www.mid-lifegoddess.com Retirement Questions to Ponder with your Spouse
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Retirement Questions to Ponder with your Spouse

Retirement questions to ponder with your spouse — and some added tidbits from a Mid-life Goddess. Ladies! We are 50 — give or take a few years — time to get serious. Let’s throw out a couple of retirement questions for a chat you need to have with your Hubs. Set up a date with that significant other in your life and talk about what’s coming down the road.

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I recently had a darling friend call me to refinance their home. (In my last life, I was a mortgage loan officer.) We started to chat about our kids, our men, our house, our health…..our retirement. She and her husband are in their mid-50s and were unsure if refinancing made sense as they were considering downsizing. (I sent her over to my BFF Shawn (here) to continue that mortgage discussion.) She had no idea as to where they were going to be in 5 or 10 years — because they never really talked about it!

That got me thinking about that initial retirement chat with my husband a few weeks ago over a glass of wine on the back porch. Wow — I figure we need to revisit that discussion with some bullet points and a budget. Here are some really “big picture” retirement questions to ponder with your spouse. Printable discussion bullet points (here).

For my Single Ladies

I know some of you darling Mid-Life Goddesses are on your own — thru divorce, death, or just never wanted to deal with that crazy baggage in the first place.

One Person Quote

Find your “person” to share your retirement questions, thoughts, and dreams — be that a friend, daughter or sister — sons and bros, too!

Financial Adviser I am NOT

At this point I need to tell you that I am not a financial adviser (obviously) and if you have a good one — I am sure they keep you updated on your accounts and expected financial payouts, etc. — get a chat with that adviser on the calendar as well. If you are a savvy individual investor — good for you and keep it up. If you have some money and no idea where or how to invest at this point in your life — get a financial planner interview — call my BFF’s darling husband Randy at Raymond James (here) or at least talk to someone who can point you in the right direction.

The purpose of our discussion today on your retirement questions is just between you and your hubs, person or significant other. So let’s stick to the flyover basics.

Follow the Money Honey

Pull your numbers together from the various bank accounts, 401(k)s, pensions and brokerage accounts that you have laying around. Maybe you are lucky enough to be expecting an inheritance someday — (hopefully later rather than sooner – God bless them). I use Quickbooks so we can actually push one button and get a “net worth” statement — I would definitely recommend Quickbooks to keep track of your spending! I did actually graduate with a Finance degree from MSU and was a controller for 10 years right out of college — so I am kind of financial statement freak!

clock ticking towards retirement

We are trying to consolidate into a few accounts versus being all over the place. I just found an old 401(k) from a job in 2000 — or actually they found me — so I am rolling that over. Found money is the best – am I right?

Debt — Get RID of IT!

A good Mid-Life Goddess pays off her credit cards each month – see Goddess Rule # 10 (here)…….but I know some of you carry that “secret” card that the hub’s doesn’t know about. Been there, done that. Time to come clean during this big picture discussion — he may have one too!

smash that debt meme

You two have to get your debt paid off — whether you refinance to consolidate cards and get rid of a higher mortgage rate — again contact my BFF (here) — Shawn really is that good. Or you just need to buckle down, dip into savings and payoff the damned cards, cars and the mortgage altogether. Figure it out now — so in 10 years you are not still paying on that stupid Visa you financed the last Family Disney Trip with — Get rid of it!

What’s your Timeline?

Where do you want to be in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? My husband plans to work at least another 10 years. So what exit strategy will ease us into that social security stage of life?

retirement exit strategy

We want to have our act together before he hits 62. Our quick 5/10/20 plan is pretty aggressive : 1. Payoff our mortgage within 5 years. 2. Have a winter home in 10 years. 3. Travel the world when we hit our 70’s — which is in that 20 year bucket.

What do You Like to Do?

I am a beach babe and he is a mountain man — where are we going to winter?

Florida for me and Montana for him? So how to strike a balance between two opposite weather patterns? Well, this year we are testing the waters. We are going to rent a place in Florida for a few weeks in March and then head out to Montana in September. This will also hopefully clear some of my husband’s allergy fuzziness by skipping the pollen seasons for Tennessee.

cape san blais sailing

We have traveled separately for years — I with my lady’s weekends and he with his hunting and fishing buddies. A big family adventure was always with our daughters over spring break so that was our only common travel. Now that it is just the two of us — we have to get on the same page on what we have in common and where we want to end up.

Bucket List

What are some “Bucket List” items that you need to check off before you check out? How much money do we need to put aside for these big ticket items? When do you plan to do them?

retirement bucket list

Just talk about your dream list (one of ours is to buy a pontoon boat) and figure out a goal to achieve which ones on the list that are doable. Obviously, you can’t do everything on a bucket list — but just putting them out there is enlightening.

Big Expenditures Coming UP

We have DAUGHTERS. SO…….WEDDINGS…….

retirement father of the bride

My darlings have both pretty practical heads and are planning to use that blessing towards a down payment on their homes instead of a blowout wedding day. We’ll see what their Mother-in-Laws want to do — Good Lord — I am going to be a Mother-in-Law too! Ugh!! Now I am really sweating!!

We were fortunate enough to have been able to cover our daughter’s college tuition. The same gift my parents gave to me when I was in college. Our last tuition payment was made this month for our darling baby girl graduating from college in December!! RAISE for US! Some of you may still be contributing to the education for the babes or grandbabes — throw a balance for that into your Big Expenditure List.

Healthy Living

The over 50 crowd deals with medical conditions — we all live with them. If you aren’t an exercise goddess — get with the program now! And put him on a workout schedule as well. What about walking the dogs together each night after dinner? Check out this 30 minute Fitness Goddess workout (here).

