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Retirement Dreams on Hold: Why Communication is Key for Retirement and Estate Planning

retired couple planning for financial future with estate planning

Retirement – a time of relaxation, travel, and enjoying the fruits of your labor. But for many couples, this dream can be clouded by a lack of open communication about finances. A recent study by Ameriprise Financial revealed a surprising disconnect between couples' shared goals for retirement and their lack of concrete plans to achieve them.

The study surveyed over 1,500 American couples with at least $150,000 of investable assets, focusing on those nearing or in retirement. While a strong majority (95%) reported trusting their partner with money and even shared similar retirement aspirations (93%), a significant portion (nearly a quarter) hadn't discussed crucial details. This includes essential aspects like how much they need to save, how much they plan to leave to children or grandchildren, and even how much they'll spend on basic living expenses during their golden years.

This lack of communication can lead to several problems down the road. The study found that over half of couples surveyed lacked an estate plan, a financial roadmap, or a clear understanding of how they'll replace their income in retirement. Disagreements on spending habits, both current and future (hobbies, travel, general lifestyle), can also create tension and strain on the relationship.

Perhaps most concerning is the finding that one in seven couples admitted to hiding financial accounts from their partner. This secrecy, regardless of the amount hidden, can erode trust and make open communication about finances even more difficult.

So, what can you do to avoid these pitfalls and ensure a smooth transition into retirement? The Ameriprise study highlights the importance of open and honest communication. Scheduling regular discussions about finances and retirement goals is a crucial first step. Don't be afraid to seek professional guidance – an experienced estate planning attorney can help navigate complex legal issues like asset distribution and inheritance planning. A financial advisor can also be invaluable, offering guidance on investment strategies and ensuring your savings are on track to meet your shared retirement goals.

Estate planning is a cornerstone of a secure financial future, and the Ameriprise study underscores this point.  The study found that a staggering 52% of couples lacked an estate plan, leaving their wishes and assets vulnerable in the case of unexpected events. An effective estate plan, created with the help of an experienced attorney, can ensure your assets are distributed according to your desires, minimize estate taxes for your heirs, and even designate guardians for minor children.

At Krugler Law, we understand the importance of clear communication and proactive planning for a secure future. We can work with you and your partner to create a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your wishes and ensures your financial security in retirement. Don't let a lack of communication derail your dreams – contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss how we can help you build a solid foundation for your golden years together.

To read the full study by Ameriprise Financial, click here.


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