I'll never forget the look on my wife's face.
I had just returned from a September business trip to headquarters, where I told my boss I was retiring. Over the prior twelve months, my wife and I talked about the best time for me to retire after a 40 year career.
In my mind, the conversation had gone from "maybe" to "for sure" and from "later" to "sooner." Yet, when I casually said, "Well, I pulled the trigger. I'm officially done on December 31!" my wife was stunned. "What?! Are you kidding?" she sputtered. "I had no idea you were going to do it now!".
It was a classic example of a couple with differing retirement expectations. Unless properly addressed, such differences can make a retirement dream into a nightmare.