The Retirement Calculator for Married Couples (or Any Couple)

Retirement planning is complicated.  Retirement planning when you are a married couple — or any kind of couple in a committed relationship — is doubly complicated.  You need to use a retirement calculator for married couples.  Or, a retirement calculator for couples.

Not only are there double the financial considerations, but your values and priorities may diverge and this all plays a big part in your retirement plan.

If you are attempting to plan your retirement online and you are a married couple or a couple who are planning your retirement together, it is VERY important that you find a retirement calculator that enables you to account for each of you as individuals.

Here are tips for finding and using a retirement calculator for married couples or any couple.

Questions a Retirement Calculator for Couples Need to Ask

A good retirement calculator will give you separate fields — one for you and one for your spouse or partner — for each of the following topics.  It is very important that a retirement calculator document each of these items separately for each individual in a couple:

  • Your current ages or birth dates and gender — This impacts your projected longevity dates.  You want both of you to have enough money for as long as each of you live.
  • Retirement dates — You might retire years before your spouse or vice versa!
  • Social Security start dates and benefit amounts — There are a variety of Social Security claiming strategies for spouse’s that maximize your benefits, but it is unlikely that you are both starting at the same time — nor are you  likely receiving the same benefit amounts.
  • Current income (if you are not already retired) for each of you
  • Other retirement income, duration and cost of living adjustments — will you or your spouse have a job after you retire?  Or any other individual sources of income?
  • Pension benefits, start ages and cost of living adjustments

Are You Single or Married? How to Answer the Marital Status Question on a Retirement Calculator for Couples

Are you single or married is a common question asked by retirement calculators.  If you encounter this question, and you are planning your retirement with a partner, but you are not married, go ahead and answer “married.”

If it is a sophisticated  calculator that covers taxes, then you might need to take results with a grain of salt, but most of the results should work whether or not you are married or just committed.

Why a Retirement Calculator for Couples Can Really Help You

IF you are in a relationship, you are familiar with two important concepts:

  • Compromise
  • Communication

Even so, a survey by Fidelity Investments discovered that many married couples have an extremely difficult time discussing retirement planning and other financial planning  subjects.  In fact, the survey found that:

  • Only a small percentage of respondents expressed confidence in their partner’s abilities to manage their finances.
  • Less than half of couples make routine financial decisions, such as budgeting and paying bills, together.
  • Only 38 percent jointly discuss their investment and savings strategies for retirement.

A retirement calculator can actually help you to have a meaningful discussion about your finances in an organized and unemotional way.  The good calculators will ask you important questions and guide you through the process.  Retirement calculators can be a great thing to do as a couple.

You might want to start out and do a retirement calculator on your own and then go through the results together.  The NewRetirement Retirement Calculator is one of the only tools that saves your information for you so you can easily log in and look over the results together and then play with ways you can improve your plan.

Think About These Concerns Before Using a Retirement Calculator for Couples

Before sitting down to do a retirement calculator, you might want to first discuss your goals for retirement.

Some calculators will touch on goal setting, but most do not.  You will want to agree to some kind of plan with your partner about:

  • Where you want to live
  • How you want to spend your time
  • How much money you are willing to spend
  • How much money do you want to set aside for healthcare and long term care
  • What is really important to each of you individually and as a couple for this long last stage of life

Planning your retirement involves more than finances and your lifestyle decisions will impact your financial health.  As such it is important to look for retirement calculators that go beyond just savings and investments.  The NewRetirement Retirement Calculator helps you assess your Social Security, downsizing and healthcare decisions, among others.

The Best Retirement Calculators for Couples

Here are a few of the best retirement calculators that enable you to input information for your spouse or partner separate from your own information. Each of these calculators works slightly differently from the others all do not necessarily have all of the important questions and results specified above, but they are each more detailed than most online retirement calculators.

Fidelity Retirement Income Calculator – https://www.fidelity.com/calculators-tools/retirement-income-planner

MarketWatch Retirement Planner – http://www.marketwatch.com/retirement/tools/retirement-planning-calculator

TD Ameritrade Wealth Ruler – https://www.tdameritrade.com/landing-pages/client/wealthruler/wealthruler.html

NewRetirement Retirement Planner – https://www.newretirement.com/retirement-calculator/default.aspx

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