This Valentine’s Day, don’t send flowers, talk about money


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This Valentine's Day, don't send flowers, talk about money

This Valentine’s Day, don’t send flowers, talk about money

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Retirement planning may not sound like the most romantic topic on the Valentine’s table, but it can.

Retirement Tip of the Week: Make a plan to talk to your partner about money – financial goals, financial obligations, future hopes and dreams, and listen to the other person.

Communication is the key to all relationships, especially when it comes to money, as it can be a major source of tension. This topic deserves to be discussed multiple times (as it should be), and plans may change over time depending on how far away you are from retirement. Still, sharing ideas and hopes about how to spend and save until retirement and retirement can make a huge difference in the long run.

Remember to also be open to your partner’s thoughts and understand that you may not be on the same page initially. As with many aspects of a relationship, it is likely that some compromises will need to be made.

Not sure what to talk about, or how to start a conversation? Try these questions.

  • What do you want to do when you retire?

  • Have you envisaged changes in your plans – such as traveling for the first few years and then settling in a new town?

  • Where do I fit into your retirement goals? Do you want us to do all the same activities together? Couples may find they want to do different things in retirement, such as one volunteering and another relaxing on the beach. Just like in the days before retirement, having different interests is healthy.

  • When do you think we should retire? Will we retire at the same time?

  • Where do you want to live in retirement? (MarketWatch has a helpful tool for readers looking for where to retire, as well as a column that answers readers’ questions about where to live.)

  • How often do you think we will visit our children or grandchildren if we leave our family?

  • How much do you think we need to retire and do you think we’re on the right track?

  • If we’re not on track, is there anything we can do now to save even more?

  • How do you feel about part-time work after retirement?

  • Can we sit down and strategize about when we all apply for Social Security to maximize our benefits?

  • What kind of health care do you think we’ll need in retirement? Are we properly insured or saved for this care? If we retire before we qualify for Medicare at age 65, do we need some kind of private insurance?

  • Do we expect someone to take care of us physically or financially?

  • If we don’t have a financial advisor, do you think we should try to work with one?

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