Planning for retirement can sometimes be stressful, so much so that there is a rising trend in what is fast becoming known as “grey divorce,” which describes a couple divorcing after 50. There are a lot of details to consider when planning your retirement, and even more so as a married couple. For one thing, you’ll be seeing a lot more of your spouse than you are used to. Gone are the times when you got up in the morning and wished your spouse a happy day as you departed for work with your coffee in hand.In a marriage where everything is peachy, retirement may go just as smoothly. But in a marriage where things are already tense, retirement may just be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.
Just as communication is essential to any successful marriage, the same applies to a successful retirement. A recent study revealed that while the majority of couples (72%) say they communicate exceptionally or very well, over 40% failed to correctly identify how much income their partner makes, and of that, 10% got it wrong by $25,000 or more. The same study showed that only one in five couples had developed a detailed retirement income plan.
Starting the conversation early and getting on the same page makes it a lot easier to progress toward a common goal. That includes being completely transparent with one another in terms of income and spending and formulating an accurate long-term common plan.
If you think of the marriage as a metaphorical company, the job of CFO has to be executed by one of the partners. And if that partner happens to fall ill or becomes unable to do the tasks required, the other partner should be able to step in and keep the financial motor running smoothly.
Communication is the only viable way to resolve disagreements. While many couples are on the same page about their ideal retirement lifestyle. Almost two-thirds were in agreement on where to live, while roughly 40% did not agree or had not discussed the topic. Surprisingly, almost a quarter of couples who were already retired were not in agreement or had not talked about it.
While it’s not expected that couples will agree on everything, communicating openly and respectfully with one another will smooth any ruffles along the way. Consulting an advisor to help with the retirement plans is a good idea. That way you can get another perspective and some professional assistance in the matter.
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