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Seventy-two percent of couples believe they communicate well about finances. However, only 43% report making investment decisions for retirement jointly, and 45% make day-to-day financial decisions jointly.  Forty-seven percent of couples disagree on the amount they need to save for retirement to maintain their current lifestyle.  With this lack of coordination between partners, you may be headed down two very different paths toward achieving financial freedom.

CF Financial understands the importance of helping couples create a unified vision of the future. To provide guidance, we have highlighted important financial and retirement planning questions we use to determine if you are both on the same page regarding your future together.

Understanding you and your partner’s investment risk tolerance is crucial to having productive conversations about finances.  You may share the same vision of the future but how to get there should also be explored with the following questions summarized below.

Investment risk

  • Do I have the same risk tolerance as my spouse?
  • Has my or my spouse’s risk tolerance changed over time?

A financial plan for funding your retirement needs to consider the goals and contributions of each spouse.  Take time to document the various accounts, investments, or pensions that will be sources of income in retirement and explore the questions below to see where gaps may exist in your financial plan.

Retirement plans

  • What savings plans do my spouse and I have?
  • Are these saving plans defined contribution or defined benefit plans?
  • When we compare them, do they work together well?
  • Are we diversified overall? Do we have a consistent investment philosophy?
  • Have we discussed our sources of income in retirement?
  • Have we planned enough flexibility in our retirement plans in case our needs change?
  • What distribution options do my spouse and I have for our retirement plan(s)? Which option is best for us?

Deciding who should receive the proceeds of your estate is an important element of a coordinated financial plan.  Review the following questions to ensure the right people are beneficiaries of your accounts.

Estate planning

  • When was the last time I updated my beneficiary or beneficiaries?
  • Has anything in my life changed that would affect who I designate?
  • Is my spouse the beneficiary on my retirement plan or other investments? Am I my spouse’s beneficiary?
  • In a qualified plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), a spouse is typically required to be the primary beneficiary. If I don’t want that, has my spouse signed a consent form?
  • If I choose a single life payout and my spouse consents (if required), how will my spouse be financially supported if I die first?

Couples who have a coordinated financial plan in place are twice as likely to expect to live a “very comfortable” retirement. Contact CF Financial to plan for a comfortable and confident retirement together.

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