It should go without saying that couples should be on the same page about their retirement plans, but with so many factors, how can you get a complete picture of your and your partner’s ideal retirement lifestyle?
Here are six essential questions to ask each other about retirement goals:
1. Where do you want to live?
Do you picture yourself in a retirement community, or would you prefer to stay in your current home? Do you want to downsize, or do you need more space to accommodate guests? Do you want to move to another city or state? It’s important to have this conversation early on so you can both figure out where you want to spend your retirement years.
2. How do you want to spend your time?
Do you envision yourself traveling, or would you prefer to spend more time at home with family and friends? Do you want to be active and involved in your community, or do you prefer a more low-key lifestyle? Ask your partner what they prefer and figure out what you’ll do together and separately.
3. How close do you want to be to family and friends?
Do you want to retire near your children and grandchildren, or would you prefer to make regular trips to see them? Do you want to stay close to your current friends, or would you be open to making new ones in retirement? It’s important to think about your social network when making retirement plans.
4. What are your healthcare needs and concerns?
Couples tend to know about each other’s healthcare needs, but it can be helpful to inventory everything in one conversation. Do you have a chronic health condition that will require ongoing treatment? Are you concerned about the cost of healthcare in retirement? Do you need to be close to a hospital or other medical facility? The answers to these questions can affect how you plan your finances and where you end up living in retirement.
5. What do our finances look like?
Where will you pull income from in retirement? Do you have a pension, 401(k), IRA, or other sources of income? How are your cash reserves? Do you own your home or will you have a mortgage in retirement? What other sources of funding do you have? It’s essential to have a complete picture of your financial situation.
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6. Do we need to update our estate plan?
Talking about retirement is a good opportunity to review your estate plan. This can involve questions like, do you have a will in place? Or, do you need to update your beneficiary designations for your universal life insurance or whole life insurance policy?
Getting on the same page
By asking each other these key questions, you can ensure that you’re both on the same page about retirement. This can help you make the most of your retirement years and enjoy a happy, well-planned retirement together.