Do you have a vision for your retirement? If so, good. Now, does your spouse share that vision? If yes, even better. If no, you may be headed for trouble. We find spouses often disagree about key retirement details and it’s crucial you sit down and work out a plan together you can both accept.
Fidelity Investments, in a 2011 survey, found many husbands and wives do not agree about retirement. You may want to settle back and play golf, while she (or he) is ready to head for the airport and exotic places. Fidelity found one-third of couples disagreed or had no idea where they wanted to live in retirement and 62% couldn’t agree on their projected retirement ages.
To avoid problems, we recommend you discuss the following with your spouse as you near retirement:
- Timing of retirement. Job enjoyment and finances are key issues. Also, have you maximized your Social Security benefits? A husband might wait until full retirement age, take benefits on his wife’s record, and get half of her benefit. Then at age 70 he could file for his own benefits and his wife file for spousal benefits on his record.
- Finances. You need to understand your finances. Fidelity found wives were much less involved in retirement finances than husbands. This needs to change.
- Lifestyle. What do you want to do? Do you want to travel? Volunteer? Relax on a beach? Share your hopes and dreams for retirement now by writing out individual wish lists and comparing them.
- Health care. Do you have adequate health care coverage from Medicare or an employer-based plan?
- Long-term care. Do you have a long-term care plan in place?
If you need answers or assistance, we’re available to help you put together a comprehensive plan. Do it now and save headaches and expense later.
Parman & Easterday