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Retirement Planning for Legal Domestic Partners

May 02, 2024

Retirement planning is a journey that all couples embark on, regardless of their legal marital status. In this section, we explore how legal domestic partnership couples can plan for retirement, what factors to consider, and what makes it different from a legally married couple.

How to Plan 

As a legal domestic partnership couple, planning for retirement begins with open and honest communication. Sit down together to discuss your shared goals, aspirations, and concerns about retirement. Start by assessing your current financial situation, including income, savings, investments, and debts. Consider your desired retirement lifestyle, anticipated expenses, and any legacy you wish to leave behind. 

What to Plan For

Legal domestic partnership couples should plan for many of the same retirement considerations as legally married couples. These may include:

Income Replacement

Determine how much income you will need in retirement to maintain your desired lifestyle. Consider housing costs, healthcare expenses, travel, and leisure activities. 

Savings and Investments

Establish a savings and investment strategy that aligns with your retirement goals and risk tolerance. Contribute regularly to retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, or other tax-advantaged savings vehicles.

Healthcare and Long-Term Care

Plan for healthcare expenses in retirement, including Medicare premiums, supplemental insurance, and potential long-term care needs. Consider purchasing long-term care insurance to help cover assisted living costs or nursing care in later years.

Estate Planning 

Create or update your estate plan to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of incapacity or death. This may involve drafting wills, establishing trusts, and designing beneficiaries for retirement accounts and life insurance policies. 

How it Differentiates from Retirement Planning When Legally Married

While legal domestic partnership couples may share many aspects of retirement planning with legally married couples, there are some key differences to consider.

Legal Protections

Legal domestic partnership couples may not have the same legal protections and rights as legally married couples regarding inheritance, healthcare decision-making, and survivor benefits. It’s essential to understand the legal implications of your partnership status and take steps to address any potential gaps in protection through estate planning and other legal arrangements. 

Tax Considerations 

Legal domestic partnership couples may face different tax considerations than legally married couples, particularly when filing taxes, claiming deductions, and accessing certain tax benefits. Consult with a tax advisor to understand how your partnership status may impact your tax situation and optimize your tax planning strategies accordingly. 


Retirement planning for legal domestic partnership couples requires careful consideration and proactive decision-making. By working together to assess your financial situation, set retirement goals, and develop a comprehensive plan, you can navigate retirement confidently and safely. Remember to stay informed about your legal rights and explore options for addressing any unique challenges or concerns that may arise along the way. 

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