Are you on the same page as your spouse when it comes to retirement planning? Do you both understand your retirement plan? Even if one of you handles the finances, both of you need to understand the ins and outs of your retirement plan. It’s inherently important. How do we develop a plan that everyone understands that makes sense? That’s what I’ll cover in this episode of Retirement Made Easy. 

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • [4:21] Why your spouse needs to be involved in retirement planning
  • [6:36] Why you need to understand your retirement plan
  • [8:10] How to keep your uninterested spouse engaged 
  • [15:06] Question #1: Should you build an expected inheritance into your plan?
  • [19:25] Question #2: How can you calculate costs in retirement? 

Why your spouse needs to be involved in retirement planning

Let’s say the husband is the one doing the financial planning and tells his wife “Everything is going to be okay.” She’s not involved at all. But what happens if something happens to him? If his health declines and he passes away, she’s left in the dark. 

We see this happen in businesses all the time. If a business is run by one person—and only one person knows the inner workings of the business—and something happens to them, the business will fail. More than one person needs to know how to run their business or the years they spent developing and building that business are wasted. 

A husband and wife need to be on the same page and work together to develop a retirement blueprint they both understand and agree with. Secondly, you need to create a reference guide so that if something happens to either of you, you have that to lean on. 

Why you need to understand your retirement plan

I met with a couple who didn’t have a written retirement plan. The husband pointed at his head and said “It’s right here.” I encouraged him to work with me to create a written plan that we could all make decisions from and update as the years go on. Why do you need to have a plan that you understand? If you don’t understand it, you won’t have confidence in it. The plan needs to be simple, concise, and customized to your retirement vision. 

How to keep your uninterested spouse engaged 

Your end goal is a successful outcome in retirement. What does your vision look like? Maybe you want to travel more and visit your family regularly. When you start with the end in mind, the magic happens. Secondly, your spouse will stay engaged because it isn’t all just about the numbers.

Once you have your vision spelled out you need to set a timeline. When do you want to retire? Do you agree on an age? Will the younger spouse continue to work longer? Will one work part-time?

Then you start gathering data to see if you’re on track for retirement or if you’ll need to make some changes. Sometimes you’ll need to make adjustments. You might need to adjust your timeline and retire later. Or you’ll have to decrease the lifestyle you want in retirement.

You can also dive into the minute details of Roth conversions and tax strategies. But if you go too far into the details the uninterested spouse gets lost or confused. We tend to focus on the overall direction of the plan with both spouses.

The worst thing that can happen is that something happens to the person running the financial household and the remaining spouse is left in the dark without a plan. It can lead to stress and heartache. But crafting a retirement blueprint together leads to peace of mind and confidence in your retirement. 

Listen to the whole episode for more answers to frequently asked questions!


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