CHAPTER 26

Couples and Career Harmony

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Most of my musings, advice, and expert brain-picking have been aimed at finding a good job when you’re over 50, planning for retirement, and creating work that’s financially rewarding and mentally engaging. But there’s a big piece of boomer life after 50 that’s often ignored.

Making a job change or retiring at different times can be a nightmare if one partner is at loose ends trying to figure out a new non-career-based identity, while the other is still in the same work mode. Or, say, one partner has taken an early retirement package and is launching a new career post-50 that requires a financial risk and dips into joint savings.

What if you want to keep working in retirement and your partner doesn’t? What if your partner takes a severance package and opts to start a consulting business out of the house, a house where you have been firmly ensconced for a decade or more working as a freelance writer, thank you?

Have you thought and talked about how this stage will play out in your lives? I have my own theories about how to tiptoe through this awkward stage of our lives when kids are grown, first or primary careers are winding down, and new ones are emerging. I, however, turned to the real experts in this emerging field of counseling—Roberta K. Taylor and Dorian Mintzer, relationship psychotherapists and retirement coaches specializing in life ...

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