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Retirement Planning for Couples

Core Facts

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Monday, March 4, 2019

Retirement planning is an essential activity if you have any designs on financial wellness into your later years, and that’s all very well if you’re just planning for yourself.

What about your partner or spouse? In a recent study, it was discovered that 54% of women expect that their partner will be an important source of retirement income, while 36% rely on their partner as a backup plan in case they can’t work anymore.

Planning your future with your significant other is a great thing to do so that your partnership continues to thrive through the years. It can bring you together as you consider mutual goals and a long and happy future together.

Here are some key points to consider:

1. Common Goals

Sitting down and discussing what your retirement years will look like is an effective way to flesh out common ground with your spouse. You may be surprised to find that you have different views on how you’d like to spend your leisure years.

“What are you going to do with your time? What things would you like to accomplish? Where would you like to go? Where will you live? Would you like to travel? Where to? How much money will you need?” These are the questions that are worth considering.

2. Saving

The different savings options for retirement are many and varied. If either of you has an employer matched 401k, then this would be a primary point of interest for you. Otherwise, an IRA, or non-matched, employer-sponsored plan is something to look into.

3. Taxes

This should be high on the list of things to take into account when choosing where you collectively save for your future. Talk to a financial planner, and put together a strategy so that you get to retirement with tax-deferred funds in traditional IRAs and 401ks, tax-free funds in Roth accounts, and if necessary, already-taxed funds in a brokerage account.

Doing so will allow you to minimize your tax burden as much as possible.

4. Stay up-to-date

The beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and life insurance trump your will. Keep those designations up-to-date.

5. Communicate

It’s not just retirement. Couples sometimes fail to talk about money, period. According to a study, a quarter of couples disagree on the amount of their household’s investable assets, and 43% couldn’t identify their spouse’s salary. 60% of couples and almost half (49%) of Boomers don't have any idea how much their Social Security benefit might be.

Is it any wonder why the number one thing that couples fight over is money?  [3] More than their in-laws, more than kids, who said what, who looked at who, etc. More than all of that, money is the thing that comes between people, and it isn’t hard to understand why. Especially when you think of how couples don’t communicate about money.

Communication is essential if you want to avoid making some major mistakes on this front.


Example: If your spouse dies prematurely or you divorce, you don’t want to be left high and dry. You each need to know how and where your money is invested, along with details like account logins and where paperwork is filed.



Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.

Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC

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Author: Sally Falkow

Categories: Retirement Planning Information


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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Lawrenceville, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 800-367-3000 Visit our website: www.davidlerner.com

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