A recent survey suggests that many couples are not communicating clearly about retirement goals and strategies, even as they approach retirement age.
Only 41 percent said they handle decisions on retirement savings and investments together, and 73 percent disagreed on whether they had a detailed strategy for retirement income. Many couples also disagreed on when they would retire and whether they would continue to work in retirement.
In general, wives expressed less confidence than husbands about handling retirement-related financial decisions. This trend is of special concern considering that women often have longer life expectancies than men and may eventually have to make financial decisions on their own.
Talk it over
Recognizing and working through these kinds of issues could help prevent unpleasant outcomes. Even if you and your spouse communicate well about retirement, it may be helpful to discuss these basic topics:
When each of you plans to retire. Where you would like to live. What kind of lifestyle you envision.
Whether either or both of you plan to continue with some type of work.
How much income you expect when you retire, your expected sources of income, and your confidence in the amounts they could provide.
How well you both understand your investments. Whether you both know where official documents are located and have all necessary account information.
Preparing for retirement can be a major challenge. Making sure you and your other half are in agreement and working toward common goals may help you avoid wasted effort and lost opportunities.
(Charles Sims Jr., CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, is President/ CEO of The Sims Financial Group. Contact him at 901-682-2410 or visit www.SimsFinancial Group.com. The information in this article is not intended to be tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor.)