If you’re part of a couple, getting on the same page about retirement can help you envision your next big adventure together and effectively plan for the future. Here are some tips for having an effective conversation about retirement:
- Set aside time for the discussion: When you’re ready to have the conversation, make sure both of you have time set aside with no distractions or interruptions. Put your phones away and switch them to silent mode. This will help ensure you have space to voice all your thoughts without distractions.
- Agree on ground rules: Before you even start the conversation, agree on how you want to conduct yourselves. For example, decide whether one person will take notes so you have a record of what you discussed. You might decide the conversation will have a particular structure or that someone will be able to talk uninterrupted for a certain amount of time.
- Listen to each other respectfully: While it’s important to understand each other’s ideas and opinions, it’s just as important to have a respectful dialogue. Before you start, you should both agree to listen to what the other person has to say without interruption or judgment.
- Discuss your ideal scenarios: What does your ideal retirement look like? Let your significant other know what your priorities and main goals are. Where do you want to live? How do you want to spend your days? Do you want to travel?
- Ask each other thoughtful questions: As you discuss your goals, ask each other questions that help flesh out what they would look like in practice and what resources you’d need to achieve them. This can help you figure out details and understand each other’s goals better.
- Discuss what’s possible: After discussing your ideal scenarios, talk about what’s realistic and achievable given your current financial situation. This will help keep the conversation grounded and provide a sense of direction.
- Discuss finances: Finances are key to retirement, so they will have to enter the discussion at some point. Talk about your financial goals, such as how much you want to save and how you plan on investing those savings. Figure out all your sources of income, such as pensions, 401(k)s, and rental income. Cover any additional sources of funding, such as the cash value of whole life insurance or other permanent life insurance policies. This can be particularly helpful during market downturns. It can also help you manage taxes.
- Figure out what compromise looks like: If you have different thoughts and preferences about how you’d like to approach retirement, focus on finding common ground or areas where you can compromise. Talk through disagreements and decide what you’ll table for later.
- Visualize what retirement will be like: Imagine what retirement will look like for both of you. Walk through your daily routines. This can help keep the conversation positive and focused on solutions rather than potential problems.
- Focus on the positives: As you plan for your future together, take time to focus on all the positive aspects of retirement. Thinking about what you have to look forward to can provide motivation and energy to work together to make that dream come true.
Having an effective conversation about retirement may seem intimidating, but with some preparation, it doesn’t have to be. By doing things like agreeing on ground rules, listening respectfully, asking each other thoughtful questions, and working toward compromise, you can develop a plan that works for both of you.
The primary purpose of permanent life insurance is to provide a death benefit. Using permanent life insurance accumulated value to supplement retirement income will reduce the death benefit and may affect other aspects of the policy.
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