How well are couples communicating with each other about retirement? This questionnaire, which appears in Roberta Taylor and Dori Mintzer’s book, “The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle,” helps couples determine what they need to be talking about:

Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to retirement or are you reading different books? This simple assessment will give you a quick glimpse into how each of you views your communication.

Instructions: Do the assessment separately and then share your results. Put a T after the statements you believe are true, then add up all the true statements to get your score. Notice the areas that you may want to talk more about.

  • We have talked about our timetable for retirement.
  • We have planned for future medical and health care needs.
  • We know that our roles may change as we go through transition.
  • Intimacy and affection are an important part of our relationship.
  • We make financial decisions together.
  • Having time together and time apart is important to both of us.
  • We talk about lifestyle and where we may want to live.
  • We agree on our obligations and responsibilities to family.
  • Social and community connections are a satisfying part of our lives.
  • We have shared values and know what’s important to each other.

Scoring:   

  • 10     Give each other a big hug. You’re ready to write the “How To” book for couples.   
  • 7–9    Sounds like you’re in sync. Ongoing communication is important as you plan for what’s next.     
  • 4–6    You’re on the right track. Practice listening to each other and sharing what’s important to you.     
  • 1–3    Make time to talk about important issues related to retirement.

Source: The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle

Mintzer says, “It’s not uncommon for a couple to come away from a conversation with different ideas of what was said. When they compare lists, it’s interesting to see what they agree they’ve talked about and what one of them thinks they’ve discussed that the other one doesn’t. We often recommend that couples begin with a topic they both feel they’ve begun to talk about, since that may be an easier way to start.”

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