Retirement may be a few years away, but it’s never too early to start discussing it with your spouse. It’s easy to assume they share the same ideas as you have for this stage of life, but do they?

One of the services I offer is retirement planning. But before crunching numbers for clients, I find out how they envision their retirement lifestyle.

Many times, it’s the first time they share with each other how they envision retirement. It’s not unusual that this topic has not been discussed given how hectic life can be.

Most couples wait until their kids leave for college before they address this topic. And usually at that time, these couples are still young, active, and working – retirement is still far away.

Even if retirement is years away, start the conversation with your spouse. It’ll give you time to formulate a vision together and work out any differences.

When talking about retirement, here are three questions to discuss.

When will we retire?

Initially, you may see yourself not working after a certain age. Your spouse may have another age in mind, especially if there is an age difference.

As your career progresses, you may decide to continue working but with fewer hours. You may even decide to start a second career and return to school to prepare for it.

Where will we live in retirement?

Some people are happy staying in the same home for the rest of their life. Others want to move elsewhere.

If you start this conversation early, you can try different areas together during your vacations. If you find a location you like, rent a home in the area for the summer.

If you definitely like the location, then consider buying a second home that will eventually become your retirement home. It’s important to try out the concept before making an investment.

Many times, couples talk about retiring to Florida. But when they move, they realize they don’t like the heat, bugs, and tourist.

How will we spend our time during retirement?

Initially, you may think about traveling or spending all day working on your hobby – whether that’s tinkering with cars, golfing, or gardening.

As your kids start their own families, your ideas about your retirement lifestyle may change. You may decide you want to stay close to home and spend your time with your grandkids.

Life is always changing. Circumstances with your job, finances, health, family, and friends will impact your future. How you envision your retirement lifestyle will evolve as you age. You may not have all the answers about your retirement, but starting the conversation early with your spouse will give you the opportunity to share and create a vision together.


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”