Chances are you’ve spent hours dreaming about your perfect retirement – when you want to retire, where you want to live, how you want to spend your time.
But have you really discussed it with your partner? And if so, do you share the same retirement outlook?
While lifetime partners often assume they are heading towards the same retirement goals, this isn’t always the case. For all you know, while you are dreaming of an early retirement in the country, your partner could be making plans to continue working well into their twilight years.
Needless to say not having any agreement on your ultimate goals is bound to make retirement planning a difficult and painful process for both you and your partner, leading to possible arguments, disappointment and financial miscalculations.
That’s why it’s important to start the conversation with your partner sooner rather than later. Here is a list of questions to get things started.
what age do you want to retire?
A survey by Investment Group Fidelity, revealed that in the US, almost 60% of couples disagree on what age they want to retire. While couples need not retire at the same age, this will have an impact on living arrangements, lifestyle costs, retirement savings and travel options so it’s important to discuss it and some to a mutual understanding.
will either of your continue working in retirement?
While many people hope to retire as soon as possible, for others transitioning to retirement can be a great way to ease into retirement both financially and emotionally. Perhaps you or your partner you would like to continue working part-time or take-up a new more meaningful retirement job. Whatever you decide it’s bound to have an impact on your lifestyle so the sooner you discuss it the better. This will also give you time to prepare your finances, insurance, and any additional training and education you may require.
where do you want to live?
While you are dreaming of downsizing into a smaller place by the sea, perhaps your partner wants to move to the country and get a farm, buy a holiday house or move into a retirement community. Establishing where you see yourselves living will help instruct your long-term financial and employment plans.
what type of lifestyle do you want in retirement?
How do you both picture your lifestyle in retirement? Do you want to cut-back costs and lead a simple life? Do you want to travel overseas? Buy a campervan? Help-out with education and wedding costs for children and grandchildren? If you and your partner have different expectations about how you want to live in retirement, you’re likely to have different outlook on your finances, so it’s important to get on the same track.
do you both know where all important documents and assets are?
In many relationships, one partner is generally responsible for handling financial organisation and bookwork. However, it’s important both partners have at least a basic understanding of the entire picture including all the assets, where they are invested and where the important documents are kept. This way if anything should happen to either of you, the other partner would feel confident taking the financial reigns. Better still, sharing a more holistic outlook on your finances will make it easier for both parties to work towards a common goal.
have you got a long-term retirement plan?
Once you have discussed and established what’s important to you as a couple and what you want your retirement to look like, it’s time to spend some time thinking about how you plan to achieve this. Talking to a financial adviser will help turn your retirement picture into a financial reality, and give you a roadmap to help you get there.
There’s no doubt talking about your retirement with your partner can be a little tricky, but it can also be an exciting time – learning about each other’s dreams and uniting around a common goal. For help discussing your retirement goals and creating a plan to suit both you and your partner, contact ipac today.