Financial Planning Steps with Your Partner

Financial Planning Steps with Your Partner

In the past, we’ve discussed ways to create a meaningful retirement. After many years of hard work, people want to enjoy their retirement years. It’s important for this period to be enrichening, but taking steps to ensure a secure future is also paramount.

Many baby boomers are couples. Oftentimes household duties and responsibilities are divvied up among partners. One handles the finances, and the other may hold responsibility for other areas of planning. Daily chores such as cooking or cleaning the kitchen are likely to be split duties.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, women live an average four years longer than men do. If one partner deals with household finances and passes away one day, it can lead the other with quite the conundrum. To avoid this situation, people should take action now. Here are a few steps to further enjoy a more secure retirement – and to ensure the future is addressed for your partner.

What Steps Should We Take?

Familiarize yourselves with your financial details – If a partner is a left a widower or widow, not being knowledgeable of their finances can be disastrous. Take time to communicate with your spouse and go over all details of your financial picture, including end of life. If discussing your finances is a challenge, start off by going over each other’s “bucket list” of personal goals.

It’s also a good idea to discuss other factors, including what paperwork is involved and, to practice household chores usually outside of your responsibility (for example, household maintenance as a “do-it-yourselfer”). Helping your partner become familiar with these circumstances will pave the way for a smoother future.

Simplify retirement accounts – Many retirees possess multiple IRAs. When you turn 70.5 years old, you have to begin taking required minimum distributions to avoid penalty by the IRS. If you are a holder of many accounts, the paperwork can be extensive and confusing.

If you have the accounts combined before minimum distributions are required, dealing with distributions will be easier. Only one set of paperwork will be involved. Your investments will be the same as before, just organized into one IRA. But, moving your money into one account must sense in the context of your complete financial picture. Factors to consider include fees, details of agreements with financial services providers you hold retirement accounts with, investment options, and other variables that could impact your future. Consider applying this same principle to other retirement accounts, as well.

Cover beneficiaries and leave a legacy together – Many retirees desire to leave a legacy for their loved ones. To facilitate a smooth transfer of estate, it’s important to take the right steps. The first step is ensuring any inheritance isn’t negative. Another important factor is making sure all of your beneficiaries are up-to-date – in print as well as electronic records. If the records aren’t updated, allocating an estate can drag on for months.

Vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and cash aren’t the only means you can leave to descendants. Life insurance policies and annuities are some other vehicles which offer safe asset transfer. They also stay tax-free at point of transfer. Take some time to compare different options – working with a qualified, knowledgeable financial professional can help bring clarity to your choices.

Clean up old records – We already discussed the importance of making sure your beneficiaries are updated. It’s important to ensure your financial papers and other records are current, as well. Take some time to go through your records, and organize everything. Addressing this now will save your spouse and children the headache of sifting through old documents later on.

Need Help with Your Finances?

If you're ready for personal help, can assist you. A financial professional can help you identify options to generate lifelong income for you, and your partner, using contractual guarantees from fixed insurance contracts. Or you can uncover ways to make an efficient wealth transfer to loved ones, while minimizing tax liability on your estate.

When you're ready for personal attention, can help you. Use our Find a Licensed Advisor section to connect directly with an independent financial professional, and to request a personal strategy session to discuss your needs and goals. And should you have any questions or concerns, call 877.476.9723.

Author: Super User

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