Jamie Ann Hayes, QPFC, C(k)P, AIF(r)

Jamie Ann Hayes, QPFC, C(k)P, AIF(r), Partner and Consultant of FiduciaryFirst, specializes in Employer Retirement Plan Fiduciary Services and Corporate Pension Consulting.

Key Considerations for Retiring Couples

Educating plan participants is one of the many duties of pension consulting firms, but many focus on accumulating and building wealth while plan participants are working. While that’s important, it’s also important for participants to consider what happens after they retire. Retirement is a significant milestone for most people, and like many milestones, requires a lot of planning, particularly for married couples.

A 2013 survey by Fidelity Investments shows that many married couples aren’t on the same page when it comes to retirement.1 In fact, 38 percent don’t agree about the lifestyles they expect to live in retirement. A significant amount (36 percent) don’t agree on where they plan to live in retirement. Similarly, 32 percent don’t agree on whether or not they will continue to work in retirement. Retiring couples obviously have a lot of communicating to do. In addition to the issues raised above, here are some questions they should consider.

Are you ready for a long retirement?

If you retired at age 65, you may spend 35 years or more in retirement. In addition to knowing the type of lifestyle you want, you need to make sure you’ve got the financial resources to support that lifestyle. You’ll need to figure out how much you can expect from your retirement savings, Social Security, and any other sources of income, and see if that will support you. If the answer is no, this might also help you address the question about working in retirement.

Are you insured?

Most people think about health insurance, but you also need to consider whether or not you’ll need any type of supplemental coverage in addition to Medicare. But don’t stop there – do you have life insurance? According to a 2013 study from LIMRA, only a quarter of retirees consider the need to provide for their spouses if they die.2 LIMRA also found that for almost half of 65-year-old couples, one spouse will outlive the other by 10 or more years. How about long-term care insurance? Medicare may not cover every situation, and many of us will need long-term care at some point.

Do you have an estate plan?


If you’ve got significant assets, you need to make sure your wills are up-to-date and truly reflect your wishes. As part of this, make sure you review all your beneficiaries for life insurance, trusts, 401(k)s, IRAs, or other employer-sponsored retirement plans.

To make your transition to retirement easier, you’ll need to talk about it well before you reach retirement age. You’ll need to discuss your goals and your dreams, and make sure you both have clear expectations and a shared vision about how you’ll spend your retirement. The Participant EffectSM is a beginning-to-end retirement tool that can help you transition into retirement. For more information, contact us at 1-888-968-9168.

1 https://www.fidelity.com/static/dcle/welcome/documents/CouplesRetirementStudy.pdf

2 http://www.limra.com/Posts/PR/Industry_Trends_Blog/Are_Couples_Really_Addressing_the_Longevity_Risks_.aspx

Tracking Number: 1-584565

This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

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