Are Your Married Clients in Agreement on When They Want to Retire?An interesting article published recently in the Wall Street Journal discusses married couples who disagree about when each should retire from full-time work. The article (http://tinyurl.com/878brvu) showcased several couples who were at different stages of the discussion. Chances are high that many of your clients might fall into this scenario. And chances are even higher that some may never have had a serious discussion with their spouses about when to retire, and whether they will retire together or not. They Just Don’t Agree In some of the couples highlighted by the article, the husband wanted to retire but the wife wasn’t ready to join him. In others, it was the wife who was ready to retire but the husband wanted to keep working. In still others, a wife who retired years earlier and had established a routine of being on her own, or had been a stay-at-home mom with full reign over the home, is strongly opposed to her husband sitting around the house, interfering with her “alone time.” Those who wanted to keep working full-time had financial concerns about affording retirement. They also worried about losing a sense of purpose in life if they didn’t work, or that reduced activity would lead to wasting away in their old age. Retirement Requires Discussion To afford retirement, some clients might need to consider selling their family home – especially if it has become larger than they need without children to care for. As an advisor, what can you do when one spouse is ready to live out of an RV and road trip it, but the other spouse feels sheer panic at the idea of uprooting from a familiar lifestyle? Get them to do one thing: talk. If you have married clients who keep putting off the retirement discussion, now is the time to bring it up. You’ll be doing them a favor. In my experience, just opening up the discussion is enlightening for both spouses. Coming to an Understanding If you can get them to really listen to each other, they often learn something about the person they married that they didn’t fully realize: “He loves teaching and would feel lost without it.” “She enjoys her independence and would feel claustrophobic if we did EVERYTHING together.” “He is afraid to retire because he’s worried we won’t be able to afford medical care.” As advisors, it’s our job to put these questions to our clients to help them look at all their retirement options and choose the best ones that will benefit their families. To get more information regarding this or any related topic, please visit our website www.TEPLG.com or call us at 630-871-8778.