Couples Lack Communication on Retirement Goals
Less than half of couples jointly handle retirement savings investment decisions, according to a new study by Fidelity Investments. The study found that just 41% of married couples make joint decisions on managing retirement savings.
This communication gap may explain why there is a lack of trust in the other spouse’s ability to take over financial matters. Just 17% of couples are confident that either spouse could assume responsibility of their joint retirement finances. Only 35% of wives say they are completely confident in their ability to assume full responsibility, versus 72% of husbands. A gender gap also exists in terms of who manages the finances, with 37% of husbands describing themselves as the primary retirement financial decision-maker versus 8% of wives.
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The study also found disagreement on several related issues. Nearly two-thirds (62%) don’t see eye-to-eye on when to retire. Nearly half (47%) differ on whether to continue working in retirement. One-third (33%) disagree on where to retire, or simply don’t know.
Fidelity suggests discussing 10 questions to help resolve the communication gap:
- At what age do you want to retire?
- Do either of you want to work in retirement?
- What type of lifestyle do you envision in retirement?
- Where do you want to live?
- What does your financial picture currently look like for retirement?
- Have you created a retirement income plan?
- Have you factored in future health care costs?
- Do you know where all of your assets and important documents are?
- Have you named beneficiaries?
- Do you understand how your Social Security and Medicare benefits will work?
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