Creating Common Retirement Goals
Creating Common Retirement Goals — Where are You and Your Spouse Headed?
Setting long-term financial goals is one of the most important conversations you'll have as a newly married couple.
Where are you and your new spouse headed on the road to retirement? Do you share the same vision for the future, or have you even discussed it? Are you both eligible for employer-sponsored plans? Are you contributing and how much? Could you help each other save even more? Is one of you more interested in or proficient on the topic? As far off as retirement may seem to newly-married couples (especially those in their 20s and 30s), it’s important to start the conversation — and the planning — earlier rather than later.
Growing your next egg
Perhaps you’re both already participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, which is a great place to start. Be sure you’re taking full advantage of any employer match that’s offered, and if possible, make the maximum contributions allowed each year. Not only will your nest egg grow faster, but you’ll save on income taxes. If you don’t have the benefit of an employer-sponsored retirement plan, set up an individual retirement account (IRA) and make regular contributions. If one spouse doesn’t work, consider spousal contributions. Also, keep in mind that once you’re married it’s important to update all of your accounts with new beneficiary designations – an important housekeeping item that newlyweds sometimes overlook.
Discuss other investments that you own, and determine who will take responsibility for managing them. Will it be a joint effort or will one of you take the lead? Talk about your investing knowledge, philosophies, and how you each feel about risk. Getting on the same page now may help you avoid disagreements later. You may also want to meet with a financial advisor who can explain different investment options and help you work through how much money you should be saving now to meet your future retirement income needs.
Remember, when it comes to saving for retirement, time can be your best friend if you start early — or your worst enemy if you wait too long. No matter your financial situation, make it a priority. You’ll be glad you did.