You and your partner may agree on many key issues facing you at your current stage of life, such as your lifestyle and financial issues. But what if your visions for retirement differ?
It can be a challenge. After all, each of you has so many possibilities: You can pursue your hobbies, volunteer, continue your education — there’s really no limit to the ways you can add meaning to your lives.
Communication is key
You probably know the importance of communication in any relationship, and this same skill is essential for agreeing on your shared retirement lifestyle.
So, to get on the same page, take the time to have an open discussion, following these suggestions:
- Be open – Create and share a list of characteristics for your retirement vision. Some characteristics you may want to consider are the type of living arrangements, what kind of activities you want to do, whether or not you’ll work and how close to friends and family you want to be.
- Be specific – You and your partner may want many of the same things, but perhaps not to the same degree. For example, maybe you both want to travel – but one wants to drive around the country, while the other wants to visit foreign shores.
- Be ready to share – Share your plans with others who have an interest in your decisions to help shape your final visions. Friends and family may have influence in what you choose to do.
- Be ready to compromise – You and your partner have already travelled a long way together and probably have an interest in finding common ground — so, if you’re each willing to move a little bit in the other’s direction, you should be able to enjoy spending time together for many years to come.
- Be prepared for more dialogue – The discussion of your shared retirement lifestyle should not be a one-time event. As the years go by, you each may have new ideas about what you’d like to do. So, revisit the conversation every so often.
Planning together is twice as fun
You and your partner have accomplished many goals together and have much in common. It can be advantageous to plan together, even if you don’t want to comingle assets. There can be efficiencies (tax savings) now or in retirement. Talk to your advisor to help you determine a strategy to reach your shared retirement vision.