You’re ready to move. Your spouse isn’t. How do you have the conversation with them?
I Want to Move but My Spouse Doesn’t. What Next?
If you want to move to a retirement community but your spouse is still on the fence, remember: you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. However, that doesn’t mean your spouse can’t change their mind if you present them with the right information to overcome their objections.
It helps if you lead them to water, so to speak, by first getting to the root of their hesitation. You want to make sure that you’re having an open and honest conversation with them without being too forceful.
So how do you do that? Well, no one knows your spouse better than you. But here are some tips for getting the conversation started:
- Discover your spouse’s objections. Why doesn’t your spouse want to relocate? Is he attached to the house? Does she dread the thought of packing? Fear of change? Before you try to persuade your spouse to move, find out why they’re hesitant.
- Research for the move. What is the weather like? If your husband likes to golf, is there a golf course nearby? If you have health problems, is there a doctor nearby that takes your insurance? Having these questions answered might be a good way to overcome hesitation on the part of your spouse.
- Focus on the positives. Is your new home smaller so you can save money on utilities, mortgage, and property taxes? Does it have amenities, such as meals, transportation, activities, and housekeeping, that your spouse would enjoy? A Life Plan retirement community comes with many such benefits. In fact, moving to a retirement community might even make you healthier. Brad Breeding of myLifeSite points out that living in a retirement community offers seniors benefits like increased opportunity for physical activity, healthy dining, mental stimulation, and social interaction.
- Show empathy. Your spouse is not wrong because they don’t want to move; they’re entitled to their opinion. Try to find ways that will make the move easier.
- Ask an expert. This could be anyone from a trusted friend or family member who has made a similar move before to someone on staff at the retirement community you’re interested in moving to. Friends and family will be able to give valuable recommendations and feedback. Someone from the retirement community will be able to answer your more technical questions about managing the move and the retirement community as a whole.
Addressing Your Spouse’s Concerns About Moving
After you talk with your spouse, try to address their concerns one by one. You might find that some of their concerns are easily addressed by the retirement community you’re looking at. For example, they might have misconceptions about what independent living is really like. Maybe they think they’ll be forced to participate in group activities or will have to turn the lights out at a certain time.
Misconceptions like the above examples couldn’t be farther from the truth when it comes to modern life plan communities. Your spouse has likely absorbed these myths about independent living, and those myths have clouded their perception of what life will really be like.
In truth, they’ll be able to continue living their independent lifestyle—they’ll just have the added convenience of retirement community amenities, as well as the peace of mind that the Life Plan continuum of care structure brings.
Related: 8 Signs It’s Time to Move
Tip: Be Prepared for the Move “How-To’s”
Likely, your spouse will have a lot of “how?” questions for you. How will we move all our stuff? How will we decide what to keep? How do we know who to hire?
It’s not necessary to figure out all the specifics on your own, but it can be helpful to have a general idea of how the two of you will handle the move before diving into the details with your spouse.
Toward that end, you might like our guide, Making the Move. You can download our free moving guide here. In it, you’ll learn things like what kinds of moving services there are to choose from, how to check out moving companies, and even how to make the move better for your pet.
Of course, if your spouse is positively against moving to a retirement community, there’s only so much you can say to change their minds. If they ultimately refuse to make the move, try to see it from their point of view to avoid feelings of resentment or disappointment.
What’s Our Next Step?
If you and your spouse do come to an agreement and are ready to move to a retirement community, your next step is downsizing. Before you make the move, you’ll need to sort through your house to decide what will be making the move and what won’t.
However, that’s easier said than done. Downsizing a lifetime’s worth of belongings can be a daunting task. It won’t be easy—but it will certainly be worth it. There are many benefits of downsizing, including lower stress and more security.
To help you get started, we have several helpful blogs on downsizing. Read more tips on downsizing in the blogs below:
Help Your Spouse Deal with Moving Stress
Following moving and downsizing tips will help make the move easier. However, there’s bound to be some stress involved. To help you and your spouse deal with that, The Spruce has some great advice to make moving stress-free. Here are three of our favorites:
- Ask for help. Diane Schmidt, the author of the article, recommends that you ask friends and family for help. Additionally, you can hire senior move managers or moving companies to help with organizing and executing the move.
- Give yourself time. Schmidt recommends that you give yourself around twelve weeks to plan for the move, or eight weeks at minimum. That will give you plenty of time to get organized and make sure you’ve crossed all the items off your list.
- Take a moment to say goodbye. It might seem silly, but take some time to say goodbye to your house. Remember the good memories made there. Also, you might like to host a party for your friends and neighbors to make it feel more official.
And remember—moving can be stressful but the end result will be worth it. Life in a Life Plan senior living community (also known as a continuing care retirement community or CCRC) will help you get the most out of your retirement.
Looking for More Moving Tips and Advice?
If you still have questions about how to make the move as easy and stress-free as possible, you can download our free guide, Making the Move: “Rightsizing” Your Lifestyle.
We’re also happy to help answer your moving questions. Call or contact us today.