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Retirement Planning for Couples

May 01, 2024

Retirement is a milestone that couples often look forward to together, envisioning a future filled with relaxation, travel, and quality time spent with loved ones. In this section, we discuss some critical aspects of retirement planning for couples.

Talk About Retirement Together

The foundation of successful retirement planning for couples lies in open and honest communication. 

Where to live:

One of the first decisions to make as a couple planning for retirement is where you want to live. Do you envision staying in your current home, downsizing to a smaller property, relocating to a different city or state, or even retiring abroad? When discussing your ideal retirement location, consider factors such as cost of living, climate, proximity to family and friends, healthcare facilities, and lifestyle preferences.

When to retire:

Timing is another important consideration in retirement planning for couples. While one partner may be eager to retire as soon as possible, the other may prefer to continue working for a few more years. Discuss your retirement timelines openly and consider how they align with your financial goals, health, and personal aspirations. Finding a mutually agreeable retirement age can help ensure a smoother transition into retirement for both partners. 


Investing wisely is essential for building a secure financial future in retirement.

Spousal IRA:

A spousal IRA allows a non-working or lower-earning spouse to contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) based on the working spouse’s income. This can help maximize retirement savings for both partners and take advantage of tax-deferred growth opportunities. Discuss with your financial advisor whether a spousal IRA makes sense for your situation and how much you can contribute annually.

When to collect Social Security benefits:

Social Security benefits can be a significant source of income in retirement, but the age at which you choose to start collecting benefits can significantly impact the amount you receive. Couples should carefully consider when to claim Social Security benefits, taking into account factors such as life expectancy, other sources of income, and potential spousal benefits. Delaying Social Security benefits can result in higher monthly payments, so weigh the trade-offs carefully when making this decision together.


Retirement planning for couples requires collaboration, compromise, and careful consideration of each partner’s individual goals and preferences. By discussing key topics such as where to live and when to retire, implementing investing strategies like spousal IRAs, and optimizing Social Security benefits, couples can build a solid foundation for a fulfilling and financially secure retirement together. 

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