Editors' pick: Originally published Dec. 1.
Retirement planning isn't easy. You might think, however, that having a spouse or partner to plan with you would make it easier.
But there are plenty of mistakes couples make in their retirement planning, and most of them are related to communication, or the lack thereof.
Stories abound of couples who have been married for years sitting down with a financial planner for the first time, only to find that the husband has a vision of retirement life in the mountains and the wife has a vision of retirement at the beach.
Bryan Hoover, financial planner of Fragasso Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh, says financial planning for married couples requires "a fair amount of communication and transparency." If not, he says, there are a lot of things that can be downright disruptive.
Here are five big mistakes couples can make in retirement planning.
- Only one spouse meeting with the financial planner.
"One of the things I see a lot is only one person communicates with financial planner," says Hoover. "Then it's on them to communicate the advice. Sometimes something is lost. One aspect of creating a plan is to make sure both parties have goals set and you know how much risk you are taking."
"A lot of folks will come into meeting as a representative for their partner," he adds. "I don't feel that works. You will miscommunicate something."
- Buying that dream retirement home immediately.
"That is problematic for a lot of reasons," says Nina O'Neal, partner and investment advisor at Archer Investment management in Raleigh, N.C. "You are increasing expenses in many ways, not just mortgage, but electric bills, cable bills, etc. We see that mistake often. Really, we will advise keeping your current house and maybe downsizing."