Plan Your Retirement with Your Spouse

By: Bel Marra Health | General Health | Monday, September 16, 2013 - 11:24 AM

121197844As time progresses and individuals become older, one of the most pressing questions is, “How are we going to plan for the future?”  Baby Boomers are now beginning to experience the difficult transition between working and retirement, a struggle revealed in a new study conducted by the University of Missouri. Although this may seem difficult for some married couples, the transition to retirement can be much easier with spousal help. The study also concluded that when spouses have similar ideas in terms of retirement and future planning, they are able to lower the amount of stress experienced in the relationship.

Retirement and Parenthood

Angela Curl, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, explained that transitioning into retirement is much like transitioning into parenthood; each requires an ample amount of preparation for the future. Much like parenthood, when spouses enter retirement, they must face several questions. These include:

  • How will our relationship change?
  • What do we need to do in order to be accurately prepared for this change?
  • How will our lives differ from present day?

These questions are relative, but reaffirm that retirement is known to be one of the largest life changes for married couples.

Will Planning for Retirement Cause Stress?

One of the most detrimental factors experienced by every individual in and outside of the workforce is stress. Stress can bring forth an abundance of negative emotional experiences and it can also lead to negative physical consequences. Considering that retirement leaves spouses without the ability to earn their regular income, stress can be a relative factor without a proper plan for retirement.

Angela Curl explains that planning for retirement with your spouse can greatly reduce the amount of stress that you will experience when the time arises. This is primarily because both parties will not have unrealistic expectations once they retire. As an example, the husband may assume that retirement consists of golfing and relaxing on a beach, whereas his wife may have a different idea.  With the ability to talk with one another about future retirement plans, the idea of retirement is the same for both parties. Planning for retirement prior to leaving the workplace is imperative to minimize the amount of stress experienced by married couples.

Why is Planning for Retirement So Important?

Aside from the obvious reason of avoiding stress, planning for retirement while you are still working will help to minimize your chance of experiencing depression, says Curl. When an individual does not effectively plan for retirement, whether they are married or not, they can get overwhelmed with the financial issues that will arise. Although retirement is often looked at as a luxury for certain individuals, most people can retire comfortably with the appropriate planning. Thus, stress and depression can be avoided by those who effectively plan for their retirement.

Retirement is a time in every working individual’s life where they are able to finally reap the benefits of their time spent working. With the ability to retire with your spouse, you hopefully won’t have to worry about the detriments brought forth by stress and depression. Working together to create a retirement plan will help you to be financially prepared in the future. The study conducted by Angela Curl and her research team at the University of Missouri shows that planning for retirement with your spouse helps to reduce stress and to live a healthier life.

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