Family: Among our 10 Elements of Retirement Success
Life begins among family, and it often ends there, too. Family relationships are one of our 10 elements of retirement success. This article seeks to help you assess your approach to family in retirement and set some meaningful goals.
To many, family is important at every stage of life. In our experience, one of the blessings of retirement is that you may have more time to spend nurturing and enjoying family relationships than you have had in a long time.
Retirement can be a wonderful time to reassess and prioritize those family relationships. Retirement can be a time of connecting, reconnecting, healing issues from the past and creating future possibilities in terms of family relationships.
It could be argued that family relationships are the most important things in our lives—ultimately, more important than any success, money or other achievements we may have. So, as you think about retirement, we believe you should think about how these relationships might change and evolve.
Your spouse in retirement
We’ve seen that going from a busy life of work to one with more leisure time almost always comes with new marriage dynamics. It’s likely that schedules change and routines shift, and there is now suddenly less focus outside of the home and more time to spend together.
Whether you and your spouse use this time to deepen your relationship or merely to get on one another’s nerves is typically within your control if you are intentional about it. What interests do you share in common? How about things that have been lost over years of working and raising a family that you might be able to resurrect and breathe new life into?
Your children in retirement
How will your dynamic with children and grandchildren change? Will you spend more time with them? Will you take on the role of supporting their families more, especially if there are young children? Might that mean moving closer to them?
Your parents in retirement
If you have aging parents, how is that likely to play out? What new stressors could be on the horizon as they start to need more care and encounter more health issues? Do you have tensions or issues with your parents that you want to work on resolving?
Your siblings in retirement
If you have siblings, how is your relationship with them going? Are you able to work together on supporting your parents? Sibling relationships can sometimes be haphazard, and if you are not on ideal terms with a brother or sister, we believe retirement could be the right time to invest some effort and attention into that relationship—not just for your own sake, but also for the sake of being able to effectively support your mom and dad.
Your extended family in retirement
In terms of extended family, are there relationships you wish to spend more time on? Is there a cousin you’ve always wanted to travel with? Is there an aging aunt who needs your support? How will your love and sense of duty for extended family shape your retirement plans?
You might also be mindful of how your wealth can impact your ability to improve key relationships. Do children, grandchildren or aging parents need financial support? Is there a wealth disparity, say, among siblings that could be affecting the family dynamic? Or how about questions related to potential future inheritances? And are there ways that you can use your wealth and your communication abilities to take the lead in helping family members feel listened to and respected while having their needs met in a responsible way?
Here’s a quick exercise that you may find helpful:
- Write down your current satisfaction with your family relationships on a scale of 1 to 10
- Now write down what you would like that score to be one year from now
- Finally, write down the top three things you can do to raise your score
Family is for life, and these connections may never be more important than during retirement.
Continue to explore each element of retirement success:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie Jordan, CPA, CFP, CeFT
Charlie is a Partner, Wealth Advisor in our Atlanta office. Previously, he led the Retiring Well Practice Management group at legacy firm Brightworth. Charlie focuses on helping clients think differently about retirement, integrating the technical and personal sides of money. Charlie is a CPA, CFP® practitioner and Certified Financial Transitionist (CeFT). He is a graduate of the University of Florida and received a Master in Accountancy from Kennesaw State University.
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