Are Couples Talking About This Shift in Retirement?

Couples who are getting close to retirement may have to experience shifts in their relationship. It’s not something that people tend to think about when they plan to spend their life with someone, but the reality is that sometimes our lives move at different paces. And so, some couples can find themselves in a situation where one is retired while the other is still in the workforce. Experts at Yahoo Finance recently explored this dynamic and the strain it can cause on relationships.

One of the first things mentioned in the discussion is that more people are turning 65 this year than any year previously. Therefore, the thought of retirement is on more people’s minds than perhaps ever before, even if they don’t plan to exit the workforce within the next 12 months.

The main issue that can put a strain on a relationship when one partner remains in the workforce is that the retired half of the couple has essentially shifted into spending mode. But while they’re spending their hard-earned retirement money, the partner that remains in the workforce is still trying to save up. This is when it makes sense to ask, “How are you going to pay yourself?” It can be a tough question to ask for the partner that’s going to remain in the workforce. On the one hand, the person who decides to retire should be able to access the funds they’ve saved up throughout their career. The problem with this in a marriage is that it could mean “bleeding out” mutual funds while half of the couple is still in saving mode.

Perhaps the best way to handle a situation like this is to discuss which accounts the retiree will be able to draw money from. Also, it is important to set up an “allowance” or a recurring payment, as the Yahoo Finance experts put it. This will help couples monitor the amount of money that they’re spending on a monthly basis. The other important part is ensuring that they pick the right account to withdraw money from.

Some of the decisions that couples have to make when they retire at different times are obviously going to have to be made in-house. It’s not a bad idea, though, to run some of these ideas through a financial advisor. This could be one of the best ways to know which accounts to withdraw from and what savings will remain “untouchable”. Bringing in that third party could also be one of the best ways to mediate what could be very difficult conversations. Another tip offered by financial experts is to have this financial advisor be an unbiased mediator. The family friend who doubles down as a financial advisor may not be a great fit for this position.

Having some of these uncomfortable conversations can help prepare couples for the new life dynamic they’ll experience post-retirement. Settling some of these issues before they show up in their daily lives can be one of the best ways to avoid arguments in the future. It could also help the couple’s financial health through this transition phase and into the part where both members of the partnership are retired.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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