Smart Retirement Planning Takes More than Saying I Do
Written on the 8 March 2017
By Gregory Ricks
Couples need healthy communication to be on the same page, and women have a vital role to play in the process.
When couples plan their retirement, they should take into account a simple fact of life: On average, women live longer than men. A woman who reaches 50 is likely to live to 83, while a man who reaches 50 is likely to live only to 79. A healthy 65-year-old woman will live, on average, to age 85, while the typical 65-year-old man will live, on average, to 82. This basic principle is important when it comes to retirement planning.
While unpleasant to think about, one partner will move on before the other. This affects many integral parts of financial planning, including pensions and Social Security. Retirement-minded couples need to ensure they will have assets in place to help make up gaps in income once one spouse dies. To avoid any such problems, as they plan for retirement, most couples will need to make sure they choose the 100% spousal continuation option for their pensions. By doing this, it will help the surviving spouse to continue retirement at the same comfort level.
Early Discussions To Have
You'd be surprised how much you will learn about your spouse when you talk about investments and retirement planning.
As is so often the case in any successful and happy marriage, communication is key. Of course, one key to ensuring healthy communications is making the wife part of the decision-making process. Too often, it seems financial professionals and husbands discount women's opinions when it comes to financial planning. From my own experiences holding financial and retirement planning workshops, I find women are very engaged when it comes to money management. They don't tend to get tripped up over their pride like some men do and aren't afraid to admit they don't know everything.
Certainly, married women have just as much at stake in their retirements as their husbands do and should always be included in retirement decisions. Even if they aren't in charge of the decisions, married women need to understand how their retirement plans are being crafted and be comfortable with it.
Simply put, we're no longer in the 1950s. Women bring in a great deal of the income and retirement assets. It's a far different world than the one many of us were born into. These days, more female students graduate from college than their male counterparts. That alone is going to make retirement planning far different than it was only a few decades ago. It's also a good reminder to make sure both husband and wife are included in retirement planning.
Finding The Help That Fits