To gauge how well couples nearing retirement are communicating about their future, Fidelity Investments® recently completed the 2011 Couples Retirement Study. The study tests communication, knowledge and agreement about finances and retirement planning issues between husbands and wives both approaching and living in retirement.
The study showed that even in today’s uncertain economy, couples are still not communicating and planning together as effectively as they could be — and in many cases do not share the same vision for retirement and how they will achieve their goals.
The results also showed that wives, in particular, are significantly less involved in the critical areas of planning, awareness and confidence when it comes to finances.
“There is a lack of harmony among many couples when it comes to retirement planning. Many can’t decide at what age they’ll retire, where they’ll retire and whether they have a complete financial plan, according to a survey by Fidelity Investments.
The survey found among couples who responded:
♦ Only 17 percent are completely confident that, if necessary, either spouse is prepared to assume responsibility of their retirement finances
♦ Sixty-two percent of couples approaching retirement don’t agree on their expected retirement ages
♦ Thirty-three percent of couples either don’t agree or don’t know where they plan to retire
♦ Seventy-three percent disagree on whether or not they have completed a detailed retirement income plan
The survey also revealed differences between the sexes. Only 35 percent of wives said they are completely confident in their ability to assume full responsibility of their household retirement finances if needed, compared to 72 percent of husbands.” Many couples disagree on retirement.”
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Business Reporter/[email protected] June 29, 2011 6:42PM
It’s critical that couples have discussions about — and make sure they are in agreement on — a wide variety of topics, such as when to retire, whether they’ll need to work part-time in retirement, what their investment and income-generation strategies are and how they can help to ensure their savings will last. By not having these discussions in a consistent and formal way, couples may be putting their retirement at risk.
What can happen if couples aren’t talking about the future and planning together?
What can couples do to get on the same page, and better prepare?
What can wives, in particular, do to get more involved?
How to begin the conversation?
In this video interview, Fidelity’s Kathleen Murphy offers guidance on how couples can get started with these discussions, and share a checklist they should follow to become better prepared – together – for retirement.
About Kathleen Murphy: Kathleen Murphy is president of Fidelity’s Personal Investing division, serving millions of individuals investing directly with Fidelity through IRAs, college savings plans and brokerage accounts. She is a 25-year veteran of the financial services and benefits industry and has been named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business by Fortune magazine for the past four years.
For more information: Call 1-800-FIDELITY or visit http://wwwfidelity.com/couplesviewpoint
How Women Can Get Better Prepared for Retirement:
Remember the Three B’s: Be Informed, Be Involved, and Be Prepared.
- Be Informed: Understand your financial situation and savings and investment goals, so you can have a voice in setting and achieving financial goals.
- Be Involved: Be an active participant in all financial planning and investment decisions – whether that means working with a financial planner or with a spouse, family member or close friend.
- Be Prepared: Be prepared for potential threats that could jeopardize your financial security – such as longevity, inflation and unexpected healthcare costs.