04/20/12: At some point we all hope to retire and enjoy the fruits of our labor. In our investment firm, part of our financial planning process is to discuss how couples envision their retirement and what their dreams and goals are for their golden years. However, what if one spouse wants to retire and the other wants to keep working?
In the past, it was traditionally the husband who retired promptly at age 65, after receiving a gold watch for his service and a nice corporate pension to live on through retirement. Then the wife would loyally follow him to a golf community where they spent the rest of their years together.
Today’s arrangements are vastly different. In many cases the wife has a career also and may not be ready to retire when the husband does. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, which cites a study conducted by Fidelity Investments, 62% of the couples polled said they don’t agree on their expected retirement ages. In fact, only 16-20% of couples will retire in the same year with the vast majority of couples retiring within three to five years of each other, according to the research conducted by Fidelity Investments.
The article also notes that 47% of couples don’t agree on whether they will continue to work in retirement. After spending the vast majority of your married life apart during the day, it isn’t surprising that couples sometimes struggle with the adjustment of one spouse being at the home more often.
What can help this process?
The Wall Street Journal article confirms what we at fi-Plan Partners have known for years regarding how to ease the stresses around retirement; it’s communication. Communication with each other is the key, as is communication with a financial planner or retirement coach to discuss how each spouse envisions retirement. At fi-Plan Partners, we have been helping clients map out a retirement strategy for three decades and it is a cornerstone of our trademarked financial planning process “Your Financial House”. As our President and CEO, Greg Powell, likes to say “a bored retired male is more dangerous than a bored teenager.”
So, does this raise any questions about you and your spouse’s plans and vision for retirement? I would enjoy talking with you both to help find answers to your questions. We do that with our clients every day. Give me a call or email me by clicking here and let us guide you towards a happy and fulfilled retirement.
Franklin Bradford, CMT
Vice President, Wealth Consultant
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