After 23 years at Master’s, I will retire at the end of this month. As I plan for retirement, I have been reminded how important it is to communicate with my wife. Communicating with LaNita has been essential at all times in our marriage, but neglecting communication as we approach this significant life transition could produce some unintended outcomes for both of us.
You, too, may be nearing retirement. Here are some questions you might consider discussing with your spouse as one or both of you approach retirement:
- When do you think I (we) should retire?
- How should we spend our money in retirement?
- How much traveling do you want to do in retirement?
- When you think of our normal weekly schedule, how do you envision it?
- Should either of us work part-time in retirement?
- Should we relocate or modify our current residence?
- Should we consider moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?
- How involved do you want to be, and what do you want to do with family?
- What legacy (not just money) do we want to leave to our children and grandchildren?
Communication between spouses is one of the keys to a successful transition into retirement, but you could also consider bringing an objective third party, such as your financial advisor, into the retirement planning discussion. Your advisor can assist not only in the financial aspects of your retirement planning but also in helping to keep you aligned with the things that you have stated are most important to you.
Many of you have passed the stage of planning for the transition into retirement and have been enjoying the post-employment years with your spouse. For those of you who together have successfully navigated the retirement transition, what advice can you give those of us who are now approaching retirement?