Goddess Fitness Leg Lunges

I personally have turned my health around in the last 5 years by losing weight, eating better and getting my booty moving. By no means do I “workout” every day — but we are trying to at least do something every day! My hubs walks on the treadmill while watching his Michigan State Spartans play — helps with the game stress and he can yell at them while getting a workout!

We have been on a healthy eating program for a few years and it shows – a Blue Apron box hits our front porch every other week. For us it has been cutting out bad carbs and adding morning kale smoothies — they really are yummy when you add a little frozen mango to the blender.

kale smoothie ingredients

We are lucky to have a great healthcare plan thru my husband’s company so we both keep up our annual physicals.

Knowing that healthcare will probably be our biggest expense in retirement, I have been researching premiums and we are switching to an HSA this year. Have that discussion with your financial adviser, too! My friends at Raymond James have a great write up (here) on HSAs. For sure your best bet is to get healthy and stay that way!

Work it!

I can’t imagine my husband ever “not” working. He has been a workaholic since the day I met him 30 years ago! So will he keep a side hustle when he is done with the big career? For Sure!

Side by Side picture of hubs and I at MSU in 1990 and 2018
Hanging with the Hubs 30 years ago at Michigan State — 1990 & 2018

We talked about jobs he can rock part-time after he hits 62 — consulting, hunting guide, farming, master gardener — all on the table. I have a couple of super flexible side jobs that keep me busy now and I hope to continue working them thru that 20 year horizon.

Paperwork in order

If you haven’t already done your paperwork — get er’ done! A will, living trust, a durable medical power of attorney in case of tragedy, and others. Any account with dollars in it should have the beneficiaries up to date. Have an attorney or financial adviser get your documents together or go to www.legalzoom.com and do them yourself very reasonably.

paperwork Game of Thrones Meme

Schedule a meeting with the kids to give them the scoop on your plans and wishes. Make sure everyone is on the same page in case something happens to either one of you or both. They will need to know where to go for that info in the event you and the hubs hit the heavenly stairway together. Many financial planners have some type of “document vault” that will digitally store all your important paperwork.

Parental Advice

What are you going to do with your parents? I already have friends that have taken in or are currently taking on the financial responsibility of their parents. One of the reasons we are finishing our basement is for a potential long term “visit” from my mother someday. That needs to go into your big picture plans as well. (I know that can be a pretty “heavy” discussion alone when pondering all your retirement questions — but let’s keep it light here babes!)

Giving

If you are a Giver now and will continue to be a Giver in retirement — schedule it into your expenditures. Be it an annual donation to your alma mater, a favorite cause like Breast Cancer Research, or tithing at your Church. If you can’t give money on your new fixed budget — BABE — you are DEFINITELY going to have some TIME to give to a good cause.

Retirement time available to walk dogs

My darling friend Dacia volunteers at a local animal shelter near their retirement home in Florida walking dogs. Gets her out of the house meeting other midlife women and she gets some awesome exercise as well. AND DOGS — LOVE!

BIG BAD BUDGET

Here is where the numbers, money and expenses hit the fan. Put together a BIG BAD BUDGET for those retirement years! I have put together a PDF printable “Basic Retirement Budget” that you can download (here).

What is your income going to be? 401(k) withdrawals, social security (I am optimistic that we will still get it — maybe?), pension payouts and what you really want is passive income. Be it rental income or dividends on your investments — get working on setting those up so they start paying you each month when you get to the 10 year mark.

cash picture -- what is your income going to be in retirement?

This basic monthly budget isn’t where you put those big ticket expenditures we talked about on our big picture above — those weddings and grandkid college expenses should hopefully be part of the working years! Be realistic on how much and when you are going to shell out that cash.

After looking at that basic retirement budget — maybe some of those BIG expenditures are just too much with your estimated limited funds and those adult kids need to be on their own. You have already raised them – so don’t feel guilty if you have to set them free! At 50 years old — our retirement future better be first and foremost!

You Don't Have to Drive an Uber in Retirement

I always tout this book — You Don’t have to Drive an Uber in Retirement. Mr. Lichtenfeld really gives you some great ideas — on increasing retirement income to practical cost saving tips that I use everyday! I also threw together a blog post a few weeks back with 12 Money Saving Tips for the Mid-Life Goddess (here).

Internet Research

There are a ton of retirement advice blogs out there. I did a few searches and found hundreds of articles and blog posts with tons of awesome ideas and some of the same advice above.

internet search for retirement sites

Notable sites for this post: www.michmortgage.com, www.raymondjames.com, www.frugal-retirement-living.com, www.thebalance.com.

If you end up in some confusing retirement calculators — be careful! Don’t get swooned into any “get rich quick” schemes — steady as she goes is the best way to accumulate wealth.

Romance it up!

Hey — I know talking money, health and the future is not a romantic discussion — but make the time to have that talk. Set up a date with your person and download my free PDF Printable “Retirement Questions to Ponder” worksheet (here).

Break open that good bottle of Chianti. Who knows it could turn into an evening of romance — Retirement Romance should be a thing!

As always, I so appreciate all my Mid-Life Goddess subscribers and hope you find some fun tidbits and ideas for that retirement discussion. Please do me a fabulous favor and leave a comment below and share this post with your fellow Goddesses!  Also, sign up for Mid-Life Goddess (here) if you are not already on the list and subscribe to my newsletter and blog posts. 

Love you all!!

Remember my Goddesses — Midlife is only a Crisis if You Are!

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