Financial planning tools and services to put you on the path to the future you want
Your guide to financial planning and retirement
Connect with peers and experts
Get to know the people behind the company and the mission behind the work
Offer financial wellness to the people at the heart of your business
September 29, 2021
Retirement planning is complicated. Retirement planning when you are married – or part of any kind of committed couple – is doubly complicated. If you are married, you need to use a retirement calculator for married couples, or a retirement calculator for couples.
When you are part of a couple, there are double the financial considerations. Furthermore, your values and priorities may diverge and this all plays a big part in your retirement planning. 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 – and then calculate it all together.
Here are tips for finding and using a retirement calculator for married couples or any couple.
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:
This data impacts your projected longevity dates. Both of you want to have enough money for as long as each of you live.
You might retire years before your spouse of vice versa.
There are a variety of Social Security claiming strategies for spouses that maximize your benefits, but it is unlikely that you are both starting at the same time, not are you likely receiving the same benefit amounts.
These are owned by you as an individual. IRAs and 401(k)s are never joint accounts due to age requirements for minimum distributions.
What are each of you earning and how is the income used? It is unlikely you are earning the same amounts, with the same benefits and retirement savings contributions.
Will you or your spouse have a job after you retire, or any other individual sources of income?
Do one or both of you have a pension. What are the start ages and cost of living adjustments for each?
Your medical costs need to be calculated individually since you have different health needs and life expectancies.
If you have or are planning on annuity income, this too needs to be documented as an individual because payouts are based on your longevity. (Be sure to also designate survivor benefits if desired.)
Whether you 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 actually married or just committed.
If you are in a relationship, you are familiar with two important concepts: compromise and 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:
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 use as a couple.
To get started, couples might want to use a comprehensive and detailed retirement calculator on their own and then go through the results together. The NewRetirement Retirement Planner 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.
Before sitting down to do a retirement calculator, you might want to first discuss your goals for retirement.
My husband and I were recently at a dinner party. The conversation turned to thinking about the future. I announced that I intend to buy a small resort on a tropical island for retirement. He laughed and declared that we would be spending too much on airfare and maintaining two households since he is planning to move to a small town in Colorado or Idaho.
The good news is that we are now trying out both scenarios in the retirement planner and discussing the pros and cons of each option.
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: Where you want to live? Housing is likely going to be your biggest expense and (if you own your home) your most valuable asset. So, where you live is a hugely important question. Not to mention that your community is a huge factor on your quality of life.
What? How you want to spend your time and with whom?
Spending: How much money you are willing to spend? This can be a big area of contention. Some people want to dramatically cut expenses and retire earlier. Others want to worry less about what they spend and are willing to save more or work longer to reduce financial anxiety.
Healthcare: How much money do you want to set aside for healthcare?
Care giving: What are each of your expectations if one of you have a long term care need? How do you want to be cared for and by whom?
Priorities: What is really important to each of you individually and as a couple for this long, last stage of life
Legacy: Is leaving a financial legacy for your heirs important to both of you?
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 Planner helps you assess your Social Security, downsizing, and healthcare decisions, among others.
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, and while not all of them necessarily have all of the important questions and results specified above, they are each more detailed than most online retirement calculators.
Fidelity Retirement Income Calculator
MarketWatch Retirement Planner
Do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable
Take financial wellness into your own hands and do it yourself retirement planning: easy,
Share this post:
If you want to have a good retirement, you need to figure out what that means to you. Do some life planning for retirement, set goals, and use these retirement tips to create a plan that allows you to achieve exactly what you want. What do most of us want? It is usually pretty simple,…
Before you got married, you probably discussed where you wanted to live, whether or not you would have kids, and your general hopes for the future. Before you bought a house, you and your spouse talked about where would be best, what size home you hoped to acquire, and more. Before you had kids, you…
Building wealth can happen even after age 50! Just follow a few of these 28 best practices and habits consistently. Read now!
Our weekly newsletter full of inspiration, podcasts, trends and news.
© 2023 NewRetirement, Inc. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: The content, calculators, and tools on NewRetirement.com are for informational and educational purposes
only and are not investment advice. They apply financial concepts in a general manner and include
hypotheticals based on information you provide. For retirement planning, you should consider other
assets, income, and investments such as equity in a home or savings accounts in addition to your
retirement savings in an IRA or qualified plan such as a 401(k). Among other things, NewRetirement
provides you with a way to estimate your future retirement income needs and assess the impact of
different scenarios on retirement income. NewRetirement Planner and PlannerPlus are tools that
individuals can use on their own behalf to help think through their future plans, but should not be
acted upon as a complete financial plan. We strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a financial
services professional who has a fiduciary relationship with you before making any type of investment or
significant financial decision. NewRetirement strives to keep its information and tools accurate and up
to date. The information presented is based on objective analysis, but it may not be the same that you
find on a particular financial institution, service provider or specific product's site. All content,
tools, financial products, calculations, estimates, forecasts, comparison shopping products and services
are presented without warranty.