Living Together, Retired Separately: Keys to Half-Retired Boomer Bliss

Despite even the most impeccable planning, many of todays married Baby Boomers find themselves facing retirement differently then they intended. 2008s economic crisis ushered in many unplanned economic changes which have filtered down to dramatically alter the financial and social lives of todays prospective retirees. This translates into many married Boomers retiring separately and thus needing to know the financial dos and don'ts of planning the next phase of their lives together.

Ask for a Financial Plan
Even the savviest of todays Boomers can benefit from a comprehensive financial plan. Advisors can provide a track for how retirement will be played out, but, more importantly, help identify potential road blocks or adjustments necessary to ensure the health and viability of a plan. Knowing how quickly your hard earned retirement savings will be depleted is an often eye-opening experience and catches many off guard. Cash-flow analyses benefit todays retirees by helping them understand the cost of their lifestyles and allow them to curb spending in order to achieve retirement goals. This is even more crucial when spouses are retiring separately. Without the income stream that couples are used to, it is far more difficult to identify budgeting opportunities. With the aid of a carefully constructed financial plan, retirees will have better information with which they will choose what monetary compromises they can and are willing to make.

As one spouse retires and the other continues his or her daily routine, the delegation of responsibilities often becomes skewed. A large part of the struggle of a newly retired Boomer comes with managing day-to-day activities and divvying up household tasks. Working spouses have a tendency to lean on their retired partners to take the lions share of responsibilities based on their newly found down time. But for new retirees, the increased workload may come as a surprise and the once shared responsibilities can become overwhelming. Likewise, retired spouses should make a concerted effort to maintain engagement in mentally stimulating tasks so as to not become bored with their new allotment of free time. Retirement is a life changing event that effects more than couples financial health it is an emotional and social change too. That is why it is imperative for couples with separate retirements to communicate and cooperate with each other. Such sharing of feelings and ideas not only help stay on task with regard to safeguarding retirement assets, but allows Boomers to fully enjoy the fruits of that labor.

Be Selective with Social SecurityWith regard to Social Security, choosing the right option is crucial. This process should be a collaborative effort, not just between spouses, but with your Financial Advisor as well. Current Social Security benefits are governed by so many rules! Laurence Kotlikoff, Economics Professor at Boston University and founder of, indicates that for an age 62 couple there are an abundance of combinations of months for each of the two spouses to take retirement benefits, spousal benefits, and decide whether or not to file and suspend ones retirement benefits. For Boomers that are retiring separately, getting this selection process correct is difficult but imperative. Luckily you have tools around you. In an effort to avoid retirement nightmares, make use of your advisors when deciding if and when to take benefits in order to get the most out of retired life.
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