What are you getting your spouse for Valentine’s Day this year? Flowers? Chocolates with weird fillings? How about a bigger Social Security benefit, or an insurance policy that could secure their financial future? Whatever you decide to give your loved one this Valentine’s Day, it’s also the perfect time to sit down and talk with your spouse about your future to make sure you’re both on the same page and have a solid plan in place.
For some couples, communication is an issue. It’s not always fun to have tough conversations, but when it comes to things like finances, Social Security and insurance, it’s important to have an open and honest discussion. Although sitting at a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day may not be the ideal time to talk about these things, you should consider setting some time aside to go over your financial plan so that you’re both on the same page about what role Social Security will play in your retirement strategy.
Who said Social Security can’t be romantic? If you’re married, Social Security spousal benefits can be a great way to increase your joint earnings in retirement. The spousal benefit will kick in if one spouse’s benefit is less than half of the other’s. For instance, if one is entitled to $1,500 per month, and the other $400, the latter is entitled to an additional $350 per month. Usually the spouse wishing to receive the spousal benefit must be at least 62 years old and must draw their own retirement benefit first. Spousal benefits can be reduced if claimed before full retirement age. As with regular Social Security benefits, spousal benefits can be reduced is claimed before full retirement age, however, there is no upside to waiting until 70 to claim benefits.
Insurance may not seem like a romantic gift, but it could be the most practical one: Life insurance and disability insurance could save your family from a lot of anxiety in the event of your passing or becoming disabled. It’s important to discuss how much income your family would need in order to sustain its current lifestyle, and look into insurance policies that suit your particular needs. Making sure that your family will always be financially protected could be the most loving gift.
So, this Valentine’s Day, while consumers are spending $2 billion on flowers, $1.7 billion on candy and $4.3 billion on jewelry, according to the National Retail Federation, consider investing in something more impactful – you and your spouse’s future. If you get a plan together now for the lifestyle that you want to live in retirement, you can be sure that you will accomplish your retirement goals together.
At Madrona Financial, we know that we’re not just helping you plan for you financial future, but your spouse’s and family’s as well. Let us help you create a comprehensive plan that takes all your loved ones into account. Click here to schedule your complimentary review.