Retirement Living

How to Prepare for One Spouse's Retirement

Rodney Brooks
July 20, 2018

While married couples sometimes try to coordinate when they retire, not all spouses retire at the same time. Age differences, different stages in their careers and even health can play a role in one spouse continuing to work after the other retires. However, when only one member of a married couple retires, planning and preparation are still necessary. Couples often underestimate the social, psychological and financial impact of having a spouse retire. Patience and communication are often critical to navigate the transition.

Your income might suddenly be cut in half after one spouse retires. “When you have a married couple, and one spouse retires, it takes a period of time, usually a year or two, for them to get used to the lifestyle,” says John Piershale, a wealth advisor at Piershale Financial Group in Crystal Lake, Illinois. “It’s a big deal when they don’t have that paycheck.” Both spouses will need to adjust to the reduced cash flow.

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