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You might be surprised to learn that the
average age of a widow in the U.S. is 55.
And since women live longer than men,
husbands need to consider their wives’
distinct financial needs when planning
for retirement.
“Husbands are typically the family
financial planners,” says WXYZ Channel 7
Action News “
Money Coach”
and Budget
Wise Consulting president Robin Thompson, M.A. “But
women have different financial needs. Since they historically
earn less than men, they have less savings, Social Security
benefits and pension funds for retirement. Husbands should
take those factors into account.”
Robin says couples should create their retirement plans
together. Start by talking about your retirement hopes and
dreams. Then focus on how much money you’ll need to save.
“What do you want to do when you retire? Travel or enjoy
recreational activities? Where do you want to live? Will it be
near the grandchildren or in a more exotic location? Are you
planning to downsize? Answering these questions will help
you define when you can retire and how much it will cost,”
she says.
Partners in Health – Partners in Wealth
LiveWell: Advice
7
More items to consider:
Retirement Budget
– Clearly define what you and
your spouse want to achieve in retirement and how
long you can live before running out of money. Find
out how much income your spouse would have if
you passed away.
Company Pension
– If you choose to take it as
lifetime monthly income, your spouse is best
protected with a “joint and survivor” pension that’s
guaranteed for life.
Social Security
– The longer a worker waits to claim
Social Security benefits, the higher the payout will
be, including the widow/widower’s benefit.
Beneficiaries
– Review the beneficiaries listed on
your insurance policies and 401(k) plans.
Important Papers
– Assemble your will, health care
proxy, power of attorney and investment documents
in one place, and review them with your spouse.
“The most important thing couples should do is create a
plan,” Robin says. “The sooner you get a handle on your
finances, the better off you’ll be.”
Robin
Thompson, M.A.
Need Some Financial Advice?
If retirement planning sounds complicated,
a certified financial planner can help.
“A financial planner can offer an objective
opinion and suggest different strategies you
may not have considered,” Robin says.
To find a certified financial planner near you,
visit the Financial Planning Association
website at
www.fpanet.org
. You’ll also find
useful tools, resources and tips to help you
achieve financial independence in
retirement.