Retirement: How To Work Together As A Couple

There are those days when we sigh out loud at the thought of living the easy life when we retire. But planning our retirement just might consist of more work than we expect, especially if we plan to retire with our significant other.

You and your soul mate might have very different plans, like at what age should we retire or even what activities to participate in. Being since you will spend significantly more time with your spouse during retirement, you should definitely discuss these potential problems sooner rather than later. Although, for most of us that seems like planning a bit too far in advance.

Here are some issues that should be addressed with your spouse before retirement:

Time To Retire. More often than not, couples tend to retire at the same age. It is, after all, nice to have some company when you travel. According to Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, joint retirement can create some financial problems for women. The average woman is three years younger than her husband, and, in general, women tend to outlive men.

A little under 59% of all women start receiving social security at the age of 62 (the number for men is 53%). When benefits are taken at age 62, monthly payments are permanently reduced. If you could wait until the full retirement age (which can range from 65 – 67), the size of your monthly payments increase significantly. Also, women that work longer accumulate more in their 401(K) plans, which for the most part are smaller than their male counterparts.

Retirement Destinations. According to consulting firm McKinley & Co., more than 90% of current retirees remain in their existing homes.

An increase in housing appreciation has led many baby boomers to use their home equity as a source of income during retirement. In a recent survey, a reverse mortgage lender found that 26% of males were likely to sell their homes in retirement, but only 15% of women stated they were inclined to move.

A solution to that discrepancy is to buy or rent a second home in the community where one spouse wants to move, then live there part of the year. However, sometimes married couples do agree on moving, but disagree on where to move. Start researching retirement destinations years before you plan to stop working so that all options are exhausted (in a sense) and an agreement can be made.

What To Do. About 80% of baby boomers plan to work part-time during retirement. Since retirement plans for most baby boomers have been somewhat lacking, that option for extra income is a wise choice. However, working will conflict with certain activities such as traveling. If you want to take a road trip, and your spouse is working, there might not be any flexibility for them to join you.

Also, it is a good idea to personally write down retirement goals, making an “intentions list” so you and your spouse can compare notes, find commonalities and work out the kinks in the process. Even if you and your spouse cannot agree on a time or place for retirement, there should at the very least be mutual goals for saving as much as possible for that well deserved retirement.

If you are curious as to how much you should or can save, visit and type “retirement calculator.” The calculator can give you a rough estimate as to what you would need in order to reach your retirement goals.

Have an opinion or a question you would like me to answer, then write me!

“Your” Money Matters By Carl Hampton

From the Author of “From Credit Despair To Credit Millionaire”

Carl Hampton