Couples Need Help With Planning Retirement Together

Retirement plan sponsors can help by including spouses and partners in educational events.

By Rebecca Moore | August 31, 2016
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A survey of more than 1,800 Americans in a relationship, defined as those who are married or living with a partner, found that savings inaction, failure to share financial specifics with their significant other and reliance on overly conservative investments, may be jeopardizing their chances of achieving a happily-ever-after retirement.

One in three Americans in a relationship (33%) report that neither they nor their partners are saving for retirement. Among the 36% of Americans in a relationship who report that their partner is saving for retirement, roughly one in five (23%) say they do not know how much their partner contributes to long-term retirement accounts or have even a general sense of the total value of their partner’s retirement account (21%). In addition, 21% of Americans in a relationship who are personally saving for retirement say their partner doesn’t know how much they are contributing to their long-term retirement savings.

Dayana Yochim, investing specialist for San Francisco-based NerdWallet who works in Alexandria, Virginia, says, “One of the big reasons couples don’t discuss retirement savings is it’s a distant, fuzzy target. It gets pushed to the back burner behind more immediate needs and goals. While it’s natural to focus on these, it is important to know the state of the financial union.”

Yochim tells PLANSPONSOR there are advantages to being part of a couple, and by not talking about retirement savings, they could be leaving money on the table and shortchanging their future together. “They should be working together to maximize every dollar in the household. Togetherness is very powerful,” she says.

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