My husband and I have shared the same financial goals throughout our marriage. We wanted to buy a home together as a real estate investment and pay off our debt by a target date. When it comes to retiring, we are on completely different paths. My husband plans to work until he is in his 80s, while I plan to retire as soon as I have $1 million in investments or age 67. According to a recent article by The New York Times, not all couples enter retirement at the same time. My husband and I are both members of Generation X. Most of the people retiring around us are older baby boomers. By observing their financial mistakes and high divorce rates in old age, we can prevent some of the same kinds of disagreements.
Selling or keeping our home
One of the decisions we will have to make when we retire is whether or not to sell our home. Since we live in Florida, we have decided to save money by retiring in place. If we pay off our home early, we can more easily live on one income. We do our best now to live on my husband’s income and save my income for retirement, but it’s challenging.
Investing aggressively or not
My husband tends to invest conservatively since he expects to have income from his job when he is older. Since I don’t plan to work, I am more concerned about growing a sizable retirement nest egg. We talked about how to handle our retirement investments. Our decision was to keep our investments separate. My husband picked target-date funds for his 401(k), while I trade stocks and options in my Roth IRA.
Traveling and eating out
A lot of people scrimp and save when they are younger so they can travel and eat out when they are older. My husband would rather travel now. He wants to live in the moment and enjoy life. I am not opposed to enjoying life now as long as we also save for the future. Since I don’t have any expensive retirement dreams such as traveling to Rome and staying in Villa La Cupola overlooking the Via Veneto, it balances out. We can afford to indulge in eating out and traveling since my husband doesn’t max out his retirement account.
If I can’t build up my retirement account to $1 million by the time I am 67, I’ll retire on less money. My husband says he will continue to work into his 90s if he is able to do so. Although we have different ideas about retirement, we share a common distrust of the Social Security system. We don’t include Social Security benefits into our equation when planning for retirement. Social Security may still be around when I retire in 2040, but it surely won’t be around if my husband delays retiring until 2050 or 2060.
More from this contributor:
Overcoming Retirement Savings Burnout
I Pay Myself Last
I Refuse to Fund my Husband’s Retirement