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Retirement's effect on couples

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How does retirement effect married couples? AARP’s new survey on the matter reveals some surprising, and some not so surprising trends.

Of the more than 1,000 people age 55 to 75 who responded, 64 percent found adjusting to their retirement is exactly what they expected. Only 12 percent found it harder and 23 percent found it easier.

After retirement, the survey also found more leisurely activities — including sleep, housework, and TV watching — increased (no surprise there). A positive note, 38 percent said retirement actually made their relationship stronger. But as for romantic life, not much change was noticed there (Seventy-seven percent say they are as romantic as before retirement).

Although 29 percent say they are more worried about money, they travel more after retirement than before. Other increased activities include eating out (40 percent), hobbies (38 percent), exercising (37 percent) and volunteering (33 percent). Forty-three percent of people also said they spend more time with family.

Data showed no one wants to be lonely in retirement — one-third of retired respondents said they encouraged their spouse to retire after they did.