Survey: Married Couples Draw Different Views on Retirement

April 17, 2007 ( - More than 30% of married couples gave completely different answers when asked at what age they will retire, their expected lifestyle in retirement and whether they intend to continue working in retirement, according to a recent Fidelity Investments survey.

The survey of 502 couples found that only 23% reported joint involvement with their finances and 22% of couples could not even agree on whether they use the services of a financial adviser to help them plan for retirement.

“It was surprising to us that given how close many of these couples are to retirement, they had yet to sit down to discuss and agree on basic retirement goals, aspirations and income sources with each other,” said Steven Akin, president of Fidelity Personal Investments, said in the news release.

Seventy percent of couples agreed that health care is among their concerns during retirement, with 47% saying it is the biggest concern. Other concerns cited by couples were inflation and Social Security, which interestingly was the primary income source that couples intend to rely on in retirement, with 39% of couples in agreement.

Among couples who own annuities, only about half of both husbands and wives reported knowing when they could draw income from their annuities, and less than one-quarter of couples understood the actual dollar amount that would be generated by their annuity once in retirement.

Nearly 70% of both husbands and wives knew at what age they can draw from their own pensions, but 60% of men indicated they knew when they could draw from their spouse’s pension and 37% of women reported knowing when they can draw income from their husband’s retirement savings.

Twenty-three percent of couples agreed they have yet to take action either in planning or purchasing products such as long-term care insurance to compensate for these concerns.

The Fidelity Investments Couples Retirement Research Study included a sample of 502 married couples age 43 to 70 with household income of at least $75,000 or investable assets of $100,000 or more.