Retirement is often a milestone event for many married couples. After decades of raising kids, building careers and saving money, you finally have the ability to spend your time as you wish. You can take those trips you’ve always dreamed about, learn new skills or hobbies, or simply enjoy your time with family and with each other.
You and your spouse are likely very excited about your upcoming retirement. That excitement is to be expected. However, you want to be certain that you can enter retirement on a strong foundation, both financially and emotionally.
You can build that foundation through communication. Engage in frequent conversations to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page and have the same expectations for retirement. Those conversations can help ensure that you’re both able to enjoy the retirement you’ve always imagined.
Below are three conversations every couple should have about retirement. If you and your spouse haven’t discussed these topics, now may be the time to do so.
What is our vision for retirement?
You may think you and your spouse have the same plans for retirement. After all, you’ve both been looking forward to this day for decades. However, you may not want to assume you’re on the same page without having a conversation about it.
What if you want to spend retirement traveling around the world, while he or she is looking forward to relaxing and spending time with family? What if you have different ideas about spending? What if you want to downsize, but your spouse wants to stay in the family home?
It’s best to have these conversations before you retire. That way, you can align your plans and create a retirement vision that works for both of you. You can then budget accordingly and make the retirement income plans necessary to make your shared vision a reality.
How much money do we need to fund our vision?
This can often be another point of dispute between couples. That’s especially true when one spouse has a conservative view on money while the other is more freewheeling. You don’t have to agree completely on lifestyle and spending, but you should be able to respect each other’s position and find a happy compromise.
One way to do that is by working together to create a retirement income projection and a budget. If you both participate, you can both see where your income will come from and how much you have available to spend. You can then make mutual decisions on how to allocate your funds and enjoy retirement.
That kind of mutual participation in the planning process can head off serious disputes down the road. Even if one spouse has traditionally handled the money, make the retirement budget a cooperative project.
How will we pay for health care?
Health care is a big retirement issue that many couples overlook. Fidelity estimates that the average 65-year-old couple retiring today will spend more than $245,000 out of pocket on deductibles, premiums, copays and more.1 You may also spend a significant amount of money on long-term care.
You may not be able to predict what the future holds in terms of your health, but you can take steps to mitigate the financial damage. A well-funded health care savings account (HSA) can help you pay medical costs in a tax-favored manner. Long-term care insurance may help you pay for assisted living or in-home care.
Also, you may want to include your children in this conversation. You may want them to be informed about your wishes and your resources in case you become physically unable to communicate or make decisions. That may not be a pleasant thought, but it’s too important to overlook.
Need help having these important retirement discussions? Contact us at J. Harris Financial in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We can sit down with you together to prioritize your objectives, identify risks and develop an action plan. We look forward to helping you live an enjoyable and secure retirement.
This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.
15825 – 2016/6/21