4 Questions Spouses Should Ask Each Other Before Retirement
MILWAUKEE, March 16, 2023 (Newswire.com) - Northwestern Mutual: Retirement is a great stage of life for any couple, with the time to rest, relax, and spend their days exploring new activities and adventures. Some couples choose to spend their retirement traveling, while others take up new hobbies, pick up part-time jobs, or spend more time with family and friends. Whatever style of retirement is involved, planning ahead often helps spouses to be more deliberate about the life they want to live. As they approach retirement, spouses should discuss these four things:
Where they want to live
Many couples choose to relocate once they retire. Whether that means moving to a dream destination, being closer to children or other family, or picking it all up and living on the road, the post-retirement options can feel wide open.
"Spouses often want to discuss their post-retirement living plans ahead of time to make sure they are on the same page," said Private Wealth Advisor James Erb of Continuum Wealth Partners, a Northwestern Mutual Private Client Group firm. "Making a plan will help start the process of financial planning and can give them something to look forward to as retirement age approaches."
What lifestyle they want
Lifestyle change is the main appeal of retirement for many couples. Spouses will want to ask each other about things like whether they want to downsize or live in a retirement community. Is travel a priority? Do they envision a busy retirement filled with visits to family, hobbies, and new activities? Or do they simply want to relax and enjoy leisure activities? Knowing each other's desires can help ensure that both partners are on the same page about retirement goals.
How they plan to spend their days
Similar to discussing a lifestyle change, figuring out how to spend one's days post-retirement is an important step in preparation. Spouses might want to ask each other if they plan to have a routine or focus on hobbies, volunteer work, or ways they can stay engaged in the world.
"A leisurely retirement is attractive to many couples, while others will choose to see the world," said Erb. "Whatever the future holds—whether it's a new creative passion, service work, travel, or just lots of golf—each one will require a different level of strategic planning."
What all their sources of funding are
The trickiest part of retirement for some couples can be figuring out how to balance their lifestyle with their savings. Many people will have workplace retirement accounts they've been contributing to throughout their careers, while some have set up separate retirement accounts, or have investments they've been holding for retirement. Social Security often serves as a base for retirement income. Spouses will want to consider all sources of funding, such as the cash value of a permanent life insurance policy, such as whole life insurance or universal life insurance. This can provide additional cash flow during market downturns when couples don't want to withdraw as much from their retirement accounts and can help them manage taxes.
The primary purpose of permanent life insurance is to provide a death benefit. Using permanent life insurance accumulated value to supplement retirement income will reduce the death benefit and may affect other aspects of the policy.
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Source: Northwestern Mutual