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Should spouses retire at the same time?

There is also one specific instance in which retiring at the same time can cause problems. It stems from the fact that men and women often view decisions about retirement through different lenses, says Deborah B. Smith, a professor of sociology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

To be specific, when a husband retires, it is frequently an individual decision: His career has run its course, or he has reached a particular age or goal. Yes, he might discuss the decision with his wife, but such chats are more likely to occur after he has made up his mind, or all but made up his mind.

When a woman retires, by contrast, it’s more likely to be a family decision, Smith says. A husband expects the wife to leave work because he is doing so, or a family member (usually an aging parent) requires care. Read more.


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