Financial Couples Counseling: Retirement Savings Edition

Feb 23, 2022 2 min read

Long-term financial goals such as saving for retirement require planning and communication. But many couples don’t agree on the retirement income needed for a couple and the best ways to save. If you and your partner need coaching when it comes to money matters, consider these four saving tips for couples.

1. Talk Openly and Honestly

Relationships are hard. Discussing money in relationships can be even harder. Early on in your relationship, it’s crucial to talk about income, debt, financial literacy and even how you feel about money — your upbringing will likely have a lot to do with this. You might not be on the same page, and that’s OK. Come to these financial conversations with a supportive attitude and it’s bound to improve your relationship, with each other and with money, in the long run.

Reinforcing this open communication early will help you solidify an equal partnership. Things get tricky, especially when planning for retirement, when one spouse feels responsible for financial decisions or when someone doesn’t feel empowered to have a say.

2. Find Some Common Ground and Goals

What’s important to you? When do you hope to retire? Where do you imagine spending your golden years?

You’ve likely imagined some hypothetical plans together — how close are they to reality? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of retiring on the ranch, but your spouse hopes to spend some years in the Arizona sunshine. That’ll require some serious compromise! Establishing your common values and retirement goals early on gives you a shared vision to plan for. It also helps you avoid common retirement planning mistakes.

How much does a couple need to retire? Use this vision to determine how much you should to save for retirement.

3. Be Prepared to Be Flexible

Even the best planners run into some roadblocks and need to course correct. As you map out your couple's retirement strategy, consider major life events that will require your financial flexibility:

  • Starting or adding to your family
  • Changes in employment, whether voluntary or involuntary
  • Significant health events
  • Unexpected expenses and debt
  • Large raises, inheritances or severance packages
  • New goals, such as purchasing a second home or paying for college

So how exactly can you prepare for the unexpected? You’ve already estimated how much you’ll need to save for retirement. Now, it’s really about building retirement saving into your bigger financial picture. Determine your budget and revisit it often. As a married couple, your retirement savings plan should be non-negotiable. This is how you can ensure you stay on track when times are tough; remember, you’ve prioritized this goal together. Again, communicating about what matters most now (what can you cut back on?) and in the future (what standard of living is realistic?) is key.

4. Lean on Professional Help

As you work through these steps, it’s possible you’ll have more questions than answers. How exactly do you build enough wealth to enjoy your later years without worries?

If you’re unsure of the right path to your dream retirement — whether it’s in 10 years or 30 — a financial advisor can help. They’ll help you protect your earnings, grow your assets and strategically plan for the future. A Farm Bureau wealth management advisor can be your partner to create a financial plan that supports your retirement goals. Find one today.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.