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The Charles Law Offices
Largo Office Wells Fargo Building
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 518
Largo, FL 33770
Phone: 727-683-1483
Toll Free: 866-499-3322
Clearwater Office Hodusa Towers
28870 U.S. Highway 19 North,
Suite 300
Clearwater, FL 33761
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1700 66th St. N.,
Suite 209
St. Petersburg, FL 33710

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Estate Planning Issues to Discuss with Your Spouse Before Retirement

When it comes to financial and estate planning, it’s critically important that you and your spouse are on the same page. A Fidelity Investments study once found that approximately one-third of couples either disagreed or did not know where they would live in retirement, while another 62 percent did not agree on the age at which they would retire.

The following are a few issues you should make sure to discuss with your spouse before you retire to make your planning efforts more cohesive:

  • Retirement timing: There might be many factors impacting when you will retire, including your financial needs, your income level and your employment status. You also need to consider how you will maximize Social Security benefits.
  • Financial situation: Both partners need to have a thorough understanding of their household financial situation. Even if one person is in charge of paying the bills, both need to know the state of their finances and how to properly save for retirement. Unfortunately, the spouse who doesn’t manage the money tends to be left in the dark too often.
  • Lifestyle expectations: What kind of lifestyle do you want to have when you are retired? Do you expect to travel, move, volunteer or stay active? The lifestyle you maintain will have a big influence on how much money you’ll need to save.
  • Healthcare needs: You and your spouse should ensure you will be adequately covered for your healthcare, whether it’s from an employer-based plan in retirement, through Medicare, through an Affordable Care Act plan or otherwise.
  • Long-term care: You should have a frank discussion with your spouse as to your wishes regarding long-term care, including advance healthcare directives and end-of-life care. It’s unwise to put off these decisions for too long, especially as you reach retirement age and are more likely to need this type of care in the relatively near future.

For further information and guidance on these issues, meet with a knowledgeable Florida estate planning attorney at The Charles Law Offices.

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