Retire Happily with Your Spouse

The amount of information on retirement planning, and the financial benefits of having a plan, is plentiful. But planning for retirement is so much more than a financial decision. It’s a lifestyle transition that affects each person differently.

What if your plan and your spouse’s plan for retirement are different? Have you discussed your dreams for your retirement?

Couples need to discuss their retirement plans before they reach retirement.

One of my favorite television shows is Parenthood. It’s a show about a multigenerational family and the struggles they all face which are similar to the challenges we all encounter, to some degree. One of the storylines this season is focused on the grandparents, Camille and Zeek Braverman, and the difficulties they face in planning for their future. 

Camille seeks a retirement filled with travel and new experiencesOn the other hand, Zeek is looking forward to hunkering down at his home. Camille wishes to sell the family home while Zeek is unsure and, at the risk of spending his time alone, is complying with Camille’s wishes and putting the house on the market.

This is a common dilemma for couples who retire.

What if your plans for retirement differ from your spouse’s and how willing are you to compromise?

There is a great book for couples who are facing these issues. The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle by Roberta K. Taylor and Dorian Mintzer is a wonderful source and helps couples. The book discusses the following ways to help with this transition, including:

  • Create a timetable for retirement.
  • Plan for future medical and health care needs.
  • Determine what gives purpose and meaning to your life.
  • Understand how your roles may change as you go through transition.
  • Recognize the value of intimacy and affection in your planning.
  • Make financial decisions together.
  • Discover the importance of time together and apart.
  • Talk about your lifestyle and living environments.
  • Decide on family obligations and responsibilities.
  • Appreciate the value of social and community connections.
  • Develop a shared vision for “what’s next”.

There is no one solution for all couples. But communicating with your spouse earlier in your journey will be beneficial in having the retirement that you both want.

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About Maureen Crimmins

Maureen Crimmins is co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management and a fee-only independent financial advisor. Have a financial question? ASK MAUREEN

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