Episode 51 – How to Get on the Same Page with Your Partner About Finances and Retirement


How to Get on the Same Page with Your Partner About Finances and Retirement by Astra Financial

There’s more to retirement than just the financials. Timeline plays a huge role as well, and you and your partner need to be on the same page! ⏰ What do I mean by this?

  • When will you retire?
  • Will you and your partner retire at the same time?
  • What will you spend your time doing?

If you haven’t discussed these topics with your significant other, this week’s podcast is a great place to start! Tune in to Episode 51 of The Heart of Your Money, where I discuss finances, timelines and retirement! 

Show Notes:

Hey there, and welcome back. My question this week to you, do you and your partner agree about money and being financially ready for retirement? 

Part of being a financial planner is also being a bit of a life coach. We can’t help you make money if you and your partner are not on the same page and have different opinions about spending and saving. It’s just not going to work. Now, it is normal to have different risk tolerances, and we work within that, but I strongly think that the rest needs to match. 

Money values are the way we spend and save and how we prioritize our money. We have to be on the same page. We have to share some money values in there.

Check out episode 31. That’s where I share more. I dig into money values, and I strongly think it’s the first place to start. Now on that wave of, on the stepping stone of getting to that same page, it’s important to know what those money values are. And if I’m sitting in a meeting and sitting across from both of you and talking and asking these questions, it’s about digging deep.

And one of the questions I’ll ask you is, what are the important things to you and why? And then I actually have a values map that we use, and it’s just sparked that conversation with your partner. You’re not going to have a hundred percent matching, but you’re definitely going to have some of those common values in there. And it’s also good to communicate. It’s part of a healthy relationship sharing each other’s goals and then sharing some of those same goals in coming up with a plan to get there. That is a marriage, that is a relationship, that’s the long-term plan and starting a family as well. 

For example, if you’re saving up for a reno or saving up to go back to school, one of you wants to go back and get your master’s. You’ve got to come up with a plan. Even in how to plan retirement, when does it look like we can retire? That’s getting on the same page. You don’t have to have a partner. I don’t want to disclude people out there that don’t have a partner. But these are the questions that you need to know as well, and if there is a partner, then you need to share these things with your partner. So, find out what those things are, what are the important things? And then talk about it. 

Your financial planner can initiate this conversation. That’s part of our job. It’s the starting point. And so, if you haven’t even had that conversation, we’re the person to go to. I have a few worksheets, I can send them to you for free. It’s also in the book that I wrote the Heart Of Your Money. 

Now, retirement timing is also an important conversation. So, getting on the same page with money, sharing your same money goals, and savings goals. That’s important. The other thing I see in our office now is that retirement timing is also an important conversation.

Quite often, I see couples retiring at different times, and that happens for a few reasons. One has longer to reach their full pension value. And, it’s years of service they want to stay on a couple more years to get that a hundred percent without a reduction in the pension. Or sometimes one really likes their job and just wants to stay longer and isn’t ready to give that up yet. Or it’s staggered on purpose. And this is, I’m chuckling because I’m thinking of a specific story. Where it’s on purpose at different times to give each other some space, before being together 24/ 7. And in the office, the word that’s used is, messing with the mojo. And so one person will retire and ease into it, and the other person will still have their space and go to work during the day. Once in a while, what I do see is it’s because one partner’s extremely worried about money and doesn’t want to give up a paycheck that the one partner will not retire yet.

And so, that’s working into that, getting on the same page. So how do you get on that same page with choosing when to retire? It’s a financial planner that you need and the financial plan that maps out retirement income for your lifetime. That is the first thing you need because it will help quantify if there’s enough savings. Because that hesitation in timing of retirement is probably going to be around some financial worries. How much you have in retirement is going to help alleviate that. So if you’ve got it mapped out, that’s going to help. 

Usually, there is that one partner, that fear of retiring around having enough, that can be eliminated with showing this map and guide that breaks it down each year and shows the results. It’s a guideline. It’s permission, it’s actual permission, and they’re actually looking for a third-party expert opinion saying, “I think we’re okay, my partner’s a little unsure. They’re willing to go along with me, but we need this third party expert opinion”. And it ends up being either permission or mapping out a plan to get there if there is going to be a shortfall. And, there is a discussion sometimes around there, about working a little bit longer or coming up with alternative solutions. Maybe it’s a part-time retirement and easing into it slowly, not a hundred percent if there is a shortfall. So, it’s about coming up with a plan in the answers.

Now, what do you do if there is enough money, but your partner doesn’t want you to retire because they think you’ll be bored or there’s a disagreement about timing? Wondering about, what are you going to do all day? Once we know that money isn’t the issue, this becomes a little trickier because then it’s about, what is the emotion behind this?

My first question to both people, or if you’re on your own is, what does a perfect retirement day look like for you? From waking up to bedtime. Now envision this as a day and then a week and go through it. How was your time spent? What are you doing during the day? From the moment of waking up, your feet hit the ground. Close your eyes and envision this. I ask you to list some of the important things you prioritize in your life as well. 

So once you’ve gone through that vision, going through the questions of, what are the important things to you? And often it’s family, hobbies, charity, maybe church in there. So then I ask, are you spending any time doing those things? The idea is to spark where your other passions are outside of work. It’s filling up the day with purpose and passion. And if these are hard to answer, then more time might be needed before retiring to explore how to stay busy. This is how you guys can get on the same page, and by talking and sharing the vision of the perfect day and then talking and sharing about the priorities in your life, this is going to bring you closer. 

Hopefully, your partner’s excited for you, and they then share the same kind of future vision. Get on board because they can feel, “Okay, I get a sense of what this is going to be,” so it’s not a great big surprise. You can eliminate some of the gaps there by doing this vision work.

This exercise should happen a few years before retirement. It’s part of the planning stage, and it’s going to help you come together and bond. Do this way before you’ve already given your notice at work and retire. You don’t want to have put your notice in on your last date and then be like, geez, I wonder how I’m going to fill my day.

The answer might evolve over a few years. So if you do this exercise a couple of years before retirement, and you do it often, it’s going to start to evolve a little bit. You’re going to change a little bit in there. The idea is that you always come back to it, and you grow stronger together and prepping your retirement together.

I have a free workbook as well for retirement that you can download from the Astra financial website. It’ll take you through some of this exercise, and it gives you room to actually put pen to paper and come back to all the time. 

That’s it. That’s my takeaway. So hopefully, it helps you out. Try that exercise and revisit episode 31 if you want to talk about your money values and get on the same page. If you have any questions, shoot me off an email at [email protected]. Talk soon.