Sure, all couples know that saving as a concept is a smart idea—it’s what you’re actually saving for that can be tricky to get on the same page about if you aren’t talking early and often about your money.

“The future” is a pretty vague answer—as is the idea of retirement when you’re not yet in your 50s.  Have you ever asked your partner what age they want to stop working at? Or what sort of retirement he or she is dreaming about? Once you’ve sat down and mapped out what you want to save for together it becomes so much easier to build a savings and investment plan with your advisor that will help you make these goals happen.

Even more importantly, does your partner’s vision match your own? This is an essential life question, yes, but it’s also key to your financial planning.  Your dreams may center on taking the grandkids to Disneyland, picking up Italian during your 6-months-a-year stints in Tuscany and playing tennis every morning with your neighbours.  But what if she wants to move to the desert and golf every day? Or he wants to work part-time on a hobby farm up island?

Couples often think they’re already on the same page because they have conversations about how and what to save—but when it comes time to planning exactly what they’ll do and how much money that takes, they can find themselves with very different pictures of reality (and they’re having this kind of chat for the first time sitting in my office at Island Savings). Don’t assume you know what each other wants until you talk about it.

Here are a handful of questions to help you get that conversation started?

  1. At what age do you want to retire?
  2. How do you see yourself spending each day?
  3. Does retirement mean stopping work altogether? Or starting a new venture?
  4. Will you eat out more or less than you do now?
  5. Would health challenges affect that vision? Do you expect your health to change in 10 years? How might it change?
  6. Do you know how much you each spend on monthly expenses?
  7. Can you estimate if you will be increasing monthly spending or decreasing it?(current research suggests active retirees need to replace 75 to 85 per cent of their pre-retirement income)
  8. Will you need to pay strata or condo fees?
  9. Will you downsize the house? Move? Relocate to a different region altogether?
  10. Where do you wish to live? Will you relocate?
  11. Do you want to travel? Where do you want to go and for how long? Always to the same place?
  12. How many trips do you want to take per year?

Armed with the answers to these questions, your financial advisor can help you devise the best strategy so that your future meets both of your expectations.


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