Lack Of Retirement Planning Sneaks Up On Some Couples

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His retirement plan included sleeping until 7 AM everyday. Her plan included hallucinogens.  

From Money Magazine
By Walter Updegrave

(Money Magazine) -- When it comes to retirement planning, a couple should work together like an experienced doubles tennis team, each partner attuned to the other's moves and both striving toward a common goal.

That's the theory, but earlier this year a Fidelity Investments survey of 502 couples ages 43 to 70 found that husbands and wives often act as if they're playing singles games.

How far apart were they? Well, 35% were off by more than two years when asked when their spouse would retire.

Failing to plan together can leave one of you financially clueless. Anthony Ogorek, a Williamsville, N.Y. financial planner, recently met with a 72-year-old woman who had invested her IRA in high-fee annuities after her husband's death.

"She had never been involved in investing their money," says Ogorek. "She had no idea this was a bad move."

You can't expect a couple's retirement planning to be a precisely choreographed pas de deux. Certainly not with differences in ages, interests and career paths.

Tango’s Take
We mentioned a similar study in the Dish on April 19th. We’re pretty sure that the key to making good financial decisions is communication. And not just about where to invest money. Sure it’s nice to know that your wife kicks the maximum contribution into her 401K. But it’s also good to know that she plans on trading you in for a younger, foreign model rather than paying for your Cialis. And if your lifelong dream is to work as a sign-language stand-up comedian, then she will probably have to have a pretty good job (and learn to laugh silently). So, our advice is: buy low-sell high, plan for success, don’t buy into pyramid schemes, keep each other informed of important financial decisions and periodically pack your lunch to work.

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