Talk to Your Spouse About Your Retirement Vision

Submitted by Edward JonesPrint Story | Email Story

If you're single, your retirement goals are your own – you don't really have to consult with anybody, and you can change your plans whenever you like. However, if you're married, you and your spouse should develop a joint “vision” encompassing all the key areas of your retirement lifestyle. 

These are a few questions you may want to address first:

Where should we live? Once you retire, you may need to consider two key aspects of your living situation: the size and location of your home. Regarding size, you may look around one day and realize you have more living space than you actually need. This is especially true, of course, if you have children who have set out on their own. So, if you have a large single-family house, you may want to consider whether you should move into a condominium or even an apartment, either of which might be more cost-effective for you. 

As for location, you may decide that retirement is the perfect time to move, either to seek a more favorable climate or to be near grown children and grandchildren. In any case, moving to a different area is a major financial decision, so you and your spouse will certainly want to discuss all the aspects of relocation.  

Will either of us work? Retirement no longer means the cessation of all work. You or your spouse – or perhaps you and your spouse – may want to use your skills and experience to do some consulting or even open your own business. Adding a source of earned income will almost certainly help your financial picture during retirement, but if either you or your spouse is planning to do some work, you will want to be sure this activity doesn't disrupt other plans that may be important to you, such as traveling.

Also, any source of earned income during your retirement years may well affect important financial decisions, such as when to take Social Security and how much to withdraw each year from your retirement accounts, such as your IRA and 401(k). Again, it's essential that you and your spouse be on the same page about any type of employment during retirement.  

How will we spend our time? Aside from possibly doing some type of work during your retirement years, how else might you spend your time? Would you like to travel extensively? Or would you rather stick close to home and pursue your hobbies or volunteer? These don't have to be either-or decisions – hopefully, you'll be able to explore many pursuits during your retirement. Keep in mind, though, that there will be different costs for these various activities, so you and your spouse may need to prioritize your choices to ensure they fit in to your overall financial strategies. 

As you can see, you and your spouse will have some key decisions about the financial aspects of your retirement. However, with some careful planning, you can make the moves that can help you work toward your common retirement vision.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 1 Berkshire Square, Suite 114, Adams, MA 01220, 413-743-0552. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information, see EdwardJones.com.


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Estate Plans Can Help You Answer Questions About the Future

Submitted by Edward Jones

The word "estate" conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don't develop estate plans. After all, they're not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.

Here are a few of these questions:

* What will happen to my children?
With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don't want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a "guardian of the estate" – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit.

* Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate plan in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you have named.

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