TomorrowMakers

Retirement planning is a very crucial step in a person’s life and this is even more so for women. Here are some tips on how you can efficiently plan for it with your spouse.

5 Retirement planning tips for couples

Retirement is often referred to as the golden years or the second innings of one’s life. It is a time when people are no longer caught up in the humdrum of the world and can sit back, relax, and nurture their personal interests and relationships. But all of this can be possible only if you are headed towards a financially secure life. Entering retirement without adequate planning can be catastrophic; it can leave you financially dependent on others. 

An efficient way of retirement planning is to discuss it with one’s spouse. Since spouses live together and can avail of each other’s retirement benefits, it is important to understand a partner’s strategies, goals, and needs to maximize the benefits of their total retirement corpus. In a country like India, where women are often not encouraged to be involved in financial matters, it is particularly important for women to be a part of their husband’s retirement plans and be on the same page regarding major financial decisions. 

Related: 8 Investment options for women for a happy retired life

So here are five tips that couples can follow:

1. Have honest and open discussions

It is important for couples to have honest and open discussions about retirement planning. One partner may wish to continue working into their 60s, while the other person may prefer an early retirement. Both men and women should engage equally in conversations and decisions that can impact them after retirement. Women should in no way hold themselves back from offering their views on the matter. Being honest about the life you want can help you devise ways to achieve it. It can also give you a roadmap of where you are headed so you can cut expenses accordingly and increase your savings in order to achieve the bigger goal.

2. Consider all probable expenses

This includes things like the city you wish to retire in, the kind of house or car you want to own, your individual health history, the number of times you are likely to travel, etc. A probable list of your individual and shared expenses will give an accurate glimpse of what your life can be like after you retire. You may be okay with leading a simple life post retirement, but your spouse may have other plans. It is important for couples to align their thoughts and come to a consensus. 

Related: How and why should a woman secure her post-retirement life?

3. Save up together

To reap the benefits of retirement, it is important for partners to save and contribute to their retirement corpus jointly. Many families make the mistake of setting aside only one person’s income as retirement savings, while using the other person’s income for general expenses. In families with a sole earning member, the burden of retirement planning falls on that one person alone. This can negatively affect both partners after retirement. Both spouses should try to earn and have individual retirement accounts. There are so many retirement plans in India that couples can opt for these days. You can open one with your employer or at the bank. Even home-makers can open their own provident fund (PF) account and enjoy the benefits of accumulated interest on their savings. Contributing to one’s future not only assures security but also instils a sense of pride and ownership.

4. Decide when to retire

Time can play a crucial role in how your retirement years pan out. Although 60 is considered to be the ideal age to retire, couples should decide when to retire based on factors like health, interests, current financial status, etc. If both partners are working, they should try to not retire at the same time. This will give them more time to settle into a new life and accordingly manage their time and expenses. 

Couples should also be mindful of the years ahead of them. Women, in general, live longer than men. This can mean an overall increase in the duration of retirement. It is also important to keep retirement goals realistic. If you have met your goals, you can consider early retirement. Couples who lag behind can consider postponing their retirement or taking up a part-time job to increase their retirement corpus. Using an online retirement planning calculator can help you plan better. 

Related: 5 Delightfully simple ways to reduce stress during retirement

5. Ensure that the legalities are in place

Your personal equation with your partner can also affect your retirement planning. It is important for couples to discuss the implications of their retirement in the case of a divorce or the unfortunate demise of a spouse. This is all the more important if you have children who may be financially dependent on you. Couples should ensure that their wills are up to date and the insurance policy and retirement accounts have the rightful beneficiary’s name as the nominee. This is particularly important for women to ensure their financial stability, regardless of their marital status. 

Last words

Retirement planning is an important task, but it is more important for couples to embark on the journey together. Two people can have opposing views and different long-term goals, but the right planning can empower them and ensure that both spouses are able to lead a comfortable and financially secure life in their twilight years. Our society often excludes women from making major financial decisions, but women should try to be a part of retirement planning and find ways to contribute to the process. 

If you haven’t discussed retirement with your spouse, it is time to get started. And while you check out the best retirement plans available out there, make sure you avoid these blunders in retirement planning.

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