older couple sitting on a porch

Financial Education

February 24, 2021

You and your partner may have picked your way through the dicey terrain of in-laws, homebuying, child rearing and household chores. But have you ventured into the hazards of retirement planning?

The idea of reaching retirement is a dream many couples share, but they often don’t agree on the details to make it happen. A 2018 survey found a mismatch in expectations for retirement planning, with of 43% of couples disagreeing about what age they plan to retire and 56% in disagreement on how much money should be saved by the time they reach retirement age. The good news: Couples who work with an advisor are more likely to agree on their vision of retirement, according to the survey.*

Start Talking About Retirement

Whether retirement is looming or decades away, talking with your partner about your vision for retirement can pave the way for a smooth transition. The following key questions can help clarify your thoughts about retirement and ensure that you and your partner are on the same page:

Who will retire? Be honest about your desire to retire or continue working in some capacity. If your expectations for retiring (or staying in the workforce) are different, find out how to plan a future that allows both of you to pursue what you want.

What does retirement mean to you? Does it involve travel, family, old hobbies, new skills or even a new career? Defining goals for retirement will illuminate for you and your partner what you are working toward and where you may need to compromise to resolve any conflicting aspirations.

When will you retire? The wider the age gap between partners the less likely a couple is to retire together since the younger partner may not yet be eligible for Medicare or retirement benefits. Social Security benefits may also affect your timing, since the longer you delay collecting Social Security up to age 70, the higher your monthly benefit will be.

Where will you live? Your address will affect your lifestyle and financial picture. Consider your geographic location and whether you’ll downsize, maintain a second home or stay put.

Why are you ready (or not) to retire? Leaving behind the daily grind can be an opportunity for growth and relaxation, but it can also cause concerns about having too much together-time with your partner or a loss of purpose, structure and even cognitive ability.

How will you retire? Evaluate your spending, differentiating between essential and discretionary expenses. And calculate your expected retirement income from personal savings, Social Security and retirement plans.

A PeoplesWealth Advisor can help you and your partner keep your retirement discussion going, determine realistic goals and map your course along the road to happily-ever-after.

* Source: Fidelity Investments 2018 Couples and Money Study


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