Some people dread the idea of retiring from work. Others worry about actual retirement living as a couple, or alone.
The notion of being at home together all day and perhaps getting under each other’s feet, or maybe preventing each other from doing things they previously enjoyed can become a concern. So too can the idea of living alone.
Some people can’t wait for the day their retirement begins. They save money for retirement and look forward to living together in peace, happiness and harmony at home, or they anticipate creating a happy retirement overseas.
In this post we’ll look at how best to prepare for living in retirement and share a checklist of 50 things you should consider including :-
- Household tasks and their allocation
- Financial considerations
- Cross skilling in retirement
- Action plan for retirement living
- Recommended books about preparing for retirement
Because what we don’t always think about prior to retirement is the nitty gritty of it all – how our lives will change and what we need to know.
Behind the long days of seemingly pleasurable hours doing as we choose, there are daily tasks and responsibilities that need organising and completing.
And it’s important to understand what these general living tasks are, and who completes them, and if one partner dies, can the other person undertake them without asking for outside help?
Retirement Ideas : Tasks and their allocation.
I’ve been reading Enjoying Retirement, An Australian handbook of ideas, strategies and resources by Michael Longhurst (Published by Hachette) and added some of my own thoughts to some of his questions and suggestions below.
- Who decides were to go for a weekend away – or do you decide together?
- Who does the packing? Are you happy for things to continue this way?
- Who decides where to go on holiday, and what you’re going to do?
- Who decides how much you can spend on self care – hair, nails, beauty products?
- Do you both have a clothes allowance, or spend randomly? Can this continue in retirement?
- Who decides how much you’ll spend each month – budgeting?
- Who would be the prime motivator on whether to downsize or not? If just one partner then when you are both retired would you rather not have an equal say in this?
- Who would be the adjudicator on how much to spend on a house or unit?
- Do you both understand how to do your own tax returns?
- Are you both aware of and able to manage your investments?
- Can you both pay the bills – especially via the internet?
- Can you both agree on what to buy when there are new appliances needed for the house?
- Who cleans the house? Will tasks need to be re-allocated in retirement?
- Who does the cooking? Ditto above.
- Who decides what to do today?
- Who plans social events?
- Who decides who to invite around for a barbecue or dinner party?
- Will you decide to downsize to just one car when you retire? Have you considered the implications of this together?
- Bearing all this in mind, do you think you have an even distribution of tasks and how they’re carried out?
- Do you already discuss these tasks and deal with them together?
- Or are the decisions you make alone likely to cause upset in retirement when they become joint decisions?
- What other retirement ideas do you have?
- Will you retire early?
- Chat about all these issues before you retire.
Retirement Tips : Cross Skilling
The other thing about how you live in retirement is the concept of cross skilling.
If one of you normally does all the household duties will the other one be able to help when you’re in it together? If one of you dies can the other carry out all the daily tasks involved in day to day retirement living?
Ideally you should both be competent in carrying out all the tasks below …
- How to fill the car up with petrol
- What the tyre pressures should be and how to put air in them.
- How to check the car’s oil and coolant.
- Knowing what all the gauges are on the car’s instrument panel.
- Knowing where and how often to get the car serviced?
- Do you both know how to operate the lawn mower?
- Do you both know how to operate the reticulation?
- Do you both know how to maintain your garden.?
- Can you both maintain the swimming pool, if you have one?
- Are you both aware of what constitutes a healthy diet?
- Can you purchase and cook foods in accordance with a balanced diet?
- Do you both understand basic kitchen hygiene?
- Do you know how long you can keep uncooked foods in the fridge.
- Do you know how long you can keep cooked food in the fridge?
- Do you know how to store dry good correctly?
- Can you both fry, steam, roast and grill foods at home?
- Can you both operate the oven and microwave and dishwasher correctly as well as keep them clean?
- Do you know how to operate and maintain the clothes washing machine and where to put the laundry detergent and fabric softener
- Do you know how to read clothing labels and what clothes should and should not be put in the washing machine or clothes dryer?
- Do you know how to clean the filters on all your major kitchen and laundry appliances?
- Can you both use the iron correctly, according to its instructions, and iron your clothes?
- Can you operate the TV and DVD player?
- Can you set the time clocks on your oven, microwave, bedside clocks, DVD players?
- Do you know where all your important documents are?
- Have you made a Will – and do you know where they are? (Filing cabinet or at the Solicitors?}
- Do you know how to use all the electronic equipment in the house including vacuum cleaners?
- Can you change the vacuum cleaner bag, and do you know where to buy new ones?
- Can you test and change batteries in smoke detectors?
- Can you keep a filing system of bills and receipts
- Can you complete your tax return or do you know what you need to keep throughout the year to take for your tax accountant?
- Do you have a stockbroker or financial adviser? If so do you know what questions and advice you should ask and get from them?
- Do you know which tradespeople to contact – those who have done or who routinely do work around the house?
Action Plan for retirement living
These tasks might seem obvious, but I’ll bet you can’t say Yes to all of them.
Do think about why it’s necessary to cross-skill on a lot of these things during your retirement, but also understand that it is important to be competent across as many of the tasks as you can, so that if you are left alone, you are not left incapable.
How many of the above tasks can you complete unaided?
Let us know how many “Yes’s” you achieved 🙂 in the comments section.
I strongly recommend you read Enjoying Retirement, An Australian handbook of ideas, strategies and resources by Michael Longhurst (Published by Hachette). It’s an insightful easy read and contains many many more tips for enjoying your retirement.
Check out some other helpful books about retirement here.
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