Retirement, Communication, and Marriage
Planning for a blissful retirement can be work sometimes. There are a lot of details to consider, and even more so as a married couple. And even more if there are children involved. It’s not the most comfortable conversation to have with your spouse, but it certainly is important.
Just as communication is essential to any successful marriage, the same applies to a successful retirement. In a recent study, it was found that while the majority of couples (72%) say they communicate exceptionally or very well, over 40% failed to correctly identify how much income their partner makes—and of that, 10% got it wrong by $25,000 or more. The same study revealed that only one in five couples had developed a detailed retirement income plan.
Starting the conversation early and getting on the same page makes it a lot easier to progress toward a common goal. Getting on the same page includes being completely transparent with one another in terms of income and spending and formulating an accurate long-term common plan.
If you think of the marriage as a metaphorical company, the CFO job has to be executed by one of the partners, and if that partner happens to fall ill or become unable to do the tasks required, the other partner should be able to step in and keep the financial motor running smoothly.
Communication is the only way to resolve disagreements too. A recent survey revealed many couples are on the same page when it comes to their ideal retirement lifestyle. However, among those, almost two-thirds were in agreement on where to live, while roughly 40% did not agree or had not discussed the topic. Surprisingly, almost a quarter of couples who were already retired were not in agreement or had not talked about it.
While it’s not expected that couples will agree on everything, communicating openly and respectfully with one another will smooth any ruffles along the way. Consulting an advisor to help with the retirement plans will help, since you can get another perspective and some professional assistance in the matter.
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