25 September 2017

Guest Post: 3 Retirement Scenarios That Every Couple Needs To Be Ready For

3 Retirement Scenarios That Every Couple
Needs To Be Ready For

The golden years look murky for many married couples who are still years away from retirement. Statistics show they haven’t planned well financially.

Almost half of married Americans – 46 percent ­– die nearly broke, according to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Surveys by GoBankingRates showed 56 percent of Americans have put away less than $10,000 toward retirement, and that about 75 percent over age 40 are behind on saving for retirement.

The uncertainties that lie ahead in retirement – life span, health, market factors, unexpected expenses – make it important for married couples to have different income plans in place to cover various scenarios.

“Every married couple needs three retirement-income plans, but most don’t even have one,” says Jeff Dixson (www.nwfts.net), a financial educator and radio talk-show host on retirement-planning matters.

“Nine out of 10 people do not have a financial plan at all. They may have some investments, but that’s not a financial plan, especially for retirement. They typically don’t understand how each investment works, what fees they’re paying, and the tax advantages and disadvantages.”

Dixson outlines three scenarios that married couples can experience in retirement and how they can get through it or plan ahead accordingly.

  • Plan A: What if you both live to be 100? One of the biggest fears people have in retirement is outliving their money. So, to do well if you both live well past normal life expectancy, it’s important to have money coming in from a solid combination of sources, Dixson says. For example, married couples may have two Social Security checks, one or two pension checks and then their investible assets. With that many income sources, they might be OK. Pensions, though, will be fewer in the future, Dixson cautions, so it’s vital for those without one to plan ahead regarding the other assets.

  • Plan B: What happens to her if he dies first? This will immediately impact the monthly cash flow, Dixson says. The wife would get to keep the higher of the two Social Security checks but not both. Planning beforehand regarding how the husband’s pension check is set up, and whether he had a survivor benefit for the spouse, has a big effect on monthly income.

  • Plan C: What happens to him if she dies first? It’s a similar scenario to Plan B, with less monthly income due to the loss of one Social Security check. Proactive planning in asset areas can help cover the gap. Dixson says the volatility of the stock market the past two decades means retirees can’t bank on the same withdrawal rates previous generations have used. This will affect the income stream a retiree can generate, ultimately making things that much more difficult for today’s retirees.

“There are a lot of pieces to the retirement puzzle,” Dixson says. “It simply makes sense to plan proactively for what could happen in the future instead of burying your head in the sand.”

About Jeff Dixson

Jeff Dixson (www.nwfts.net) is known as “The Retirement Coach” and is the founder and president of Northwest Financial & Tax Solutions, Inc. A respected financial educator, Jeff hosts a weekly radio show that airs on seven stations and is author of Winning The Retirement Game.

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  1. Replies
    1. It is very scary thinking about what the future could hold for each of us. Planning ahead won't relieve all of the concern, but can help things to be dealt with better if we're ever faced with those circumstances. It is hard to plan ahead, though, when it is such an upsetting topic to consider. We have to find a way to push through so that we can make the necessary arrangements before we are in those situations.

      Anyone that can, should make pre-need burial arrangements. When the time comes that a loved one has passed away, we'll likely be beside ourselves with grief and an easy target for greedy funeral home/graveyard people. If we can take care of this in advance, we can do it with a more rational mind. It is difficult to face these things, but it is something that we really need to do.

      I wish that life didn't come with such scary things.

      Have a blessed day.


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