Unless you’re single and have no plans of getting married or having a partner to spend your golden years with, retirement planning should be something that you should discuss with your husband or wife. It does not matter if one is doing all the number crunching or even managing both your retirement accounts. This discussion is important because it will cover expectations, budgets, and even non-financial concerns which will ease the transition from having full time jobs to retiring.
Here are some things that you should talk about with your spouse at least five years before either of you retires:
1. Is retirement going to be full time for both? If one intends to continue working part time and the other wants to stop working completely, you’ll have to find a middle ground not only on your schedules but on the activities that you want to do together.
2. Do you both intend to live in the same home or do you want to transfer to a retirement home so you can sell your previous home and use the money to supplement your funds? Either way, both of you must agree on this very important point.
3. Have you already done the calculations and determined your retirement income? If you have, then have you checked how close you are to attaining such? This is a very vital component of your retirement plan since depending on how much you earn and how well you have been investing in your nest egg, you could retire earlier than you had expected. On the other end of the spectrum, you might realize that you still need to continue working through retirement to make ends meet.
4. Have you decided how you are going to spend your time together? It might be heaven-sent initially to be able to finally have a lot of quality time with your spouse. However, some couples realize that when that time comes—when there are no children to worry about and no demands and deadlines to meet at work—they don’t share the same interests. You might want to just sit and cuddle on the couch and watch movies but your significant other wants to go on a backpacking adventure. Thus, you should discuss the activities and interests that you intend to do together and those that you will give each other space for.
5. If you have children and aging parents who need you, how are you going to address that? Things like helping out a daughter care for her kids (a task that most grandparents look forward to with pleasure) or spending time with an ill parent is something that you should also agree on.
6. Do you already have a will and a healthcare proxy? These are important documents that you both should have.
7. Have you considered what your views are towards aging? How do you expect to deal with such matters as getting sick and the legacy you hope to leave? Having open discussions about these things is essential so you know what to expect from each other.
When you’re already retired, make sure that you cultivate friendships, engage in hobbies and interests, and take care of your health. Even if you have worked hard during your pre-retirement years and have set your financial affairs in order, money is not all that matters during your golden years. Studies have shown that if you’re healthy, happy, and fulfilled, you’re bound to live longer and still remain productive even during your senior years.