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Don’t let retirement stress marriage

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Author and former financial planner Frank Maselli tells a story of a man who retired and went home to spend his days with his wife. It didn’t take long for him to become a major intrusion in his wife’s world. He told her the way she did everything was wrong, even the garden she had tended for 25 years.

“She had to kick him out of the house,” he said. “She made him get involved with a charity group and start going to the gym.”

It’s a huge adjustment to shift from spending two or three hours a night to spending all day together, says author and psychologist Robert Bornstein. “It happens all at once. It would be nice to go from full-time to half-time to quarter-time, but that’s not how it works.”

“Take the normal stress of a transition into retirement,” says Maselli, “and throw in the fact that your wife can’t stand seeing you all day.”

People are working with financial planners to make sure that they will have enough money to retire. But what they are not doing, retirement experts say, is preparing psychologically for retirement. And as a result, three big problems are popping up.

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