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Does Your Spouse Share Your Goals for Retirement?

Couples in their 60s may be found discussing upcoming vacations, their children and potential home improvements.  However, there is one vital subject that is often ignored: their future retirement.  Failing to discuss important details of retirement such as, where and when you’ll both retire can cause serious financial and marital problems.

In a 2015 fidelity survey, 50% of couples surveyed disagreed on their projected retirement age and 47% of couples disagreed on how much they need to save to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement.

Here are some important topics to discuss with your spouse as you get ready to retire:

  1. Finances. The first hurdle to overcome is understanding your financial situation. The fidelity survey concluded that wives are often less involved with financials; most of the time they do not know how much their husbands make and they do not know how much is saved in their retirement accounts. It is important to discuss current retirement accounts and finances for each spouse to make sure they are working together.
  2. Type of Lifestyle. What is your vision for retirement? Would you like to travel the world? Would you like to volunteer?  It is important to share your hopes and dreams for retirement with your spouse.  To start, create an individual retirement wish list, then compare them!
  3. Health Care. Make sure you and your spouse have adequate health care coverage whether through an employer-based plan or Medicare. Start to educate yourselves on the rules regarding Medicare coverage.
  4. Long-term Care. Although many do not like to envision their spouse becoming ill, it is important to plan for the future. The reality is that at some point, one or both spouses are going to need some type of long-term care. By speaking with an elder law attorney and planning in advance, you can put a plan together and avoid the headaches and expense later on.
  5. Timing of Retirement. There are many factors to consider when deciding when to retire. Financial needs, family needs and job enjoyment play an important part. Couples should also take into consideration how to best maximize their Social Security benefits.  Since Social Security pays benefits to both the worker and the worker’s spouse, couples need to figure out when the ideal time to retire would be to maximize their Social Security benefits.  For example, a wife can wait until her full retirement age to take benefits on her husband’s record.  When she does, she can get half of his full benefit.  The wife can then wait until age 70 to file on her own work record.  At that point, the husband can file a spousal benefit on her record.  One plan does not often fit all.  For this reason, it is best to consult with a financial advisor to help strategize a plan.

To ensure you are able to carry out your goals, contact us today to start planning for your future.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I like that you talk about how important it is to consider the type of lifestyle that you want to live during your retirement. It makes sense that somebody who wants to travel the world when they retire might need a much different plan than somebody that plans on volunteering for local organizations. This is something to keep in mind because making a lifestyle plan for retirement will help guide you to a good financial plan. Thanks for the tips!

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