Looking at big-picture descriptions of what retirement looks like for couples, it could be easy to interpret the period as something like the big vacation you’ve been waiting for, the beginning of real quality time with you and your spouse, without all the hassles and distractions of life getting in the way of your being together. This idyllic picture certainly holds true for the best retirements, but taken by itself, it’s an incomplete picture, and one that can end up doing damage if overemphasized. It can be easy for couples to be lured into a false sense of security by thinking of their and their partner’s retirements in this two-dimensional way.

This limited perspective may prove to be harmful in the end, in that it emphasizes financial security over emotional security: just make it to retirement and you can enjoy. Second, it emphasizes shared goals over individual goals: let’s keep vacationing together, even though we’ve been accustomed to working separately during the day for most of our lives. Your plan may require a more holistic approach. If you’re looking for or working with a retirement planner in the Newport Beach area, listen up.

The Day-to-Day

A potentially obscure truth about your working life is that it does fit into your marriage, and most couples’ relationships are greatly influenced by their work schedules, for better or worse. After work ends, then, it’s healthy to understand that in your marriage, there may be some reshuffling to do. This means the way you view your partner may change as you find out what he or she is like to a greater degree as you retire together.

With this comes the need to appreciate goals, both shared goals as well as the goals of each individual. It becomes crucial to discuss these goals, and make room for them financially.

Who Controls What?

The person who holds the purse strings has additional work, but also added responsibility, not just in managing your assets, but also in ensuring that the direction the finances are going reflects the desires of both partners. For many reasons, budgeting is best when done jointly—or at the very least when the plan is agreed upon and communicated clearly.  In this way couples can work through common disagreements, such as how often and how extravagantly to vacation.

Make a list of responsibilities that are to be taken care of, such as managing the bills, tracking expenses, making investment decisions, and so on. Doing your best effort to share these responsibilities can strengthen your relationship as you weather the transition of retirement together.

One of the most necessary perspective changes for you and your spouse may be this shift toward thinking inclusively about each other—making your diligent financial planning support who you and your partner are. If you are in the Newport Beach area and looking for a financial planner who is able to help you get there, reach out to Miramontes Capital.