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Ducking the retirement option

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET

My husband will turn 67 in a few months, and he's still working four -- sometimes five -- days a week. For him that's a huge cutback, but not very many people would call that retirement.

About a month ago, he announced at breakfast that he was meeting with his boss and intended to tell him that he planned to retire totally next April. In one way, I was delighted with this retirement planning news because it would give us more freedom to spend winters where it is warmer than it is in Detroit (almost anyplace).

Otherwise, the more I thought about having him spending his days at home with no job, the more concerned I got. What was he going to do all day? And would I have time to keep working, which I enjoy? Fidelity Investments did a survey last year and found that 62 percent of spouses don't agree on retirement timing -- so I'm not alone.

When I was too young to worry about this kind of thing, I was friendly with the wife of a co-worker who was in his 80s and still on the job daily. His wife told me that if he ever retired, she was going to have to pack up and move in with her sister in Indiana. I thought that was a reflection on the stability of their very long marriage. But now I know it was just the normal reaction of a wife who goes a little crazy when she considers the possibility that her husband will be underfoot with nothing to do all day long.

So far, I've dodged this bullet. My husband came home from his conversation with his boss with the news that he's going to keep working -- at least until his boss retires, which isn't imminent. Thank goodness.

Once in awhile, I kvetch about my husband working when I would like to be playing, but after this close call, I'm keeping my mouth shut.

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Beverly Clegg
October 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I want my husband to retire, so we can travel and enjoy family. I am getting sick of staying at home. Hurry up!!!

Tours Martel
October 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Lord, to have nothing in one's life but work, how horrific! There's an entire world I haven't visited yet. Just riding all the trains and fishing all the streams will take more time than I probably have left. And that doesn't allow for the books that need to be read, and the doctorate in history I owe myself. Plus there are grandkids to be taken places.

Sorry, but dull folks have dull retirements.