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Planning Retirement Online

Relationships with Others

Just as with our partner, we should be able to improve the relationships with all those people with whom we don't live. So our relationships with children who have left home, grandchildren, friends and other relations should all get better. We can catch up with old friends and re-kindle those old friendships, we can see more of our relations, we can help our children and grandchildren and look after elderly parents. For the latter, read our Guide to Looking After Elderly Relations.

Retirement and Relationships: links

However, as with our relationship with our partner, we shouldn't take these things for granted. We may have lots of time on our hands now that we have retired but it doesn't necessarily mean that these other people have. Also, hard as it may be to believe, even if they have it doesn't mean that they want to spend it all with us! It might be that we have good relationships with people because we don't see them all that often. Then, when we do, it's exciting; the conversation never flags and everyone has a lovely time. If, when we retire, we suddenly turn up on someone's doorstep with our suitcases in our hand and announce that we've come to stay for a month, that relationship might well change!

Some of you may have, or may have had in the past, a neighbour who has lots of time on their hands, for one reason or another, and insists on talking to us endlessly whenever we bump into them. If so, you know how irritating it can be, especially if we are in a hurry. So you then start deliberately to try to avoid that neighbour, which is a real shame. We don't want to get like that when we retire; we need to consider other people's situation, time and space and give them all they require.

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human RelationshipsOf course, retirement is a wonderful opportunity to share our grandchildren's upbringing, to see more of our friends and so on. But don't let yourself be seen as an interfering busybody, who never knows when enough is enough. You might like to bear in mind the old saying: 'Visitors are just like fish - they go off after three days.' So, whatever the situation and whoever you're with, don't outstay your welcome!

Relationships are a very important part of retirement because they provide us with pleasure, friendship and a network of people with whom we can share our retirement and also call upon in times of need. Most of us do have a network of relations and friends with whom we can and do spend happy times with in retirement. The problem is that we sometimes take them for granted and, if we do, there is the danger that they don't work out as well as we would like them to. So think about them, work on them and play your part in ensuring that you maintain your network of friends and relations so that you can enjoy all the benefits that brings.

So read the other pages of this Guide by clicking on the links in the box above and think about how you can ensure that your relationships in retirement are happy and positive.

This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.

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