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4 Financial Tips to Help Your Marriage Thrive in Retirement

Retired couple's marriage thrives in retirement

Plan for a Successful Retirement With Your Spouse

Retirement is an exciting phase of life, but it can also add stress to a marriage. Regardless of how well you and your spouse get along, being home together full-time can be a challenge. From a financial perspective, it can be stressful to transition from saving to spending, and you may not agree with all of your spouse’s financial decisions.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help your marriage thrive in retirement.

#1 – Discuss your vision for retirement.

One of the keys to maintaining a harmonious retirement is developing a shared vision for what your retirement years will look like. Consider the following.

  • Where will you live?
  • How will you spend your days?
  • Do you hope to travel? If so, to where?
  • Are there any new hobbies you’d like to take up together?
  • Is there anyone you wish to financially help, such as children, grandchildren or charitable causes?
  • Are there any major purchases you hope to make, such as a second home, boat, car, etc.?

Talk about how you hope to spend your retirement — and listen to your spouse’s wishes. Together, come up with a vision for your ideal retirement. Use this shared vision to guide all other retirement-related decisions.

#2 – Set a retirement timeline.

It’s important for spouses to be on the same page regarding when they plan to retire. That doesn’t mean you need to retire at the same time as your spouse, but you should both feel comfortable with an agreed-upon retirement timeline.

Talk with your spouse about when you hope to retire and what steps you need to take to prepare. You may want to consider phasing out of the workforce gradually or taking on a part-time job in retirement.

It’s also important to consider the timing of benefits when deciding when to retire. For example, Medicare is only available for individuals age 65 and older. If you plan to retire before age 65, you’ll need a plan in place to pay for medical expenses until Medicare coverage kicks in. 

Whatever your wishes are, be sure to communicate them to your spouse. Then work together to establish a retirement timeline you’re both comfortable with.

#3 – Set a budget.

While this step isn’t always the most fun, it’s essential to ensuring financial harmony in retirement. A budget is a powerful tool that can help you take charge of your finances and feel more confident in your ability to retire. Sticking to a budget can also help avoid the potential conflicts that can arise when one spouse believes the other spouse is overspending.

To get started, take an objective look at your savings, retirement income sources, investments and debt. Consider your current spending and how that may change in retirement. Be honest about where you stand today and how that may impact your ability to live your desired lifestyle in retirement. Begin by following these steps:

  • Track your spending for 30 to 90 days to gain an understanding of where your money currently goes. Consider how retirement may impact your spending. Will you spend less on transportation because you’ll no longer need to commute to work? Do you anticipate spending more on travel or hobbies once you have more free time? How else might your spending change in retirement?

A common rule of thumb states that retirees should plan to spend approximately 80% of their pre-retirement income each month. However, that amount can vary greatly based on your retirement goals and spending habits. To be safe, you may decide that it’s important to cover 100% of your current expenses (or more!) in retirement.

  • Make a list of all debts, including outstanding loan balances and interest rates.
  • Make a list of all potential sources of retirement income, such as savings accounts, investment accounts, Social Security, pension income, part-time income, etc.
  • Consider your progress toward achieving your long-term goals and whether you need to make any changes in your spending to improve your chance of achieving those goals.

#4 – Enjoy!

Retirement represents the culmination of many years of hard work, sacrifices and planning. You’ve reached a stage in life when you’re free to pursue your interests, hobbies and personal goals. Your time is finally your own!

Take time to reconnect with your spouse and pursue your retirement dreams. Whether it’s trying out a new hobby together, traveling somewhere you’ve never been or spending more time with your loved ones, enjoy your time in retirement!

Could you use some help planning for your retirement? Creative Planning is here for you. Our wealth managers are available to support you with all aspects of your retirement and investment planning with custom strategies specifically designed to help achieve your retirement lifestyle goals. To learn more, schedule a call with a member of our team.

This commentary is provided for general information purposes only, should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.


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