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retirement planning for couples

A Couple’s Guide to Retirement Planning: A guide for couples who are planning for retirement.

Couples that plan together, retire happier

Retirement planning for couples may seem like a long way off, but the reality is that most people don’t start saving enough until they’re retired. This can be due to a variety of reasons — financial pressures, poor assumptions about their own spending needs, and just plain bad advice.

The good news is that retirement planning is something couples can do together. The bad news is that it’s not always easy to agree on what you want to do and how much you need to save. The good news is that there are ways of working out these issues together.

A few things you should know:

You can’t rely on your spouse for all your retirement needs.

If one person has a higher income than the other, that person will need a bigger retirement nest egg than the other. That’s why it’s important for both spouses to have an independent assessment of their own situation and make sure they have enough saved in case the other person dies or gets sick soon after reaching retirement age.

You can’t rely fully on CPF.

If you are employed, you and your employers are required to contribute to your CPF accounts every month, but CPF won’t necessarily take steps to ensure this happens if you’re unable or unwilling to save yourself.

Retirement Planning together is a process, not a destination

Retirement Planning is a process, not a destination

The process of planning for retirement is a bit like the process of playing a board game, where at the beginning there are a lot of choices to make.

But you play the same game, over and over. You can’t delay the process until you know exactly how much money you’ll need in the future.

And you can’t stop playing once you’ve made all your choices.

The first step in planning for retirement is to be ready. You don’t need to invest everything you own today, but you do need to be ready to pay for expenses later on. If you’re not saving enough in your pension or if you’re not paying down your mortgage, those expenses will need to come out of your CPF instead — meaning less money will be available when it’s time to retire.

Retirement planning for couples: It is only achieved with time and commitment

Building your couple nest egg takes time

Many people have strong opinions about retirement, but despite that, a substantial number of Singaporeans—1 in 3—are concerned about the adequacy of their retirement savings, and 45% have yet to begin planning, according to the Endowus Singapore Retirement Report 2021.

While postponing retirement planning or focusing solely on the present may seem tempting, preparing for retirement demands time and effort. The earlier you start, the more likely you are to avoid financial shortfalls in your retirement years. Begin saving now, allocating a percentage of your income each month, and adjust based on your age and financial responsibilities.

Building Your Nest Egg Takes Time

Creating a robust retirement plan should be like planning a wedding—don’t rush it. Consider how long you plan to work before retiring, as this decision significantly impacts your savings goals.

No Shortcuts to Saving for Retirement

Retirement planning doesn’t offer shortcuts, but it doesn’t mean you have to follow the same path as everyone else. Customize your plan to fit your unique situation. Ensure it’s long-term and balances risk and safety to meet your objectives, including providing for future generations.

Retirement planning for couples: You can’t retire all at once!

Retirement isn’t confined to your 60s or 70s; you can retire early or late. Preparing for these possibilities is key to ensuring financial comfort during your golden years.

Saving for retirement doesn’t have to be difficult.

Retirement planning can be complex, and even those who’ve considered it might find themselves uncertain about the future. Seeking professional advice and staying flexible in your plans are essential. Your retirement plan should also consider your family’s financial security in the event of your passing before the age of 65.

Planning for retirement as a couple: Start an annuity plan with a Secondary Life insured option

secondary life insured option

At its most basic level, a retirement income insurance policy is an annuity that combines the features of a traditional life insurance and a traditional retirement plan. It pays out a stream of income in case of death. This is a common benefit of many retirement plans, but it’s not always well understood.

The most popular option for couples includes those plans with Secondary Life insured option, which ensures that your retirement income can continue to pay for the surviving spouse in the event you die.

Secondary Life Insured in Retirement Planning—How it Works

The Secondary Life Insured option allows you to designate a recipient for payments upon the Primary Life Insured’s death. The Primary Life Insured is the original policyholder.

To designate a Secondary Life Insured, you’ll need to prove their relationship with the policy owner. They can be either:

  • Spouse (under 65) – Provide a Marriage Certificate copy.
  • Child (under 18) – Provide a Birth Certificate copy.

Your policy can include you, your spouse, or your child as the Secondary Insured, provided they are under 18 and you are under 65.

Note that you can’t appoint a Secondary Life Insured for policies with named beneficiaries, trust arrangements, or SRS-funded policies.

Typically, the Policyowner can make changes to the Secondary Life Insured during the policy term.

You can pay a single premium or spread smaller premiums over several years. When the plan reaches the chosen payout age, you’ll receive monthly income payments. A reputable insurer ensures that your monthly income won’t decrease during the payout period, and it may even increase.

If you don’t need the funds immediately at the payout age, you can choose to let them grow with the insurer.

Takeaway: Couple’s Retirement Planning Guide—Plan for retirement together.

guide for couples to use in planning for retirement

Retirement is a significant decision for couples, requiring dedicated time and effort. Spend the coming months discussing your finances with your partner.

While many retirement plans are well-documented, this article won’t delve into program specifics. Instead, use this guide to spark ideas for joint research and create a plan that suits both of you.

What’s yours?

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