Society as taken any type of planning for the future and almost cast it in a very dark & dreadful light. Retirement planning has fared no better, and the unfortunate result is that many people don’t plan ahead. Certainly this poses problems for an individual, but when it comes to couples planning for retirement, the results can be disastrous.
Financial experts indicate that fewer than 40% of couples have actually taken the time to plan for their retirement. It’s important to grab your spouse’s hand & sit down at the kitchen table to figure some things out. Here are five tips for getting your spouse to be an active participant in retirement planning:
1. Have An Honest Discussion About Where You’re At Financially – cracking open the checkbook and checking the balance is complicated for anyone who grew up with an air of secrecy when it came to family finances. The same issue still exists between couples who still maintain separate bank accounts. In some ways, they’ve made strides to have joint accounts for savings, but when it comes to day-to-day numbers, you’d be surprised how little communication is made.
2. Let’s Hear Those Dreams – Here’s where couples learn a lot more about their significant other than they anticipated. We share our lives but rarely do we share what we hope to gain from life. Not only should you both share the goals you have, but you should be specific in determining what type of goals you have for your retirement. This will certainly give you the chance to see where you both stand and how far apart you may be in terms of what you hope to get out of retirement.
3. Evaluate Your Current Job Situation – Retirement is something that has to be sought rather than just receive. You want to most out of life, and, as such, you need to know that the decisions you make when you’re younger greatly impact what life will be like years down the road. You both may be happy with your current job situation, but take the time to look over your benefits & see just how things actually benefit you in retirement. You may realize that based on your goals and aspirations, your current benefits plan may not be enough. Does this necessitate a job change or further investigation into alternative retirement avenues?
4. & 5. Compromise & Conversation – The final tips for retirement planning progress with your spouse go hand-in-hand. There is always a need to compromise as in many ways, when it comes to goals, it can become very easy to become self-centered. It’s always important to acknowledge the importance of your significant other’s own ideas. Moreover, it’s important that as the planning continues on, an open discussion can be had about what each of you can sacrifice for the sake of achieving your goals.