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Financial Education

Negotiating Retirement

Negotiating Your Retirement Goals

How to navigate the retirement waters with your spouse

The 5 w's and one h

To clarify your thoughts about retirement and ensure that you and your partner are on the same page, try using the classic information-gathering formula — who, what, when, where, why and how.

Who will retire?

Do either of you even want to retire? An AARP survey of baby boomers found that 87 percent of people ages 54 to 64 believe their generation will continue to work past traditional retirement age.** Gender, job satisfaction, age, financial stability and health may affect whether you're ready to quit working.

What does retirement mean to you?

Does it involve travel, family, old hobbies, new skills or even a new career? Defining goals for retirement will illuminate for you and your partner what you are working toward and where you may need to compromise to resolve any conflicting aspirations.

When will you retire?

The wider the age gap between partners the less likely a couple is to retire together since the younger partner may not yet be eligible for Medicare or retirement benefits. Social Security benefits may also affect your timing, since the longer you delay collecting Social Security up to age 70, the higher your monthly benefit will be.

Where will you live?

Your address will affect your lifestyle and financial picture. Consider your geographic location and whether you'll downsize, maintain a second home or stay put.

Why are you ready (or not) to retire?

Leaving behind the daily grind can be an opportunity for growth and relaxation, but it can also cause concerns about having too much together-time with your partner or a loss of purpose, structure and even cognitive ability.

How will you retire?

Evaluate your spending, differentiating between essential and discretionary expenses. And calculate your expected retirement income from personal savings, Social Security and retirement plans.

An investment professional at Rockland Trust can help you and your partner keep your retirement discussion going, determine realistic goals and map your course along the road to happily-ever-after.

* Source: Fidelity Investments, "Couples Retirement Survey," .

** AARP, "Poll Spotlights Perception of Boomers," Jan. 1, 2011, .

Negotiating Retirement