DEAR ABBY: My husband lost his job more than a year ago because his plant closed. He was almost retirement age, so he took an early retirement. The problem is he isn't adjusting well to the change.
He has his hobbies, but he seems to have lost interest in them. He is angry a lot of the time and lost at other times. I understand it's a huge adjustment for him, but I'm concerned that it has been going on too long. I have tried to get him interested in things, but he doesn't take my suggestions well anymore. He thinks I want him out of my hair, but it's not true. I want him to be happy.
I know he's depressed but he denies it. When other people ask how he likes retirement, he says he loves it. I think he feels silly for not enjoying it. He doesn't want to spend money for counseling, even though he knows he can get the fee adjusted according to our income.
I'm at a loss about what to do to help him. He reads your column regularly, and I think he would take seriously any advice you could offer. -- CONCERNED WIFE IN MICHIGAN
DEAR CONCERNED WIFE: Retirement is not for everyone, and not everybody "loves it." That's why it's so important that before a person retires, he or she have a plan in place for staying mentally and physically active.
Your husband may have valuable skills he could pass on by mentoring others. He could volunteer in the community, delivering meals to shut-ins, coaching youngsters' sports, help out at the police department or a hospital. All he needs to do is go to his computer and type in "volunteer opportunities in Michigan" to find plenty of opportunities. He can donate as little or as much time as he wants. But first, he will have to admit that he isn't loving retirement and needs an outlet. Please make sure he sees this column.