This article was first posted on Forbes.
Life is a delicate balance. One balance financial planners often face is advising couples with a significant age gap on how to retire. Imagine one person has worked their entire life to meet this milestone just as the other partner is at the peak of their career. Or perhaps both individuals need to work to achieve the retirement lifestyle they desire financially, but one person reaches the end line sooner than the other.
Whatever the circumstance, minding the age gap for two people retiring at different ages and stages of life is a delicate balance of finances. The happiness factor plays a critical component as retiring is a milestone that should create joy, not conflict.
Those Who Retire Together
The easiest retirement solution for couples with a significant age difference is that the younger partner retires early. This strategy for age gap retirement is ideal when savings aren’t an issue, and neither person feels they had to cut their career or other life engagements short.
However, this perfect scenario is not always possible, especially when savings are not where they need to be to retire in the manner both people desire. So, one partner needs to keep working, or not.
The Retirement Compromise
Anyone in a successful relationship knows that compromise is part of the happy equere both people would like them to be, then it’s time to make concessions. Creative financial planning is the solution for this early retirement option.
To help mitigate the monetary risk of retiring a bit early, adjusting your spending without sacrificing your time together is essential. The end goal is the same, ensure that couples retire happily.
Creative Retirement Financing
Downsizing is an easy way to help manage your savings, especially in today’s real estate market when houses are selling over the asking price, with no contingencies, and often with sizable cash offers and bidding wars. So, sell now and rent for a while until the real estate market balances out. Or try living a temporary nomadic life and experiment residing in different locations and styles. Who knows – you might find a cottage by a lake is your place to retire? It’s a perfect time to give all options a whirl.
Another easy way to scale back is in the manner you travel. Driving amidst a pandemic is undoubtedly a healthier option than flying or other forms of mass transportation. So hi the road and let your navigation set your sails to your destination. While you are at it, forego the hotel and use your travel apps like Airbnb, VRBO, and Hopper. Traveling on a budget these days is easy thanks to technology.
Part-Time Retirement Partners
Another excellent option for couples at different ages and stages is for both people to go part-time. Having fewer work hours allows partners to ease into retirement, which brings along multiple benefits.
Many people find the dramatic change from working to retiring to be unsettling. After all, humans are creatures of habit. The part-time scenario allows people to adjust to a slower pace while still enjoying the opportunities to make a difference in a professional landscape.
If both people agree to go part-time without resenting working longer or less than planned, this allows for financial progress while enjoying a more carefree lifestyle. It also helps to keep life interesting as an idle mind can sometimes be the devil’s playing ground.
The Balancing Act To Age Gap Retirement
Last but not least is keeping the age and stage conundrum the beauty of the relationship by allowing the older person to retire while the younger partner keeps working. Often this solution is what the couple agreed to when they decided to build their futures together.
Again, it’s a balancing act. One benefit to the older partner retiring is that they can help by overseeing responsibilities at home. The one who keeps working can focus on their job and enjoy returning to a home-cooked meal, clean house, or perhaps a surprise date night.
Compromise and creativity are essential in this plan. The retiree might want some spontaneity, and the worker might not be as flexible. So, make sure there is a plan for together time.
The Goal Is To Retire Happy
The reality is that there is always a solution when couples share the same goal for happiness. There is a multitude of options for minding the age gap in retirement. A trusted financial planner will make sure these decisions meet the pair’s lifelong dreams. By making long-term investments while nurturing real-time relationships, the end game is a life of wealth, health, and happiness.