Everyone looks forward to the day retirement arrives; we can chuck that business wear to the side, sleep in as long as want, and take as many vacations as our hearts desire—sounds like paradise, right? Turns out retirement isn’t always exactly as imagined, and for many, it can leave something to be desired. Here are four things no one tells you about retirement.
- You’ll Get Bored
This isn’t true of everyone, sure, but many retirees find that having a surplus of free time is actually not what they expected. Going from working 40 to 50 hours a week to having nothing on the calendar at all can be a harsh shift for many, but luckily there are ways to circumvent the sadness and loss of purpose many retirees suffer from in the first few months or even years after leaving the work force. For some, it’s taking on a part-time job that provides both a supplementary income and something to do.
- You Might Butt Heads With Your Spouse
Even the most in-love couples can find it difficult to get used to being around their spouse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s actually a term for the discontentment related to retirement—“Retired Husband Syndrome” (RHS). This is a stress related illness which was originally observed in women whose husbands gave up work. According to an Italian study, women may suffer higher rates of depression, lose sleep, and even suffer more stress after their husbands retire. Why? The reasons may vary. For some couples, it could be that you’ve been doing different things, heading down different paths for so long that when finally confronted with your spouse face to face for days at a time, you feel like you no longer know each other.
There’s scary statistics behind this so-called syndrome; studies have seen a rise in divorce rates, with couples over 50 divorcing at rates two times more since 1990. If you find you and your spouse are butting heads, consider couple’s counseling, and be sure to have your own activities going on. Socialize with other retirees, head out on your own and cultivate your own passions with sites like Meetup.com, and don’t be surprised when spending all week with each other has you pulling out your hair.
- Medicare Doesn’t Pay For as Much As You Think
Don’t’ assume that Medicare is completely free. While it’s essential that you enroll when you turn 65, it’s also important to realize that enrollment doesn’t equal a free ride like many expect. It doesn’t cover everything—in fact it doesn’t cover a lot of things. You’ll need to pay premiums that can run the gamut from inexpensive to astronomical, you’ll be responsible for co-pays, and have to cover long-term care on your own. Many retirees find they must purchase MediGap supplemental insurance policies to help with these out of pocket costs, and these premiums can be even higher.
- End of Life Care Can Drain Your Accounts
Going off the point in our last section, it’s important to take a good look at long-term care or end of life care options, even if you and your spouse are both healthy. Say one of you develops an untreatable illness, has a bad accident, or faces something debilitating. End of life care is extremely costly, and without a plan in place to handle these expenditures, you and your loved ones may find yourself in devastating financial straits. It’s important to have the right insurance plan in place, and look into less common insurance options like senior life insurance to ensure you’re covered. Take this hypothetical a step further: If the worst happens and you or your spouse pass away, your loved ones will also be saddled with expensive funeral costs. While funeral insurance can be costly, for those without life insurance or great medical coverage, it may be essential.