strain on their relationship, with one half wanting to spend money and the other wanting to save for a rainy day.

Despite some of the initial worries however, nine out of 10 couples did think they’d eventually settle into a happy retirement together, but as Stacey added: “A key part of a happy retirement is planning. Couples who plan their retirement ambitions together are likely to argue less and enjoy each other’s company more when they stop work.”

Relationships in retirement can be difficult to adjust to but do you agree? Is retirement planning the key to a happy retirement, or is it natural to feel some sort of strain after years of work and routine? We’d love to hear from you so please share your views with us below.

This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.

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