Couples and Retirement: Creating a Shared Vision

Steps to Creating a Shared Vision

  1. Create Your Individual Vision List
    A Vision List is something like a Bucket List. It includes your goals, dreams and the experiences you want to have in your lifetime. It’s your vision for yourself as well as for the relationship. Once you have your list, prioritize your ten most important ideas.
  2. Share Your Prioritized Vision Lists
    Listen to what’s important to your partner and share what’s most important to you. What dreams and goals do you share? What do you both want for the future and how can this fit into how you can plan together? Allow enough time to talk and ask each other questions. It’s common for couples to have areas of agreement and disagreement. Don’t worry- right now you’re just sharing and being open to what’s important to your partner.
  3. Create Your Shared Vision
    Begin to put the pieces of your puzzle together. Creating a Shared Vision involves integrating what’s important to each of you individually with what you both want for your relationship. Start with the short and long term goals you both agree on. Begin to create time lines for your goals and action steps for how to get there. This will be an ongoing conversation with revisions as things change.

Once you’ve made some progress on your Shared Vision, begin to talk about areas where you may not agree and brainstorm possible ways to compromise and negotiate. We don’t always get what we want but, what we end up with may be more valuable.

No matter where you are in your planning for “what’s next”, it’s worth going through the process of creating a Shared Vision. It opens up conversation, helps you get to know your partner better and gives you the opportunity to support each other in achieving your individual and shared dreams and goals.

Through this process my husband and I have started to consider the possibility of spending time in Portland, Oregon once our son and his family move. The potential compromise, being in a more moderate climate where city living would be fun and less expensive. We’re not moving yet but it’s a thought.

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1 Comment

  1. I enjoyed this essay very much and plan to use this topic in my next column retirement 101 in the Cape Gazette in Lewes, DE where my husband and I retired in 2010.

    My husband and I struggled with this issue somewhat. We are moving to a new home this November–a vision I wanted but he worried about as financially sound. Only time will tell.

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