The Best Way to Talk About Retirement

Retirement PlansDo you and your spouse talk about when you want to retire, how you’re saving for it, and where you’ll spend those allegedly golden years?

Probably not. Couples are so out-of-sync when it comes to retirement planning that 73% disagree about whether they even have a plan, according to a new study by Fidelity.

But the roadblock for many couples isn’t money, it’s fear, say Scott and Bethany Palmer, authors of First Comes Love, Then Comes Money.

There are so many unknowns in the retirement equation—from the age you’d like to retire to whether you plan to continue working—the questions can strangle the discussion before it even starts.

Plus, you’ve got two people with potentially different visions of what “retirement” means.

Put away the spreadsheets and calculators (for now). Take turns describing your ideal retirement so you understand what you’re working toward, the Palmers advise.

Plan to have several conversations as you work toward a joint plan. Gradually, those long-range goals will help you make financial choices now that support your plan.

Get real. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to talking about retirement?