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Planning for Retirement With a Wide Age Gap Between Spouses

Posted By on Jul 10, 2018 | 0 comments


Retirement planning always involves your spouse, so that the two of you can plan for the future together. But when a large age gap exists between you, you will face a few more challenges. You’re less likely to retire at the same time, and this can lead to more consequences than you might think. So, if one of you is much older than the other, look more closely at these three areas of retirement planning.

Social Security. If your spouse is much younger, then there is a good chance he or she will outlive you. Therefore, there might come a time during which they need Social Security survivor benefits. If you’re the higher income earner, or if your spouse doesn’t have a work record at all, then claiming your benefits too early can leave them with less to live on.

Timing of Social Security claims is complicated for everyone, and even more so when there is a wide age gap between spouses. Examining all of your options carefully, and working with a financial professional, can help you decide which path to take.

Long-term care. An estimated 70 percent of retirees will need long-term care at some point. You might plan to rely upon your spouse for your care, but there are two problems with this plan:

  1. He or she might not possess the nursing skills required, meaning you still need a nursing home or in-home nursing provider
  2. Your spouse will likely outlive you, and who will provide their nursing care when the time comes?

The average annual cost of a nursing care facility is $82,000 to $92,000 per year. Luckily, long-term care insurance can cover this cost, if you had the foresight to enroll in a policy. Let’s talk about that now, before you retire, because enrolling in a policy at a younger age will mean more affordable premiums.

Health insurance. What if your spouse relies upon your health insurance, provided through an employer? If you retire at 65 or later, you will enroll in Medicare… But what about your spouse? They will be left without health insurance, and taking on that expense can be risky.

You have several options, such as working until they are eligible for Medicare, but that might not seem realistic if your spouse is a decade (or more) younger. Purchasing a health insurance plan independently is probably the safer way to go. Give us a call and we can walk you through your health insurance options.

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