Sync-Up with Your Partner about Retirement

Retirement planning can be doubly daunting when it’s a couple doing the planning. While there may be two incomes to fund those happy golden years, each spouse may have a different view on how they want to use that money.

It’s imperative that both spouses’ ambitions and desires are considered, and a suitable financial plan set up to meet those dreams. Couples, it’s time to sync-up about retirement!

Should You Two be Synced-Up about Retirement?

With the deflating economy and unpredictable expenses, it is crucial that every couple determines their financial goals. This doesn’t mean that a couple should focus only on near-term financial goals.

They need to consider long-term ones as well. Just because it may be problematic to illuminate immediate financial objectives doesn’t mean that long-term planning in respect to retirement should be avoided or postponed.

Retirement Mistakes To Avoid During Financial Planning

Financial experts suggest that it is best to implement a plan early on and accumulate as many savings as possible for retirement. However, statistics show that only 40% of the population of 40-year-olds actually follows this professional advice.

The reason for this is that most couples find it difficult to be in sync about their finances, let alone about their retirement plans. In many cases, each of the spouses has a differing view and long-term vision when it comes to determining a financial retirement plan.

That’s why there is a need for couples to discuss the situation so that differences can be levelled and the potential to sync-up with a spouse regarding retirement planning is revealed. As a couple both of you need to envision how you want to spend your retirement days and come up with a plan that meets the wants and needs of each partner.

The Initial Steps of Syncing-Up about Retirement

First of all, it is significant that a couple determines whether they are in sync with each other when it comes to retirement. Both of you need to sit down together and go through some initial steps of getting in sync.

First, each partner should jot down a list of the elements that pop into his or her mind about what the perfect life during retirement would look like. After that, you two need to take a look at both lists and analyse them. When you analyse, make sure that you take into account the similarities and the discrepancies between them.

Next, it is important that a couple discusses their findings from the analysis. After the discussion, you two should be able to come to an agreement about what still needs to be integrated and what should be eliminated from the financial plan that you assemble together. The important thing is that prior to constructing the plan, you need to calculate the net value of your both spouses’ assets.

Creating a Financial Plan when You’re Synced-Up about Retirement

To create a financial plan when you’re in sync, a couple needs to start by estimating the value of the elements that both agreed upon in their final list. Now compare this with how much value the two of you actually have and how much more you’ll need to turn those retirement dreams into reality.

After doing this, it’s important for a couple to figure out what measures can be taken to find those resources still required to pay for that mutually agreed ideal retirement lifestyle. This may mean opening a savings account for your personal retirement fund and/or purchasing some  insurance that covers your synced-up retirement plan. This may even be the time for you to find out what role your and your spouse’s employers can play when it comes to protecting your retirement days.

Consider how an unexpected death of one spouse could affect the other’s retirement days financially. The final step that a couple must consider is focusing on their current financial condition and long-term financial goals. Are you two truly in sync when it comes to managing your finances?

This means that a couple needs to make sure that their expenditures, earnings and budgets are all being managed effectively and harmoniously. Are you or your spouse going over budget? Do you compensate for holes in your budget when planning budgets for the future?

Are you two being honest with each other about your finances? Are you two investing your money wisely? All such questions need to be asked regularly to ensure that your money is being spent or saved for the right reasons, for example for your family’s benefit or for your mutual golden years.

How to Solve it when You’re not Synced-Up about Retirement

If you and your spouse are a couple that’s not in sync about retirement, then both of you, (and particularly you since you’re the one reading this), need to make a concerted effort to get in  sync about your retirement days.

This is often the case for couples who are somewhat polarised in their nature or when one partner is more dominant. One partner must be capable of kicking off this synchronisation by being agreeable and supportive even if it’s difficult to do so.

Once started, it will be easier to help the other spouse recognise flaws in his or her thinking. Remember that a couple needs to function together as a team. Teamwork can be a monumental strength for any aspiring relationship!

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).