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Why Talking About Money Together is Important for a Happy Retirement

MusingsCouples are not always comfortable talking about money. For some life partners, this is a persistent problem that becomes magnified as they approach their retirement years.

Financial planner Neal Frankle has some great advice. Writing for Next Avenue, Frankle suggests that couples start not by discussing money specifically, but by identifying their retirement dreams. Frankle writes that you should "clarify what you both want your retirement lives to look like, what your priorities are and your best estimate of what each item costs. Mark each item as either a 'must have,' 'want' or 'wish.' That will be invaluable when it comes time to putting your plan into action."

Next, Frankle believes couples should ballpark how much money it will take to live the lifestyle you both want and then compare that to an estimate of your combined investment income, Social Security payments, and pensions, if any. This is where reality sets in and compromises may have to be made. Read Frankle's complete article to find out what comes next. (As an aside, if you don't already read the articles offered by Next Avenue, you should -- they are excellent. Subscribe at

I was encouraged when I read Neal Frankle's commentary, because this was similar to the process my wife and I went through with the assistance of our financial adviser. It helped us take our dreams and ground them in reality, making compromises we could both agree to along the way. For us, it led to satisfaction rather than disappointment.


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