Husbands and wives in the boomer generation often disagree with each other on what they’re going to do once their working days are over. In many cases, they even differ on when they will retire, Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company found.
New research by Fidelity also discovered potentially significant holes in their retirement plans, including life insurance and long term care protection.
Steven P. Akin, president of Fidelity Personal Investments, said he was surprised to find so many couples close to retirement had not yet discussed basic retirement goals or even income sources.
“That’s why creating a retirement plan is so critical,” Akin says. “It helps husbands and wives address those tough but basic planning questions that can dramatically alter a couple’s retirement savings strategy.”
Fidelity surveyed about 500 married couples, comprising boomers and older pre-retirees, born between 1937 and 1964.
Among its surprising findings: More than 33% of husbands and wives gave completely different answers when asked at what age they would retire.
In addition, 41% differed on whether both or at least one will work in retirement, while 37% failed to agree about the quality of their post-retirement lifestyle.
When asked which income sources they would rely on most in retirement, most couples agreed that workplace savings plans, pensions and Social Security would top the list. But just 39% agreed on which of the 3 would be their main source of income.
On the question of who would be the surviving spouse’s key financial advisor in the event of the other’s death, 58% of couples failed to agree on who that would be. In fact, 22% of couples could not even agree on whether they currently use a financial advisor to help them plan for retirement.
Most couples knew what kind of workplace retirement plan each other had in the workplace, along with details about each other’s bank accounts and IRAs. They were not always quite so sure, however, about retirement products such as annuities, brokerage accounts and pensions.
Among couples who own annuities, only 51% of husbands and 53% of wives knew when they could draw income from their annuities. Moreover, less than 25% knew the actual dollar amount their annuity income would be.
About 70% of both husbands and wives knew at what age they could draw from their own pensions, while 60% of men and 27% of women knew when they could draw from their spouse’s pension.
Although 90% of couples fully agreed on whether they owned life insurance policies, 39% gave different answers about the actual face amount of those policies. And 40% disagreed on whether they had enough life insurance.