For you, retiring more than likely means freedom, freedom to come and go as you please and freedom to do things you have always wanted to.However, family and friends may have another definition of retirement; they may think of it as just one more person to help them with their needs.
Your grown children may expect you to be available for babysitting services while they enter back into the work force or enjoy leisure. Your neighbors may have pets that need walking or homes to be looked after while they are away on vacation.
That is all well and good if that is your desire; however, if it is not, you need to make that clear from the outset.
Communicate Beforehand about Your Availability
- Communication is key when it comes to expectations of others. Perhaps it has come up in conversation that you can now watch your grandchildren every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. However, if you have not agreed to this schedule or if you have no intention of doing so, it is imperative that you clearly communicate this to your children.
- Be firm. If you and your partner have decided that you are ready to hit the ground running with no duties or obligations, it is essential that you make that clear. Do not let anyone persuade you, because that is a lose/lose situation. You and everyone else will be unhappy. If you have decided in no uncertain terms that you are unavailable, then do not waiver.
- Be flexible in emergency situations. Of course, you can always offer yourself in emergency only situations.
There may be times when an unexpected request comes your way from a friend or neighbor. Being that they know you are home all the time, they may ask you for a favor or two on a recurring basis.
- Have a reply ready for such occasions. You know who your friends are and who surrounds you as a neighbor. If you have a neighbor who is a pet lover and takes in too many pets, yet does not have the time or capability for caring for them, be aware. This neighbor will more than likely ask you to pitch in and help the cause. Have a reply ready, telling them that you are not capable or that you simply are busy enjoying your new-found freedom. Do not be caught off guard.
- If a friend is starting up a brand new business and you are not interested, than prepare yourself ahead of time. You have to know that more than likely you will be asked to pitch in and help. Again, have a pat answer ready to go.
With clear communication, firm but fair approach, and having prepared responses to certain requests, you can handle friends and family with grace and ease, and enjoy your retirement without feeling guilty.