Talk the talk so you can walk the walk

early-retirementRetirement is a hot topic these days! Whether you’re starting to consider stepping down from the workforce or are ready and just don’t know what will be there for you once you do, it’s an important decision that must be carefully considered and requires comprehensive planning.

Retirement planning should include a discussion with a financial adviser or, more important, with your significant other, reports Amy Zipkin for HuffPost50. According to a couples retirement study released by Fidelity Investments in June 2011, “62 per cent of couples approaching retirement didn’t agree on their expected retirement ages, 47 per cent of couples approaching retirement didn’t agree on whether they’ll continue working in retirement and 33 per cent of couples didn’t agree or didn’t know where they plan to live when they retire.”

“Couples don’t necessarily see eye to eye about retirement and they don’t want to deal with it,” says Dorian Mintzer, co-author with Roberta K. Taylor of “The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Transitioning to the Second Half of Life.” “The more couples think and plan together, the more their decisions will be conscious and intentional.”

Erica Whittlinger, once a financial guru on MPR’s “Sound Money” and CEO of a successful money management firm, chose to retire in a most interesting way. She decided to become a ski instructor in Park City, Utah.

After selling her money management firm in 2002, Whittlinger started spending her winters at her second home in Park City. One thing led to another, and after a few suggestions from friends, she became a ski instructor at Park City Mountain Resort.  Whittlinger’s full story can be found here, but what she realized was how, even in her retirement years, she found a relaxed environment that she enjoyed working in. Where a hobby became a passion.

This is something to be considered and talked about with your significant other. What do you both enjoy? What would you like to pursue? How can you get there? Deciding on your retirement plans doesn’t have to be a burden; it’s all in how you choose to look at it.

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