Retirement is a phase we all look forward too. We plan so much for it and save for it all our lives. But do we all want the same thing from our retirement? The answer is a No! This changing dream is not just among different cultures, nations, and social strata based. Couples who have been married for several decades now could also cherish other retirement dreams.
However, despite all the planning, we do not talk about much, more so with our significant other. And this common mistake leads to numerous issues, including disagreements and fights. Recent research shows a rise in the number of divorces among older couples, and the lack of communication is a common reason. So, what are the common retirement mistakes that couples make, and how can you avoid them? Read on to find out!
Not Finding A Middle Ground
Well, as humans, it is natural for each of us to want different things. While we make numerous compromises throughout our lives, it is only natural to wish for a retirement sans any compromise. However, once you are married and want to spend your retirement life with your spouse, things will not be the same. This is all the more true if you and your spouse want entirely different things from life. For instance, one of you might think touring the country in an RV would make for a great retirement, while the other might want to move to a far off country and settle down peacefully.
However, if you do not talk it out until the day of your retirement, things might take an ugly turn. But you could find a way out of this and find a middle ground if you talk about your retirement dreams and plans. For instance, in this case, we just spoke about, you and your partner could agree to move to a far off country, rent an RV, and tour around the place. This way, it would be a win-win for both of you! So, make sure you talk about topics like the retirement lifestyle you have in mind, where you want to retire, the place you wish to settle down in, etc. when you still have time!
Unclear Financial Planning
As partners in a relationship, the two of you need to be on the same page regarding finances. It does not matter if its just one of you working or earning more than the other. What matters is the ability to see the retirement funds as one entity that should support both of you. The first step to having a comfortable and non-disputable retirement is by being on the same page financially.
If only one of you contributes to the retirement funds, be clear on how this might affect the future. Ensure both of you know where you’re investing the retirement funds and what you could do to increase your financial security. There is nothing wrong with talking about money. It is an important aspect of a healthy relationship! Not discussing finances will only increase the rift and lead to an unhappy retirement, something we are sure you do not want!
Avoiding Serious Conversations
Well, we have been talking about the importance of communication for a while now. But this is a different and more important kind of communication. Yes, we are talking about the uncomfortable yet crucial communication on the spouse’s responsibilities after the demise of the other.
Who is in charge of what, how to care for the other spouse if there is a serious health issue, where would the money come from in case of the spouse’s demise, the relationship with your children, etc.? These are, no doubt, sensitive topics that we avoid all our life. However, with both of you retiring and settling down together in old age, it is important to have the tough talk.
Having these conversations might feel like walking on glass. However, if you do not have the talk way before your retirement, you will have to face it when you least want it to. When you start talking about your retirement with your spouse at an early age, the two of you would be able to come to a more reasonable understanding of what the retirement lifestyle should be like.