Study: Planning for retirement together improves outcome

Retirement planning differs considerably from person to person, but one constant is the importance of financial security. Being confident in your financial situation can ensure that you will be able to live the retirement you have always envisioned and increase the chances of being able to afford services such as assisted living or skilled nursing care. This is sometimes easier said than done, but a recent study from the University of Missouri in the U.S. found that couples who work together on planning their retirement often fare better than those who are less collaborative.

A positive influence
To assess how couples planned for retirement, researchers analyzed data from the recently conducted Health and Retirement Study. By looking at married couples 45 and older, the team determined that couples who planned for retirement together were able to come to an agreement on what kind of lifestyle to expect. They even influenced one another in matters outside of finances. Angela Curl, a researcher and professor at the school, says these discussions between husband and wife are vital.

“Sometimes individuals have unrealistic expectations about what retirement will be like,” she said in a press release. “Individuals can envision retirement one way, but if their spouses don’t envision retirement the same way, it can be problematic. Talking to your spouse about retirement before you leave the workforce is important in reducing conflict.”

Lack of planning has serious impact
Not only does working together improve the chances of a successful retirement, but it could also be good for the health of older adults. A number of studies have shown that those who do not plan for retirement may be putting themselves at a greater risk for depression and are also less able to adapt to life changes. One such study from France found that older adults who make plans to stay mentally stimulated can reduce the risk of isolation and depression.

Flexibility is key
Planning well in advance for things like retirement living can greatly reduce stress later on. Additionally, it can provide you with flexibility to enter the retirement option of your choice, whether your require additional support and services or place a heavier emphasis on an engaging social environment. Having numerous options at your disposal will greatly improve the chances for a successful retirement.