Couples need to be serious about getting retirement right

Picture of a middle aged couple outdoors

Image: NejroN Photo /

I received what could be the ultimate compliment for a writer yesterday. I was preparing to conduct a preparing-for-retirement workshop when one of the participants pulled me aside to thank me for my book Retirement Ready?

Yes, that’s a compliment, but it’s what came next that took it to another level. He and his wife had decided they would use the book to discuss their retirement. They put aside time on one day a week to read a chapter and then discuss it together.

They had been through every chapter in the book in this way.

He said it had helped them to discover differences in their thinking about their retirement that they were able to talk through, and it helped them in their planning. They now had confidence that they were preparing for a successful retirement.

In fact, they now only had one question: Where would they live? They’d lived in several places in Australia with a stint or two overseas as well. They currently live in Sydney.

Being a bit of a researcher, he’d done what he called ‘social mapping’ to discover where their main friendship connections were to help them make that decision. On that basis, they discovered that either Sydney or Brisbane could be the ideal place for them.

No final decision has been made yet, but they’re serious about getting it right.

As they should be.

As should anyone approaching retirement because this is about the rest of your life.

You don’t need a book

Of course, at this point, I should be urging you to buy Retirement Ready? But I won’t, except to say that I think it could be helpful and to tell you it’s available internationally here or in Australia through bookshops or online.

However, you don’t need a book to have these kinds of discussions. It’s about taking the time to think through what plans you’re making and what issues there might be, and, if you have a partner, being prepared to discuss these issues with them.

It’s about having a willingness and openness to each other, and a commitment to creating your best retirement together.

It’s worth the effort.

Bruce Manners is the author of Retirement Ready? and Refusing to Retire, and founder of

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Category: Couples, Planning

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