Retirement is a time for married couples to enjoy their newfound freedom and live life on their terms. It’s a time to travel, pursue favorite hobbies and passions, and enjoy connecting with each other and family.
While retirement should be a celebratory event, it can also bring unique challenges. Some of those challenges may be difficult to think about or discuss. If you don’t acknowledge these challenges, though, you could put yourself and your spouse in a risky financial position.
Perhaps one of the most difficult conversations to have as a married couple is a discussion about end-of-life issues. While you may not want to talk about it, it’s likely that one of you may live for years or even decades after the first spouse passes away.
There are many things in retirement you can’t control. You can’t control your health or even how long you’ll live. You can’t control economic conditions or market volatility. You can control your spending to a certain extent, but you can’t avoid unexpected emergencies like home repairs or long-term care needs.
One thing you may assume you can control, though, is when you get to retire. While your employer may have some input, you may feel that your retirement date is mostly your decision. For many retirees, that is true. It’s not true for all retirees, though.
Workers don’t always get to decide when they’ll leave the working world. In fact, a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that nearly half of all retirees are forced to retire earlier than they had planned.1
According to a 2013 study by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and the Consumer Federation of America, only 19 percent of Americans could be categorized as Comprehensive Planners, meaning they have a defined plan that addresses all areas of their financial lives. The remaining 81 percent may plan for certain goals, like retirement or college, or may not engage in any financial planning.1
Which group do you belong to? Any type of financial planning is better than none. Even a loose household budget or ballpark retirement savings estimate is more effective than not planning. However, you may benefit from having a comprehensive financial plan.
Every parent wants the best for their child. It’s a natural desire. That’s especially true with regard to education, as a quality education can open up a world of opportunity. Funding that education can sometimes be difficult, though.
Many families turn to student loans to cover much of the tuition for college. While student loans can be a helpful tool, they can also become a serious challenge for some graduates, especially those who are entering a soft job market.
Student loans aren’t just an issue for graduates, though. Many parents are also feeling the sting of student loan payments. According to estimates from the Government Accountability Office, as of 2015 there were 2 million holders of Direct Plus Loans from age 50 to 64. There were an additional 200,000 Direct Plus Loan holders over the age of 65. Those numbers have more than doubled since 2005.1
Carstens Financial Group focuses on providing comprehensive asset management, estate planning and life insurance solutions. Allow us to help you secure your financial future.