When it comes to retirement, are you and your spouse on the same page?
Almost all couples agree on one thing…they want to retire someday. But that statement can create tension when the conversation remains that broad.
The more alignment you have about the specifics of your retirement years, the more rewarding they can be. After retirement, adjustments can be more difficult when your wealth moves from the accumulating stage to a more fixed distribution stage.
Ultimately, the time to discuss and resolve any differences about retirement is well before you need to. Here are five key areas where couples need to find common ground.
When will you both retire?
In today's world, where couples typically have two separate careers, retirement timelines may not align.
Sometimes, differing time frames are due to policies or expectations in your respective workplaces; sometimes, it's a matter of how long each one wants – or can physically continue – to work. A retirement age of 65 is not always relevant in today's world.
Your Lifestyle in Retirement
Some people see retirement as a time to do very little; others see it as the time to do everything they couldn't do while working. While these are individual choices, they'll affect both of you and your joint financial planning.
If there's a trip to Europe in your future, there's also a hefty expense in your future.
While you may not be able to (or want to) pin everything down precisely, partners should generally agree on how they will live in retirement and what that lifestyle will cost.
Your Current Lifestyle
Your current spending and saving have a direct correlation to how much you can spend in retirement. So, what tradeoffs (working longer, saving more, delaying Social Security) are you willing to make now to increase your odds of having the retirement lifestyle you both want?
"Expect the unexpected" applies throughout the journey toward retirement, but perhaps even more strongly in our later years.
- What will your healthcare costs be, and how much of that will have to come out of your pocket?
- Will you or your spouse need long-term care, and should you purchase insurance?
- What happens if the market suffers a severe downturn right after you retire?
While you obviously can't plan precisely for an unknown, talking about what might happen and how you'd respond will make things easier if the unexpected does occur.
All marriages require tradeoffs and adjustments along the way. The earlier you can discuss and agree on what those will be in your retirement years, the better chance you can truly enjoy this season of life together.
As always, if you want to schedule a time to discuss any of these decisions, please send an email or give us a call.
Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Stonegate Financial is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Any opinions are those of Stonegate Financial and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.