Most couples do not discuss their retirement plans and the number who do is declining, according to Hearts & Wallets, a retail investor data source.
One-third of couples reported talking about their retirement goals last year, a decline from 40 percent in 2013. At the same time, at least one person in one-quarter of the couples say they fear their partner will not be able to manage finances without them.
The poorer and the younger a couple is, the less likely the partners are to have talked about retirement, Hearts & Wallets says in a report, Retirement: Funding, Replacement Rate and Sources of Income.
The percentage that worry about their other half’s financial acumen rose from one-fifth of all couples two years ago to one-fourth today. More than half of couples with more than $100,000 in investable assets, and two-thirds of couples with $2 million or more, plan their retirement together.
Of employed seniors, 45 percent of couples have talked about retirement; 40 percent of couples age 53 to 64 have shared their thoughts, and 28 percent of those 21 to 27 have done so, the study says.
“Talking about retirement doesn’t seem like a romantic conversation, but thinking about the future could recapture that spark of when you were first planning your life together,” says Laura Varas, founder and principal of Hearts & Wallets. “In our studies, Americans talk about the positive benefits of retirement like travel, less stress and time to do what they want. It’s important to plan together how to optimize that last chapter of life.”
Hearts & Wallets has several recommendations for couples: talk about things you have always wanted to do; consider downsizing the home; understand your Social Security options and agree on a spending pattern.