Retirement Decisions Can Be Tricky For Couples

Choosing where to spend your retirement years is inarguably a major decision. Figuring out where your retirement dollars can be stretched the farthest, what climate is the most desirable and whether or not you want to be near family are just three of the most significant considerations you have to make.

But what happens when you and your spouse don’t agree on the best place to spend your Golden Years? Dissension between couples when it comes to where to retire is a real issue.

In a 2009 study, Fidelity Investments found widespread disagreement and a lack of communication between spouses approaching retirement. Nearly 60 percent of the couples in the study couldn’t even agree on when to retire, let alone where. In fact, there are even a growing number of retirees who are opting for the LAT (Living Apart Together) approach; living in different places to pursue their own interests, while remaining married.

Changing outlook

For decades, only one in 10 Americans has pulled up stakes later in life, choosing instead to stay near family, friends and the comfort of the familiar. A 2012 survey by the Washington-based advocacy group, AARP shows that attitude may be shifting. The survey found that two out of 10 baby boomers said they would consider moving during retirement. Another study, by Del Webb, the builder of communities for older adults, showed that 42% of people age 50, plan to move in retirement.

Of that 42%, their top considerations when deciding where to move break-down as follows:

      • Cost of living — 81%
      • Access to preferred health-care programs — 66%
      • Cultural/recreational amenities — 61%
      • More favorable climate — 60%
      • Community/networking opportunities — 54%
      • Being close to children — 46%
      • Being close to grandchildren — 38%
      • Being close to parents/in-laws — 30%

Start the conversation early

One of the best ways to make the decision on where to retire less taxing on your relationship is to begin discussing it years before retirement. This approach allows couples to find out what their spouse is looking for in a retirement location and gives them time to work out any areas of disagreement that may come up.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

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