Relationships and Finance: Planning Retirement Together

A retirement that includes sipping mai tais on a tropical beach may sound wonderful to both you and your spouse, but are you truly financially prepared? Or are you on the other end of the spectrum, where you haven't even discussed retirement plans yet? No matter your situation, have no fear: planning a retirement together can begin at any age. Let's look at how to plan a retirement together, starting at the very beginning.

When Lovebirds Meet

Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl proposes 401(k), IRA and a complete retirement plan. Not quite how it went? No worries. Many people don't begin to plan a joint retirement right at the first sign of love.

However, that being said, if you are married or otherwise seriously attached, planning retirement should ideally begin as soon as possible. This gives you both time to agree on the perfect retirement (Florida sunshine or RV'ing, anyone?) or come to a compromise (RV'ing to Florida, let's say) before you get down to the nitty gritty financial planning.

Getting Down to Business

Once you both agree on what you want to do during retirement, whether it be travel or stay close to family, it's time to figure out the cash flow needed. This is rather simple if you use a retirement calculator. Plugging in your numbers can help you determine the average amount needed for your expected retirement age.

Of course, as you calculate how much you will need in retirement, you'll need to figure out how much you would like to take as income during retirement (in today's funds: the calculator will account for inflation on its own). To figure this out, you will need to keep a few things in mind, including: debts you may still have at retirement, the amount of average bills, your travel plans and any other plans you may have to spend money on during retirement. All of these together should lead you to your ideal retirement income.

Adjusting Your Plan

When all is said and done, you'll find out the health of your retirement plan. Many times, it's possible to fall short of your retirement dreams. If this is the case, you still have time to readjust your plans. You might be able to put more cash away to realize your dreams. But if you're nearing retirement and cannot save all the money you'll need, it may be time to readjust your dreams.

Retirement is possible, and retiring together can be peaceful, both in planning and implementation. So take the time to talk about your ideal retirement, calculate your needs and adjust your plan as needed.

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