Get Your Life Organized!

By Robin Halley-Gillin
From The Time of Your Life: A Leader's Guide to Retirement, Leisure Planning and Volunteering

[This book contains many sections offering various group activities to encourage pre-retirees to think ahead. One section is a set of skits.]


  • To identify the problems associated with transferring employment skills to the home environment upon retirement.
  • To demonstrate the differing expectations of retirement.
  • To identify communication issues between couples after retirement.

Any audience except those living alone Can include spouses, family and partners Good with managerial audiences

Time Needed: 5 minutes for skit; 15 minutes for discussion


Wife: Experienced home manager, active volunteer.

Husband: Recently retired from managerial job requiring high organizational skills.


Living room or kitchen of the couple


Tape measure, paper, calculator for husband; apron, mixing bowl and spoon for wife

Key Points

Husband feels he can help his wife by organizing her "world" more efficiently and effectively. Prior to the opening of the skit, he has done so. Emphasize the success he had as a manager prior to retirement. Also play up his desire to be a part of activities in the house. Wife wants husband to leave her "world" to her and to do something constructive on his own. Emphasize how well the house has run for years under her management and how much time the husband has on his hands.

Skit Ending

Ambiguous Ending: End with wife very frustrated with husband for all he's done. Ask audience for suggestions about what wife or husband can do.

Unambiguous Ending: Emphasize calling the Volunteer Centre. The husband becomes a volunteer and they are so busy they must arrange a date to meet for dinner.

Group Discussion
Allow the audience to find a solution to this problem. The following questions can help to guide the discussion:

  • What was the problem in this skit?
  • What roles did the husband and wife have?
  • How would you have felt if you were the wife? Husband?
  • What options might be open to the new retiree? These can include:
    • Developing new hobbies.
    • Going to educational offerings.
    • Picking up former hobbies.
    • Volunteering.
    • Creating something for couple to do together.
    • Travel.
    • Working part time.
  • How can this couple get to know each other again?
  • Can anyone relate to this situation? If so,how?
Related Topics:
Permission is granted to download and reprint this material. Reprints must include all citations and the statement: "Found in the Energize online library at"