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Two Heads are Better: Financial Planning with Your Spouse

Posted by Seton McAndrews | CFP®, Vice President Investments
September 25, 2014

Financial-Retirement-Planning-with-SpouseMuch like a successful marriage, the managing of your finances is like a flourishing garden. Proper care and attention can help it grow and thrive. An essential part of this is discussing and planning financial matters with your spouse.

Not only can this help prepare both of you to manage the finances individually, it can actually help enhance your relationship and financial future. Make the best use of your financial advisor by having them review your finances with you both. You'll be happy you did.

Establish Goals for Your Retirement

There are many things to consider when planning for retirement, which should be a time to kick up your heels and enjoy the fruits of your hard-earned lifelong labor. Couples who are jointly involved in financial decision-making can be more prepared for the unexpected.

Determine what you both want from retirement, and what's possible. Will you continue to live your current lifestyle? Would you like to travel the world? Help raise a grandchild? It may seem simple, but take the time to have this discussion.

Then Create or Review Your Investment Plan

Create a comprehensive investment plan and retirement income plan with your financial advisor. If they don't offer those, consider finding a new financial advisor. Take the time to develop your plan together, asking questions along the way.

Before putting a sensible retirement plan in place, it is essential to understand the financial risks that can impact your retirement: under-investing, excessive withdrawals, longer lifespan, cost-of-living increases and rising health care costs can all affect the stability of your retirement and savings. Be sure to estimate your income and expenses as well.

Make sure you both know where you accounts are held, who your CPA and lawyer are and who to contact. This is especially important as one spouse often outlives the other. Also be sure to appraise your health care costs and understand Medicare and any employer-sponsored health benefits.

Work With a Financial Advisor

Working with your financial advisor can help alleviate any discomfort and hesitation regarding the discussion of your finances. It's actually one of the most important things your financial advisor can help you with.

Periodic discussions with your advisor can ultimately make planning and managing retirement less stressful. They may shine a brighter light on your financial strengths and help create strategic plans to address any weaknesses in your retirement plan.

When you talk about money with your spouse, coming to a compromise on what will bring you both personal fulfillment and security may ultimately lead to more happiness and stability in your marriage and retirement.

If you'd like to review your finances with your spouse, and create or review your comprehensive investment plan, give one of our Wealth Managers a call at (800) 541-7774. You can also get started on your investment plan by answering a few short questions here.

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Retirement Planning