Why Your Mom Is Negative About Retiring

 Here’s some good news: you’ll retire someday. Here’s some bad news: it won’t be before you pay off those student loans. More good news: you can learn all you need to know about retirement now, by watching how your mom deals with it.  So, with all there is to look forward to (no schedule, no job, no boss, no deadlines), why is your mom is negative about retiring? Ask her and begin your education  about retirement.

Your mom got her first lessons about retired life from her parents. (Sound similar?)  Dads in that generation worked until they physically were worn out or able to collect a pension.  They spent their lifetime looking forward to a retirement that came with few responsibilities. That often meant hanging out in an easy chair, watching tv and reading the newspaper. Moving to a senior living facility in a sunny climate was the dream retirement.

Moms often didn’t work or if they did, they had support level jobs.  Her responsibilities included running the house whether or not she worked outside the home. When dad retired, mom took on even more duties at home. No doubt she was happier when he found things to do outside the house.  She probably didn’t appreciate having him following her around and “managing” the household after having done it successfully for many years.

When your mom thinks negatively about retirement, she’s remembering the life her parents led. No, she doesn’t want to spend the next 20 years watching tv. No, she doesn’t want to devote more time to maintaining the house. And what’s her biggest “no” of all? She certainly doesn’t want to live her parents’ version of retirement. Are you beginning to understand some of the negativity she has about retiring?

Fast forward to what your mom can look forward to in retirement: no schedule, no job, no boss, no deadlines. (Sound similar?) She’s definitely looking forward to a different life and one with more choices about what she can do and how she can grow in midlife.

Retirement is no longer a dead end. People are healthier, they’re living longer and they’re interested in taking on activities that add meaning to their lives.  Midlife moms in today’s world are in a far sweeter spot for living a meaningful retirement life than their moms and dads were.

So, why the #negativity? Your mom knows her retirement options are better than generation before her, but she’s scared. It’s hard to overcome what you grew up with and saw first hand. What can you do? Remind her that there’s much to look forward to when she retires. Ask if her opinions about retiring are based the example her parents set for her.

Remind her that she’s now setting an example for you. That could reverse the #negativity. Remember, moms love to set a good example.



People of all ages struggle to live a more meaningful life, but the struggle to identify a meaningful retirement is very real. Working with a certified retirement coach can help you frame what’s important to you and how to work towards it in order to find a meaningful life in retirement. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your journey and how we can help.

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Retirement is not a fairy tale ending.