5 Key Decisions to Make with Your Spouse Before You Retire

“I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch!” Retirement decisions require more than just determining how you will spend your days so that you enjoy your time together and don’t view these years forced togetherness.

You and your spouse or partner may have very different ideas of what that retirement will look like.  Here are 5 key decisions you need to make as a couple before you retire:

  1. Timing. Financial needs and whether or not you enjoy your work are usually the main determining factors in when to retire.  Couples also need to consider how they can maximize Social Security benefits and whether they want to “step down” their work schedules gradually.
  2. Finances. If one spouse has been handling the family finances, it’s time for both to understand their financial situation and how retirement may impact it. Hopefully you have been working with a certified financial planner for many years already but if not, there is no time like the present to start a relationship with an advisor who can help you take a realistic look at the costs of retiring. We frequently refer to trusted financial advisors and will even attend your meetings if you wish.
  3. Lifestyle. One spouse may want to travel more in retirement, while another just wants to putter around the house.  One may want to move, while the other wants to stay put.  You need to reach a decision together on your retirement lifestyle. As for cost, see #2.
  4. Healthcare. Both spouses need to have good healthcare coverage, either from Medicare and supplemental plans or, if you will continue to work in retirement, from an employer’s plan.
  5. Long-term care. Studies show that most of us will need some long-term care during our lifetimes.  You will need to determine together if you want to shield the potential cost through use of long-term care insurance, personal savings and whether your asset mix is such that you should consider using asset protection strategies, such as an irrevocable trust, for protection. We would be happy to help you examine the options for long-term care planning and put a plan together that suits your needs; we can refer to trusted insurance experts as well. This is not an area to simply call an 800 number and hope someone knowledgeable can sell you what you need.

If you would like to learn more about retirement planning, call our office today at 585-232-5300 to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.

Article written by: Lisa M. Powers, Esq.