Marriage affects all parts of our life. Actually, it’s one of the most important decisions we ever make. And obviously, the financial state also changes after the ceremony. If you plan your life and practice money management, it’s wise to consider the spouse in the calculations.
Temporary problems and questions like: “who can help me fix my credit?” you can sometimes solve problems on your own. But when it comes to retirement, it’s time to stop playing independently. Discuss your plans with your spouse and develop a strategy that suits you both. In this article, we’ll describe the most significant factors to keep in mind.
You are not going to be younger than today, so it’s wise to include some expenses related to age in your future calculations. For example, your medical treatment. Statistically speaking, senior citizens have more reasons to go to the doctor. And buying insurance on your own can be expensive. Think about these expenditures in advance and make sure that you save enough money for decent healthcare.
Another factor is a nurse or a companion. Depending on your health, you might think about hiring someone to help you with house duties or to take care of some medical procedures. Remember that you both may need such help and estimate the sum.
Married status can affect your taxes also. Thankfully, there are tax calculators for this situation as well. Sometimes unmarried couples can’t have the same benefits and tax deductions as married ones. For example, if you sell your home, you can get up to $500,000 if you are married and only half of this sum if you are technically single. It means that you should consider your married status in the calculation.
In your calculation, consider the time you both plan to retire. If there is a time gap, and one of you will still have a source of income, you can save your retirement funds for later. You can even save something for the future even after retirement.
In case one of you never worked or couldn’t save enough money, check social benefits. You can get some support from the government. One more aspect of receiving benefits is sad, but we have to discuss it. Chances are, one of you will pass away sooner than the other. In that case, the spouse is eligible for the survivor benefit.
Statistics say that women live five years longer than men. Moreover, usually, husbands are older than their wives. You have to consider this fact in your calculations. Your savings should be enough to live at least seven years after the spouse’s death. If you are not considering your age and other factors, you can face financial struggles right after your partner’s funeral.
How to Develop a Strategy?
Now when you know all the key factors in retirement planning, you can use a free calculator and determine the amount of money you need. But what to do to save this money? You’ll have to develop a strategy together with your partner.
You have to discuss all the details with your spouse. Talk about the lifestyle they prefer to lead in the future, about their expectations and plans. Make sure you’ll find a compromise on each point. We recommend discussing the following questions:
- where you are going to live;
- how long do you plan to work;
- how you will manage your money;
- what you can do to save the funds.
When you are on the same page in each question, you are able to think about the strategy.
Choose a Strategy
You definitely know about 401(k) contributions, and one of the strategies is to add to this amount as much as your employee will compensate. Actually, some experts advise putting more into this account.
Another strategy has a saver’s credit. It will allow you to deduct your taxes significantly. It’s a great strategy for couples with moderate income, and it allows for saving on taxes. You can use one strategy or several. Combine them with social security programs, etc. In any case, choose the most suitable saving plans.
Ask for Help
If both you and your spouse are not good at financial management, it’s better to hire a consultant. The specialist will help you to determine the amount of savings you need, develop a strategy, and even invest the money. The spending on this service will pay off in your safe and secure financial future.
Use the help of free tools and instruments, for example, retirement calculators or budgeting apps. Some of them are free, but even the paid options are not as expensive. At the same time, they help you see a clear picture of your financial capabilities and develop a good strategy.
Consider the Inflation
Unfortunately, inflation affects all savings, including the retirement fund. We can’t control or predict its rates, but some investment programs can compensate for these losses over the years. It’s wise to use low-risk investments for retirement funds and use only a part of your money.
This way, you’ll ensure your safety and most likely earn some money to compensate for the inflation. If you don’t have investment experience, it’s better to hire a reliable consultant or advisor. With professional help, you’ll be able to make a wise choice and earn some money.
Retirement can become a dream time if you plan well and make all necessary savings. And as a married couple, you should work together on your happy future. The specific actions depend on your vision of retirement. Some couples prefer to have all the fun now and live a quiet life later. Others want to travel and get new experiences after retirement.
The final goal should be desirable for both of you. That’s why good communication is a must. The same is true for the saving strategy you choose. There is no such thing as a one size fits all solution. It doesn’t matter what plan you have; if it suits you both, you’ll save enough money and will have the life of your dreams.