Agreeing on financial expectations before you retire

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If you're planning for retirement, you probably have been wise for many years in planning your portfolio to include a bevy of different investment vehicles that change over time to suit your future target retirement date. When you get there, though where exactly do you plan to retire?

Agreeing with your spouse on where to retire (and what to do then) is a tough business. After all, opposites attract and that dream of visiting a few continents could run right into that dream of creating a country life away from the city. Yes, priorities will collide -- but how do you navigate such a 'golden' time?

Most humans can't stand the company of the same people the majority of the day.What happens when you're retired and around your spouse 24 hours per day? Start early by negotiating retirement expectations from finances to living conditions to location. Don't blow your whole nest egg on something your spouse will grow tired of in a few years, but don't live like a hermit on a mountaintop either. Plan now.

Fidelity, one of the larger investment houses in the U.S., asked 500 pre-retiree couples about their expectations. Low and behold, 30% of the couples gave alarmingly different answers about expected lifestyles and even retirement ages in general. Would you like to be a fly on the wall in one of those households when both man and woman retire? Thought not.
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