Retirement Conflict Among the Baby Boomer Generation
You’re tired. Your back hurts, and your knees are starting to ache. If you’re a man, it seems like these days more of your hair is sliding off of your head and on to your back. And if you’re a woman, it might seem like you can’t purchase enough beauty products to tame those smile lines or hide that grey. You’re a baby boomer, a part of a generation whose coming of age took place during a better part of the sixties. It was a time when history was being made each and every day. You had The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Summer of Love, and Woodstock, and then you either went to war or got a job. Eventually you got married, and then maybe you got divorced…maybe even eventually remarried. Somewhere along the way you have found the time to raise 2.5 kids, spoil 3.5 grandchildren, and now you are getting close to retirement. That’s the good news. Maybe.
The bad news is that according to a study conducted by Fidelity Investments; over half of couples differ on the timing of their expected retirement ages. With less than half of couples handling investment decisions for retirement jointly. What this means is, most couples are not properly communicating when it comes to what they are really wanting to do with their futures.
According to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal:
The days when a husband automatically retires at 65 with a corporate pension and his wife dutifully follows him to a golf course in Florida are officially over. Most women approaching retirement age are now working, and many have their own retirement savings—and viewpoints.
Men tend to be older than their wives, so they typically become eligible for retirement benefits, including Medicare, first. But their wives may want to keep working because their income is important to the family, and they often need to maintain their own health insurance.
The real question is where do you fit into this? Are you and your significant other on the same page when it comes to your retirement plans? If you're not certain, it is likely that the two of you have differing opinions on the subject. It is probably a good idea to go ahead and open up a line of communication now rather than encounter any possible conflicts that might come up later in the game.
For additional insight into this matter, read "He Wants to Retire...but She Doesn't" by Kathleen A. Hughes.