Women who retire when their husbands do may be giving up more wealth than they realize.
Should you retire when your spouse does?
This million dollar question depends on many factors; such as if the man is older than you and if you plan to retire at the same exact time…
If a woman marries a man who is older than she is and they chose to retire at the same time, the woman will most likely have a longer retirement than her husband due to her longer life expectancy. More years in retirement = more $$$ to fund it. So, when a woman retires at the same time as her husband, she should be aware of how it can be more challenging for her to save for an equally comfortable retirement.
Women Face Greater Risks
It’s not just a longer retirement women should be worrying about if they’re planning to retire alongside their spouse.
- Social Security: Married women typically sacrifice more Social Security wealth than married men when they retire early. This is due to the fact Social Security benefits are based on a person’s 35 highest-earning years, so each additional year an older married woman works could replace an earlier year when her income was lower or she took time out of the workforce — like to raise children. Because older married men are typically past their peak earning years, the same is not true for them.
- Psychological Issues: Couples also have to consider the emotional and psychological issues of retiring together or apart. As people age, it becomes more aware that their time on earth, and their good health, won’t last forever. That can make it harder to stick out working longer, especially if it’s at a job they don’t like.
To combat these issues, you might want to consider delaying Social Security, if not retirement.
Did you know people don’t have to claim Social Security when they retire? Researchers at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 39% percent of women and 35% of men in 2017 filed at the earliest age, which is 62. That locks them into checks that are significantly smaller than if they’d waited a few years (benefits rise by about 7% each year between age 62 and full retirement age, which is currently 66.)
Another road to go down is staying in the workforce, or, if you’re not willing to do so, taking a less-stressful job or one with more flexibility. This will allow you to reap the financial benefits while also being able to enjoy time together traveling, for example.
Get Some Professional Guidance
Not every married woman wants to or is able to keep working. If you’re a woman who is unsure of what road to take approaching your golden years, reach out to a retirement planner who can point you in the right direction based on your current financial situation.
This article was brought to you by CKS Summit Group – a retirement income planning firm headquartered in Clinton Township, Michigan with clients throughout the United States.
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