We’re living longer and longer lives … that’s a good thing, right? Well, it should be a good thing. Every moment we’re given on this Earth is a gift – but it can be something else if we’re not prepared. As a couple, you’re never too young to discuss these topics, especially because, the truth is, most partners do not live to be the same age.
According to a publications archive at J.P Morgan, “Couples age 65 today have a 97% chance that at least one of them lives another 10 years and an 89% chance that one experiences their 80-year birthday.”
While many people get around to saving enough for retirement, few consider the emotional and lifestyle implications that retirement has on a relationship, according to Miriam Goodman, a San Francisco-based writer who has interviewed couples for seven years. Since the lack of communication between partners, regarding growing old together, is a real problem we researched four main topics that you and your partner can discuss that will help you to better prepare yourself to happily grow old together.
Discuss these questions as you (and your relationship) ages…
1. Are we prepared financially?
In a world that revolves around money, couples must have their financials in order if they want to grow old together happily. Here are just a few questions you can ask each other to be sure you’re ready.
– What will be our estimated monthly living expenses?
– Is an annual budget prepared?
– Have we settled our pension, social security affairs, and Medicare?
– Do we each have an updated Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney?
2. How will we occupy our time after retirement?
We place so much emphasis on the financial aspects of retirement that far too few of us consider the emotional implications of such a drastic life change. This isn’t to say financial planning isn’t important, it is, but what about staying busy?
– What life goals have you set for after retirement years?
– Do you want to travel? If so, where and when?
– What activities (hobbies, interests, sports, etc.) will you do to stay active?
– Do you wish to continue working to some degree?
3. What can we do together to stay healthy?
Preventative care is everything when it comes to health. You absolutely do not want to retire and then fall ill. What can you both do to take care of the temple of your soul right now?
-When is the last time you both received a thorough physical exam?
– Have you both undergone the necessary age-related health checks recommended by your doctor?
– Is there a contingency plan in the event one of you becomes ill for a period?
– What steps, if any, have you taken to improve your health?
4. What will be our living arrangements?
It is likely that the living arrangements you have now, may not be the same ones you have later on. You may want to downsize into a smaller house, retirement community or even assisted living. Whatever you decide to do, it’s better that you and your sweetie talk about it now so that you are both on the same page when the time comes.
– What will be the 24/7 living situation together upon retirement?
-What if someone gets ill?
-After retirement, which one will handle the day-to-day tasks?
-Besides each other, who else will be the POA?
In closing, if you and your partner are serious about growing old together, it’s important to talk about these retirement questions. You both work hard and will in time, earned the rewards of retirement. With a bit of planning, negotiating, and the occasional hiccup, you’ll both enjoy a happy and peaceful end years, together. 🙂