Retirement may be just a few short years down the road or, perhaps, you and your spouse are still looking at a couple more decades before walking hand in hand into the golden years.
Either way, you will want to spend this time relaxing together and building closer relationships with children, grandchildren, and other loved ones. If you’re looking forward to a happy retirement, planning this as a couple is an important step; retirement is a major life change and you should be able to confidently enjoy this time together without conflict or worry.
If you haven’t already started talking about retirement, we have a few questions prepared to help you jump-start this conversation. Opt to schedule a couple of hours together to discuss this information so you both are on the same page.
- What kind of life do you each visualize for retirement?
We suggest starting the retirement conversation with this question since it is surprising how many couples don’t agree. One person may be content to spending the rest of their life quietly gardening at home while the other may see this as an opportunity to finally seek adventure and knock items off their bucket list.
To prevent conflict in the years leading up to retirement, talk this question over so you can come to an agreement on lifestyle choices, activities, and goals you both want.
- As a couple, how do your finances currently look for retirement?
In retirement, your income and your lifestyle expectations will shrink. By how much depends on what you collectively have saved for retirement in 401K accounts, IRAs, pension plans, and social security.
Once you’ve done this, determine how much money as a couple you would need annually to maintain a preferred lifestyle and how much more you will need to save annually before retirement.
- Do either of you plan to continue working?
This is another important question that combines lifestyle and finances. For some, working part-time or on a freelance basis may also introduce an opportunity to finally do work that is enjoyable and rewarding without having to worry about making enough to pay the bills. For others, working during retirement may be necessary to make up for needed funds when social security benefits aren’t enough.
After working out your current retirement finances, decide which scenario best fits you as a couple, who would work, and if it is compatible with the lifestyle you both desire.
- What age do each of you plan to retire?
The days of retiring at age 50 and collecting a watch and retirement plaque are far behind us. Workers today are choosing to work well into their 60s, especially as the age requirements for retirement benefits rise and people are living increasingly healthier lives. As you finish up your retirement conversation, decide the ideal ages you would like to retire. After you determine your financial status and work commitments, determine an age you each can afford to retire in order to enjoy the golden years together.
If you’re hoping to retire early, or are in a tight spot, we can help explain the 72t rule to you, which can allow you to pull money from your retirement account early without the 10% early withdrawal penalty. You can check out our full guide on this early withdrawal rule here, or use our contact form to get in touch with us today.