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We all know money can be a key source of stress, especially in a marriage or cohabitating relationship. Why not take some steps today to ensure a smooth transition from the working world into a healthy retirement with your partner? By working as a team to finance your golden years, the two of you can make the most of profitable opportunities, save money, and prevent unnecessary strife.

The following are a few of the ways you can work toward accomplishing a stress-free and financially healthy retirement with your partner.

1. Ask for help

A financial expert can help you sort through any potential financial issues with your spouse in a civil manner and can offer appropriate advice according to your personal situation.

If you’re having trouble communicating with your partner about money, it may be wise to have a third party involved that can help you get organized and make smart choices regarding your future. Planning for retirement is very complex and detailed, so enlisting the help of a professional may be a positive first step of your journey.

2. Write down your retirement goals

Do you wish to travel extensively after your retire? What about downsizing your home and/or moving to a different city? These are important factors to discuss with your partner in order to ensure you are both on the same page.

Your goals and dreams may look a little different, but it’s important to write them all down, as well as a monthly or yearly cost estimate for each goal. It may be a good idea to also rank each of your goals in order of how important they are for you to achieve. You’ll most likely need to compromise with your partner on some of these goals down the road, but it’s important to get everything organized on paper so there’s no confusion about what each of you wants in retirement.

3. Map Out Your Future

It’s time to figure out which of those retirement goals and dreams you and your partner wrote down could become a reality.

Take an inventory of all your investments, anticipated Social Security checks, and any other income streams you are expecting in retirement. Now weigh those against the estimated cost of your retirement dreams, as well as living and medical expenses.

Obviously you won’t have exact numbers, but if you and your partner work together to come up with some viable estimates, it could help clarify expectations, as well as overcome challenges and confusion down the road.

If it turns out your income falls significantly short of some of your major retirement goals, discuss other alternative solutions with your partner. For instance, if you don’t have extra money to travel as you would have hoped, could you save in another area such as downsizing your home? Selling your home and renting, or moving to a more affordable city could help you keep the same standard of living with significantly less income, thus freeing up extra cash for other retirement dreams. Other options include cutting down on spending or exploring different investment strategies. Work together until you arrive at a plan you both agree on to achieve your most important retirement goals.

The bottom line

Establishing clear communication as a couple about your retirement goals and dreams is a vital step in the process. Work as a team, compromise, and map out a plan that will help you achieve the retirement of your dreams.

Author Ron L. Brown, CFP®

Ron is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and President of R.L. Brown Wealth Management. He specializes in retirement, estate, and business planning for professionals and entrepreneurs. Ron assists his clients with creating a financial plan to ensure they are able to live their ideal lifestyle during retirement and leave a strong legacy for their family. Ron has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, US News, Yahoo Finance, Investopedia, and numerous other high profile financial publications.

More posts by Ron L. Brown, CFP®
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