Collaborating on a shared vision for retirement can not only bring you and your spouse together but also create a new phase of life that both of you enjoy.
To create this shared vision, you and your spouse should have “the talk” at least two years before retirement—and keep the lines of communication open once you are retired.
And what should your discussion entail? This article provides details to help get you started. Please download the complimentary ebook, “The Talk”: Getting on the Same Page as Your Spouse for Retirement, for more comprehensive tips and insights.
Want to learn more? Download the entire ebook now.
Discussing What Retirement Looks Like
If you are unsure of what your spouse’s retirement plans are (or vice versa), then it is probably time to have the talk. Save the nitty-gritty financial details for later. For now, think in broad terms to discover the shared retirement vision that will allow you both to flourish.
Free download! Use this complimentary worksheet to begin answering the question “What will our retirement look like?”
By having your partner and yourself answer the questions, you can use the exercise as a springboard for your retirement plans.
Once you have agreed on a retirement vision, you can create a budget to make it happen.
The importance of a budget cannot be overemphasized. With a budget, you can determine whether your vision is feasible or whether you have to adjust it.
If you find the process overly complex, you might consider working with a financial planner. A financial planner can help instill confidence that no details have been overlooked in your retirement budget. To learn more about the benefits that a financial planner can provide and what to look for in hiring one, download the ebook here.
You and your partner should study your budget carefully and ask yourselves: “Is this budget realistic for the plans we want to achieve?” If not, along with other options, you might need to (1) reset your expectations for retirement or (2) save more to build the income you need for retirement.
If your budget falls short of expectations, ask yourselves:
- How much more do we need to save to meet our goals? Your financial planner should be able to give you this answer.
- How can we save this amount now? Brainstorm ideas, and pick the most effective ones, whether they include setting more aside in a 401(k) or getting a second job.
If you cannot increase your savings enough to make your vision work, then you might want to consider other options. You can learn more about these options by downloading the complimentary ebook.
Homes and other property can become an issue for couples planning retirement. Partners may have different ideas about where they will live and how they will live—a disagreement that can upend financial plans.
That is why you should make real estate an ongoing part of your retirement discussions. Together, you can decide where you will live, whether it is in the same town or city, in a more affordable area, or closer to your grandchildren.
Get four questions you and your spouse should ask each other by downloading the ebook here. These questions can help you better understand each other’s concerns and goals.
Health care costs are on the rise—more quickly than most other expenses—and this trend may well continue. That makes it important to estimate your health care needs and expenses in retirement.
From employer-provided health insurance to health savings accounts (HSAs), you should have a plan for retirement. Please take a look at Page 11 of the ebook for considerations that can help you understand the resources you will have in retirement.
In addition, if you are working with a financial advisor, make sure to discuss your Medicare options and how their associated costs fit into your budget. You may be surprised by how quickly those costs can climb.
Many people avoid considering their potential needs for long-term care, either because it’s an unpleasant topic or because they mistakenly assume Medicare will pay for it.
Given long-term care’s high costs and lack of viable aid, you and your spouse should discuss each other’s potential needs, as well as the preference for the type of care. For example, would you prefer to move into a nursing home, or would you want in-home care?
You should also have a plan for paying these expenses. To learn more about your options, please download the ebook. I discuss in greater detail the choices you may have in funding your long-term-care needs.
The range of options is why having a solid grasp of your and your spouse’s needs is important. This understanding can help you determine the coverage that makes sense for your financial and medical situation.
As with long-term care, estate planning can be an uncomfortable subject. However, you and your partner should take the time to ensure that you are on the same page about inheritances and philanthropy—even the end-of-life care you would want to receive.
The ebook discusses more fully some of the stumbling blocks that couples encounter, such as diverging wishes or how blended families receive an inheritance.
Given such stumbling blocks, start the conversation with your spouse as soon as possible—and keep talking until you are both satisfied with your plans. By doing so, you can help relieve your spouse and other loved ones of unnecessary stress during what would be a very difficult time.
Schedule a Consultation
Retirement planning is a complex process. If you and your spouse are struggling with a financial plan that can help you live a fulfilling retirement, then you are invited to schedule a complimentary consultation with us.
At Minerva Planning Group, we have been helping people achieve their retirement goals since our founding. As a fee-only, fiduciary firm, our legal and ethical obligation to act in your best interest is at the core of everything we do.
If you are interested in seeing how a financial advisor can help you and your spouse create a retirement plan to meet your vision for retirement, please contact us. We offer a complimentary consultation and would be happy to talk with you.