Just the two of you: Negotiating your retirement goals
You and your partner may have picked your way through the dicey terrain of in-laws, homebuying, child rearing and household chores. But have you ventured into the concept of retirement planning?
The idea of reaching retirement is a dream many couples share, but they often don’t agree on the details to make it happen. A 2018 survey found a mismatch in expectations for retirement planning, with of 43% of couples disagreeing about what age they plan to retire and 56% in disagreement on how much money should be saved by the time they reach retirement age.*
Start talking about retirement
Whether retirement is looming or a few years away, talking with your partner about your vision for retirement can pave the way for a smooth transition. The following key questions can help clarify your thoughts about retirement and ensure that you and your partner are on the same page:
What does retirement mean to you? Does it involve travel, family, old hobbies, new skills or even a new career? Defining goals for retirement will illuminate for you and your partner what you are working toward and where you may need to compromise to resolve any conflicting aspirations.
When will you retire? The wider the age gap between partners the less likely a couple is to retire together since the younger partner may not yet be eligible for Medicare or retirement benefits. Social Security benefits may also affect your timing, since the longer you delay collecting Social Security up to age 70, the higher your monthly benefit will be.
Where will you live? Choosing where you want to spend your retirement years is a big decision with financial, emotional and social implications. Consider your lifestyle, health care needs, family/social life and financial picture, as well as your desired location for weather, climate and recreational activities. It’s important to have an open conversation about where both of you want to live in retirement, while keeping in mind how your needs might change few years down the road.
Why are you ready (or not) move? Entering a new phase of life can mean leaving behind familiar routines or moving out of the home where you’ve raised your family. But it can also be an exciting opportunity for growth, relaxation and freedom from the responsibilities of the daily grind. Talk about the reasons why you’re motivated or reluctant to make a move into a retirement living community.
How will you afford retirement expenses? Evaluate your spending, differentiating between essential and discretionary expenses. And calculate your expected retirement income from personal savings, Social Security and retirement plans. When evaluating the costs of a retirement community, compare the value of living in a community and the money you would save on monthly bills and home upkeep.
Visit www.Prescommunities.org to explore senior living communities and what they have to offer as part of your planning.
* Source: Fidelity Investments 2018 Couples and Money Study