What are changes that can cause conflict when a couple enter into the retirement years?

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There are a number of changes that occur after retirement that can be the cause of conflict in a married couple.  These changes include:

Less money coming in.  For many couples, there is less cash flow once there is no longer a worker in the household.  This can lead to problems if one spouse thinks that there is a need to change the couple’s lifestyle and the other does not.  Alternatively, they may both want to change but may disagree on what changes to make.

What to do with spare time.  A classic problem in retirement is that the husband (who has traditionally been the one working outside the home) retires and no longer has anything to occupy him.  This can lead to conflict if the spouses find each other to be “underfoot” all the time.  It can also lead to conflict over things like whether to volunteer or to travel or to take care of grandchildren more often.

Whether to move out of the house.  As people age, they may want to have a smaller house or to not have a yard to maintain.  This can cause conflict if one spouse wants to stay in the home they have lived in for years while the other does not.

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