Divide and conquer...then retire rich together

Michele Turk

A survey released, not coincidentally, on Valentine's Day has shed some light on how couples can plan for a financially secure retirement.

The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab teamed up to survey more than 800 retirees or those soon to be retired. All of the couples were either married or living together and were between the ages of 45 and 74.

The researchers found that couples approach their finances quite differently, with either a solo or cooperative planning style. Those who go it alone were labeled drivers (the primary planners) or passengers (those who did little or no planning). Among those who worked as a team, partners labeled "joined at the hip" divvied up financial management tasks equally and conferred about their work. In the fourth group, known as "divide and conquer couples," each spouse took the lead on different aspects of their finances, for example, saving and investing.