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Exclusive New Survey From AARP The Magazine Looks At Effect Of Retirement On Marriage





December 3, 2008

Contact: Michelle Alvarez 202.434.2560  


WASHINGTON – AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with more than 34.5 million readers, today released the results of an exclusive new survey that looks at what the effect is on a relationship for couples where one or both partners are retired. More than 1,000 people age 55-75 who are married or living as married were polled about a variety of topics including:

• Increased Tension at Home: 74% are happier though 21% say there’s more tension in their marriage
• Less Sex: 22% report having sex less often post-retirement
• More Housework: 71% of those retired but still have a working spouse said their housework increased

“For many couples, retirement can trigger a significant impact on the dynamics of their relationship,” said Nancy Graham, Vice President and Editor of AARP The Magazine. “Some may experience a period of adjustment to the increase in time spent together. Others might face a time of soul searching as they consider what to do with the rest of their lives. We wanted to find out what our members were experiencing, and the results of this study unveiled some surprising trends.”

Adjusting to Retirement and the Effect it Has on Relationships and Activities
Results of AARP The Magazine’s Retired Spouses survey showed most retirees found adjusting to their retirement to be what they expected (64%). Only 12% found it harder and 23% actually found it easier than they expected. The survey also found that retirement has had significant impact on the frequency of travel, eating out, exercising and volunteering/hobbies. In regards to romance, retirees who are in a relationship where both spouses are retired are happier, less stressed and spend more time together. Interestingly, results showed that retired men seem to think they have taken on more of the housework since they retired, but working women with a retired spouse tend to disagree.

Retirement and Sex
As expected, people’s time is spent differently after retirement than before. Activities that see an increase after retirement include: sleep, housework, and TV watching.

The good news is that for 38% retirement has made the relationship stronger – only 2% said retirement has made the relationship weaker. Retirement has had little effect on the romantic life or the amount of arguing for most retirees between the ages of 55 and 75. Three-fourths (77%) say they are as romantic as before retirement, although 12% say retirement has made them more romantic and 8% say they are less romantic. More than half (59%) say they argue about as much as before retirement and for 30% they actually argue less. Six percent say they argue more now than before retirement.

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