Do you and your spouse enjoy going on a date night? Do you fear about your finances when thinking or talking about retirement? Retirement is a great point in life to get to. It can also be scary when it comes to finances.
What exactly is a financial date night? A financial date night is where you and your spouse go to a nice dinner once a month, then talk about where you stand with your finances. What kind of topics should you address in your conversation?
The main concern about retirement is “will I outlive my money?” If you have a game plan, that will reduce stress and anxiety. Website for Source for Article
Many couples give each other a short list of questions before the date. Ask your spouse….. “If a genie gave you some magic dust, what are the three financial issues you would like to solve?” The main goal in a financial date night is to be all about open communication and reducing stress around finances. Spouses should listen to each other and keep discussion notes. You should plan financial date nights at least once per quarter. You should prepare and share agenda for your next plan financial date night.
According to USA Today-The Daily Advertiser article titled “A Table For Two, It’s Financial Date Night” the first thing you should discuss is a household budget. It says you should get one started. Its particularly important when your earning days are over. Since most couples, during their working years, work Monday-Friday. When that is the case, most money is spent on weekends. Once you become retired, it frees up a lot more time to spend money. Without a budget, you may be headed to a financial disaster.
Think of ways you can save money. You should save money on car expenses. You will not have commuting expenses back and forth to work. Maybe you could get by with only one car. Think what that would save. Insurance, upkeep, gasoline, etc.
Another important topic is Social Security. When will you and your spouse file for your Social Security. Don’t forget to sign up for Medicare at age 65. There is a penalty that applies if you do not.
If only one spouse is working, that spouse may want to work until both can file for Medicare at age 65. Otherwise, the non-working spouse will need private medical insurance until they are 65. That can be very costly. It would be better probably to continue working and maintain employer provided health coverage on the non-working spouse until the non-working spouse can file for Medicare.
Don’t forget to plan just in case one of you should die. That is where it is important to see an attorney experienced in probate, wills, trusts and power of attorney law. You may have an old will. Better dust it off and see if it is still relevant. Event overtake us all. Things change. People die. Children sometimes disappoint. You also need to make sure you have an estate plan in place that does what you want it to do.
Don’t forget about the medical side of an estate plan. Do you hold a medical power of attorney for your spouse? How about a living will? What does your spouse want done if he or she becomes incapacitated? Feeding tube? Heroic efforts? Machines for life support? A DNR? An experienced elder law attorney can help you navigate these difficult decisions. If you have not put the medical side in place, you need to.
Have you planned your funeral? It is getting more costly every day. Just recently a funeral, lot and headstone for a client’s late spouse cost over $16,000. You can purchase a prepaid funeral and lock in the cost. It can never go up. The product you have purchased is guaranteed to be delivered when it is needed.
Basics. Make sure you have a will or trust in place. Without a will or trust in place, you are setting your family up for unnecessary conflict and pain. A good metaphor on how to put this is when you fly on an airline, the flight attendant instructs you to make sure to secure you oxygen mask first before strapping one on your children. Don’t set up the kids for a good fight. Make it simple. Make the hard decisions. Put the right child in charge. That may not be the oldest child!
Overall, it is a very good idea to discuss these important concerns with your spouse. The recommendation of going out on a date night to make it easier to discuss them. If you prefer not to go anywhere, (your wife will think you are a miser and don’t treasure her), I suppose that is OK. The goal is to have a plan in place before you retire. After the two of you talk, don’t forget seek out an experienced attorney who has some life experience. Who deals with probate, trusts, wills, medical and financial powers of attorney. At the meeting you could discuss how to make sure all your assets are protected and in place. If you have that in place, that will lighten up the stress level about retirement. Then, you would only have to manage your finances.
If you or your spouse is really ill. With an illness that is probably to land one of you in a nursing home in the future, be sure and mention this to your attorney. An experienced elder law attorney will understand how to qualify for Medicaid and how your life savings could be protected from nursing home spend down with proper planning, and the use of specialized trusts, like a Medicaid Shield Trust.
An experienced probate, living trust and elder law attorney like Brent D. Coldiron, with over 39 years of law practice, knows what to do in these situations. His fees are reasonable. The best money ever spent is to get good legal advice before signing your name to something or putting an estate plan in place. Contact Brent at (405) 478-5655 or 737-2244. His website is http://coldironlaw.com.