Senior Couple Standing Outside House“I married him for better or for worse, but not for lunch.”

You’ve been dreaming of retiring in Florida for years, but have you thought about the transition process? Retirement is a major lifestyle change that requires preparation if it’s going to go smoothly. In other words, turning your dream into a truly happy reality can take some time and effort.

These tips will help you manage your transition from working to a satisfying retirement lifestyle:

• Plan for how you’ll spend your time – and be specific. Certainly retiring in Florida can mean plenty of golf, fishing, swimming and more. But someone who has had a busy career may not find that fulfilling for very long. Think about doing things like working part-time, continuing education, volunteering, traveling and more.

• Be prepared for a change in your friendships. Many retirees feel a tremendous sense of loss when they are no longer interacting with coworkers every day. Your work-related friendships will change and perhaps fade, which is why your plans of retiring in Florida should include a community where you can make new friends.

• Keep the lines of communication open with your spouse. Retirement often means couples spend more time together than they ever did when one or both worked and they were busy raising a family. Even with the best of intentions, they can invade each other’s space and get on each other’s nerves. Think about new things you can do together as a couple, as well as things you can do individually. And if you’re feeling irritated or frustrated with your spouse, speak up while it’s still a minor issue that can be easily addressed.

• Be open to changing roles. Someone who has always worked may take an interest in household chores in retirement. Maybe your spouse never cooked but wants to give it a try in retirement – it could be fun to be on the receiving end or get in the kitchen together.