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Retirement In Sight: December 2019

December 31, 2019

READY FOR MORE TIME TOGETHER?

A career-focused couple may spend as little as 5 to 6 hours interacting with each other on most days, given hours spent working, commuting, shopping, and running errands apart. Once retired, that same couple may spend as many as 15 to 16 hours together each day, with work and commuting out of the way. When you hear stories of retired spouses or partners getting on each other’s nerves, this difference may have something to do with it.

For many retiring couples, this extra time together is a gift. It offers spouses and partners a chance to savor, renew, or rekindle what is most wonderful about their relationship. Others are surprised by this abundance of time, not really knowing how to spend it and feeling like their days have a kind of inertia. Those who experience that feeling may find a remedy in part-time work, volunteering, and even starting a business. All retiring couples should be aware of this factor and think about how much togetherness or independence they may need. Many pre-retirees aspire to have financial freedom one day; many will have time freedom once they wind down their careers. In arranging their retirement transitions, it will be wise to think about how to spend and enjoy that ample time.1 

RETIRING DEBT-FREE IS GREAT … BUT IS IT REALISTIC?

Ideally, we would all like to retire without a cent of debt. In reality, few of us probably will. Large loan balances may remain with many of us into our “second acts.”

The TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies says that 40% of retirees rank cutting debt as a financial priority – but not necessarily as their top priority. While reducing debt is a great financial goal, it is hardly the only goal within an overall retirement strategy. An effort to erase debt for retirement should not come at great cost to a retirement strategy’s other important financial objectives – such as adhering to an accepted and long-followed investment approach, making ongoing contributions to retirement accounts, or managing income withdrawals and linked income taxes. Some debts may be worth carrying into retirement, as they could be necessary steps on the way to positive financial outcomes. All nonrecurring debt needs to be seen in the context of a larger financial picture.3

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the S&P 500 stock benchmark was up almost 25% year-to-date. If that advance can be sustained through the end of December, the index will have its best year since 2013.5

 

CITATIONS.
1 - forbes.com/sites/josephcoughlin/2019/10/29/these-are-retirement-numbers-every-couple-should-plan-on-but-dont/ [10/29/19]

2 - mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757 [11/28/18]

3 - kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T025-C000-S004-tips-for-dealing-with-debt-in-retirement.html [8/30/19]

4 - theconversation.com/six-amazing-facts-you-need-to-know-about-ants-100478 [6/20/19]

5 - cnbc.com/2019/11/25/stock-market-wall-street-in-focus-amid-earnings-and-economic-data.html [11/25/19]

 

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