7 Questions Couples Should Ask Before Retirement

Picking a date to retire is a difficult enough decision for one person to make. But spouses need to come up with a retirement plan that works for both members of the couple.

Couples need to clearly understand what retirement will look like for each individual and for the two as a unit. When both members of a couple have been working, they have created individual lives in addition to lives together. Conflict can best be avoided if each spouse understands what is important to the other. It's a good idea to ask questions and pay attention to each others' answers before retirement. Just because you have known each other forever does not mean you know each others' retirement preferences before they are spoken. Here are seven questions to discuss with your spouse before retirement:

1. What would the perfect retirement life be like? Your idea of the ideal retirement may be coffee and a newspaper in the morning, golf in the afternoon, cocktails at five, and a good book to round out the day. That's not a bad way to go unless your spouse wants to be on the move, constantly traveling, and trying new things. Discuss what is most important to each of you. Make sure your expectations for retirement follow a similar path, and identify where your goals diverge. You don't necessarily need to adjust the course, but it is important to understand each others' perspective.

2. Who will be responsible for what in retirement? Before retiring, each member of the couple probably did certain household chores. After retirement, you may need to renegotiate which individual is responsible for different duties. You can avoid friction if you address responsibilities up front. For example, my wife is a whiz with the kitchen floors and I have no problem cleaning the bathrooms, so everyone wins. You also need to maintain enough flexibility to address new things to be done as they arise.

3. What common interests do you share? Many couples have a list of things they enjoy together, such as bridge, tennis, hiking, travel, concerts, yoga, and dining out. Retirement is a good time to take a look at your list to make sure you agree these things are what you want to continue sharing in retirement. Consider adding new activities you have not done in the past but would like to investigate now that you have the time.

4. What separate interests do you have? It is important to have our own individual interests in addition to those shared with a spouse. Hanging out together twenty-four hours a day is not healthy. We each need time apart to think, recharge, and pursue separate hobbies. Understanding this up front avoids one person feeling slighted when the other spouse heads out the door to do his or her own thing. We all need space and private time, and a little independence can make the heart grow founder.

5. What are your goals in retirement? Make a list of the individual goals you wish to pursue, and your shared goals as a couple.

6. Will you stay in your current home or relocate? If you have an ongoing mortgage, you might want to downsize to reduce your monthly expenses. Perhaps there is a new location you would like to move to. For example, I have always wanted to eventually move closer to the ocean.

7. Who will pay for what? If you had separate bank accounts while working, you each likely assumed responsibility for certain bills. Is that the way you want to continue things in retirement? Decide if you want to pay some or all of your bills out of a joint account. There is no need for money to be a sore spot if you address it up front.

Dave Bernard is not yet retired but has begun his due diligence to plan for a fulfilling retirement. With a focus on the non-financial aspects of retiring, he shares his discoveries and insights on his blog Retirement-Only the Beginning.

More From US News & World Report

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

Which of these products is India the world's largest producer of?

Poll Choice Options
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Milk

Latest News

  • TCS net profit rises 51.5 percent, sees stronger sales growth

    Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS.NS), India's largest IT services exporter, expects a further rise in revenue growth in the new financial year, it said on Wednesday, after reporting a better than expected 51.5 percent increase in the last three months. Over the last two years TCS has been increasing its profits at a faster pace than local rivals Infosys Ltd (INFY.NS) and Wipro Ltd (WIPR.NS), which have been distracted by management revamps and strategy changes. TCS, which posted a near 30 …

  • Order for release on interim bail unworkable: Subrata Roy to SC

    New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy Wednesday told the Supreme Court that its order sending him to judicial custody and the conditions to secure his release on interim bail was "unworkable". "The court passed an order that was unworkable" and was without scrupulously following the laid down procedures, Roy's counsel Rajiv Dhawan told the bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar. As Dhawan said Roy could not generate money as his bank accounts …

  • Complete drain de-silting work by May 15: Jung

    New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung Wednesday instructed senior state officials and municipal commissioners to finish de-silting of drains by May 15 and buckle up before the monsoon sets in. …

  • Buff & Hensman's 1959 Halverson Residence Asks $1.795M

    Click here to view the full photogallery. L.A.'s much-balconied 1959 Halverson Residence #1 has resurfaced on the market, just eight months after purportedly selling. Public records indicate that the Buff & Hensman-designed "architectural gem," or so the brokerbabble dubs... …

  • Entrepreneurs Seeking a Place to Start a Business Find a Surprising Answer: …

    An urban area filled with empty buildings and an underused labor force offers some powerful advantages but it also has its challenges. …


  • This might well be India’s biggest Ponzi scam

    It was just too good to be true. Ashok Khital, 45, displays every symptom of a man who knows he's been conned. …

  • India's star studded football league

    High and mighty including Sachin, Salman & Sun Group buy ISL teams …

  • Leaderspeak with Rajesh Janey

    Rajesh Janey, President - India & SAARC, EMC shares many firsts in his life. …

  • Seed of Doubt

    Field trials have been allowed again in India. But two decades after their global launch, genetically modified (GM) crops remain controversial. …

  • Power Hungry

    Gujarat has power round-the-clock. Most other states do not. Why this will matter in the general elections. …

  • Etcetera

    The most keenly watched contest of the current general election will be the one for the Varanasi parliamentary seat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi squares off ... …

  • Economy vs Democracy

    As the country gets election fever, cash comes out of mattresses and turns into liquor, gifts, and food. But it is not bad for the health of the economy, reports Sarika Malhotra from the trenches. …


  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    Recent Quotes
    Symbol Price Change % ChgChart 
    Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
    You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
  • Recent Quotes News

      Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

    Yahoo Cricket