Retirement planning for couples - you need to talk
If you are in a relationship and thinking of retiring, then the decision affects not just yourself, but your partner as well. Since retirement planning is a personal matter, communication with your partner is an important part of the process. You must talk with your partner to understand their thoughts and concerns, especially when it comes to your retirement plan.
How do you start talking about your retirement plan?
If you plan to talk about retirement with your partner but do not know where to begin, here is a quick guide for couples planning for their golden years:
- When do you plan to retire?
Would you both retire at about the same time, or at different stages? Age, health conditions, job satisfaction and retirement savings all affect when you can or should retire.
- What kind of retirement lifestyle do you want?
You and your partner may want to do different things after retirement, but it does not have to be a win-lose situation. Tell each other what you want and find common ground.
- Where do you plan to retire?
If you plan to retire abroad or have particular needs such as aged care, you must talk to your partner and family about it.
- What about settling your estate?
If you have a family, do you wish to leave all or part of your estate to your children? Or do you wish to donate part of the estate to charities? Estate planning is a crucial part of your retirement plan and you must come to an agreement with your partner on this matter.
There are many other issues to discuss, such as healthcare needs, or how to manage your investments after retirement.
Points to bear in mind for your retirement plan
- As the saying goes, "Two heads are better than one". So, do discuss your retirement plan as soon as possible.
- Save up together, so financial costs do not burden either of you when you retire.
- You and your partner may live to different ages, or retire at different times. This will affect how much savings you need to retire and should be taken into account when you work out how much to save. No matter who is survived by the other, you should ensure the nest egg is enough to support both of you after retirement. You should also decide whether financial protection is needed for the surviving partner.
- Remember that having a proper will and clear instructions on what to do in the event of your passing away also form part of your retirement plan.