Stay-at-home moms have a special vantage point on retirement. The big life-change comes when the kids leave the home. Sending the final child off to college is like the proverbial “retirement day” to a long-time doctor, CEO or factory worker. The decades spent helping raise their children is officially over. Oftentimes, there is a sense of loss and grief with the passage of this milestone.
Retirement is not only different to a stay-at-home mom because of how it is experienced, but when – usually coming long before the husband retires. Typically, becoming empty nesters doesn’t have the same impact on the husband. He is still working and continues to produce the main source of income to the family.
Another big life-change looms
Another shock-wave to the system usually comes many years later when her husband retirees. By this point, there’s been several years the stay-at-home mom has been accustomed to her schedule and roles while her husband is working. This changes drastically when her husband leaves the job force.
Ben Taatjes often recalls a client meeting with a retired couple. A few months before this meeting, the husband retired from his job. At one point, the husband excused himself from the room. Ben says the moment the door clicked shut, the wife abruptly said, “Do you know the worst part of being retired?!? Having to spend every minute with THAT man!”
This is a sobering story illustrating just how much of a stay-at-home mom’s world revolves around the home. When either the kids leave the home or her husband retires, it’s a major life event.
How can stay-home-moms do to prepare for retirement?
The worst thing to a stay-at-home mom is to be no longer needed. So, even though the kids may be grown, they still need to find ways to serve and care for others. Also, they need to have open conversations about roles in the household long before their husbands retire. Too many times marriages suffer because of this milestone. Discuss how each person can add value to the home, each other and the Kingdom.
Co-Founder of Retire Repurposed