Planning is often a joint effort for those who are married, especially for couples of similar ages. If you and your spouse have a significant age gap, however, you may hold different visions of the future. Comprehensive financial and estate plans are required to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Start with an honest and open conversation with your spouse. Here are some topics you should discuss in order to ensure your plans work as intended.
Differing Views on Employment
You might rely on a job to provide health insurance and income for yourself and your spouse. However, a job can also burn up a significant amount of your time. Therefore, it is important to discuss the following questions regarding the future of your employment.
Are either of you currently employed? If both of you work, then you can imagine how your lifestyle might change if either of you stop working.
After you both retire or stop working, do you know how you’d like to spend your time? If you want to travel, but your spouse wants to start a new company, there may be a conflict you need to address.
Managing Your Finances
If either of you stop working, it will lead to the loss of at least one source of income. Many people depend on their retirement accounts to fill this gap. Even so, this does not occur overnight. Making a smooth transition requires advance planning. As a married couple, it’s important that you discuss the following topics, which can ensure your financial security:
If you are employed now, when do you think you will retire? If you plan to stop working soon, you should meet with your financial planner for a checkup. It’s important to ensure your finances are in order and that you can actually afford to lose a source of income.
Do you foresee a time when both of you will be retired or not working? Depending on your current income requirements, if neither of you works, will you have enough income from other sources to support your current lifestyle?
How about when you withdraw the minimum distributions from your retirement accounts? Again, if you aren’t sure, then you should reach out to your financial advisor. They can help you devise a strategy given your current holdings and plans for the future.
Does the younger spouse intend to use the older spouse’s retirement for their lifetime as well? If so, is there enough money to make this happen?
Estate Planning Considerations
Crafting your estate plan is an excellent way to guarantee those you love are cared for. If you don’t create your own estate plan, Florida law will determine who gets your property and other assets when you pass away, as well as who will decide for you if you cannot make healthcare decisions for yourself. As you review or start building your estate plan, the questions below will touch on crucial issues you should take time to consider.
Have you decided who you’ll nominate to make decisions when you’re no longer able to (personal representative, successor trustee, and/or your agent under an applicable financial power of attorney, as well as your agent under a medical power of attorney)? Due to the age differences between you, it’s smart to also name alternates in these positions, just in case your first choice (which is most often your spouse) is unable to act on your behalf. If there are kids from a previous relationship, you might also consider whether, and in what order, you want to name them to one of these important decision-making roles.
Who will be your beneficiary? If it’s your spouse, do you want them to receive their inheritance outright, or in trust? If you want to leave an inheritance to your descendants, will it be immediately available when you die, or should it be held until the surviving spouse passes away?
Do you have offspring from your current marriage? Have you considered whether they’ll be treated like children from a previous relationship, or whether they’ll receive preferential treatment?
These are only a few of the considerations you and your spouse should be aware of as you move forward. If you are ready to take the next steps in crafting your estate plan, call us now at 904-877-1010. Press option 1 to schedule a free consultation; we’re available 24/7 to speak with you.