Couples Often Disagree about Retirement Planning and Decisions

retired-couple-300x199Couples, even after years of being together, still have conflicting views about certain issues, including retirement. Identifying the common disconnects among couples about retirement can help them create common goals to work toward.

According to a study done by Fidelity Investments, 36 percent of couples disagree on where they will live during retirement. More so, 32 percent have opposing standpoints on whether or not they will work during retirement, and only 43 percent reported that they make investment decisions for retirement as a couple.

Women are stepping up, but their Engagement is still considered Low

As compared to previous years, women are becoming more proactive when it comes to making financial decisions about retirement. However, their participation is still considered low, according to the study.

The percentage of women taking a key role in making long-term retirement decisions doubled from 19 percent from 2011, which is a remarkable change. More so, 24 percent of women respondents report that they are taking primary responsibility for daily financial decisions, which shows a 9 percent increase from 2011.

However, only 2 in 10 women said that they have little to no participation in making daily decisions, even if 45 percent of these decisions are made jointly. Also, women are found to be more confident that their spouses will assume financial responsibility.

Overall, women still show a low level of financial confidence, involvement in decision making, and engagement in investing.

Top Advice that Married Couples Give to Newlyweds

Fidelity Investments asked the study’s participants to give their advice to the next generation of newlyweds on retirement and financial decisions and management. Of all the advice, these three tips stood out:

  • As a couple, it is important that you make financial decisions together. (51%)
  • Create a budget and stick to it. (42%)
  • Maintain an emergency fund that amounts to at least six months of your expenses. (41%)

Other Tips

As you prepare for retirement as a couple, here are other tips that can help you.

  • Work as a team. Avoid blaming each other. Instead of focusing on each other’s financial flaws and spending mistakes, work together in correcting them and making your own share of sacrifices in order to attain your retirement goals.
  • Constant communication is the key. All the while you may think that you and your partner have the same outlook for retirement only to find out that you have opposing views and expectations. Once you discuss your options, you will be able to figure these things out, find ways to work on your retirement differences, and eventually, reach a middle ground. That way, you have a clearer focus and more specific goals that you can work on achieving together.
  • Have a retirement checklist. Prior to making the decision of when you will retire, make sure that you have important areas covered such as the retirement income that will sustain your lifestyle during these years and contingencies such as long-term care and health conditions.



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