(USA TODAY) — No matter how aligned you and your spouse may seem, there are sure to be road bumps in any marriage. Don’t let planning for retirement be one of them. There are many strategies when it comes to saving for retirement and everyone may have an individual style or approach. When it comes to timing, you and your spouse may have very different ideas about when is a good time to leave the workforce.
1. Define ‘retirement’
No matter what stage you are at in your career, you probably notice that there is a shift in retirement trends. More women are in the workforce and have their own savings and outlook on how they want to live in retirement. There is also a strong inclination toward gradual retirement as well as longer working lives. Many Americans are taking on part-time work or maintaining their own business or consulting service well past age 65. This means retirement is no longer necessarily one drastic transition, but often a multi-part process. This means there is a lot more for couples to negotiate.
2. Talk it out
Communication is key in any decision. The question of when to retire involves many factors — money, job satisfaction, age difference and future plans. Will you both retire at the same time? Will either or both of you work freelance or part time? Will you move or stay put? Will you travel or live simply?
In addition to these factors, it’s a good idea to consider your marital happiness and how you work better (with some alone time, with separate projects, etc.). It’s important to be confident and clear when you communicate your vision and priorities with your partner. If you are not able to do it on your own, you can always seek professional help through financial advisers, marriage counselors or both.
Depending on what you want or your partner feels he or she needs, you may think about taking on new roles. If you were once the breadwinner but your spouse is willing to work more if you could contribute more to the family, you may be able to step back. Meanwhile if you are unhappy in your position, you may need your partner to take the reins while you look for a more fulfilling job.