Kim Kirmmse Toth - Small Business Coach

Have You Had That Crucial Conversation With Your Husband Yet?

Prefer to listen to this week’s article?

pathtogetherThe answer is probably a resounding “No.” Or maybe you’re not even sure what that Crucial Conversation is.

This conversation is about how you are going to live the rest of your lives together as a couple. On one hand, this may sound pretty simple but when you really dig in and start talking, you may be in for some big surprises. Or you may think it’s just not all that important. But you are wrong. It is very important. Crucially so.

Fidelity Investments did a recent study titled Fidelity’s Couples Retirement Survey to see if couples were on the same page on their finances and retirement planning. Seems they weren’t even reading the same book!

The study included 500 couples ages 45 to 72 years. In a nutshell, wives and husband are doing a very poor job at planning for their futures, including financial and lifestyle.

Briefly, here are some of the results:

• Only 38% of couples jointly discuss investment decisions for retirement savings
• 60% of couples don’t agree on when they plan to retire
• 44% are not in agreement on whether they will work in retirement or not
• 42% have different ideas regarding the type of lifestyle they wish to live
• 42% are at odds on whether they will even have enough money to retire

Needless to say, these numbers are staggering and a bit frightening. Why is it that couples aren’t talking to each other about this? The statistics that Fidelity found this year are much worse than the study they did 2 years ago. One would think that with the economy the way it is, having those ‘money talks’ would be all that more important.

Here are some samples of conversation starters to have with your husband:

• What is your vision of retirement?
• Do you want to continue to work in some capacity?
• When do you think you’ll leave your current job?
• Where do you want to live?
• Do we have enough money to retire?

You may be reading these basic and simple questions and think that of course, you know how your husband would answer. I hope you do! If so, you are in the minority.

If not, for the sake of your future together please begin talking. This is the time of your life that most people wait for. It’s been said many times that people spend more time planning for a two week vacation than they do their retirement. However you define ‘retirement’, if you work or not, looking forward, you have a good 20-30 or more years left in your life. That’s a very long time! At the same time you are not in your twenties with a lot of time to ‘do over.’

Be part of the minority. Prove the statistics wrong. Begin the discussion with your husband or significant other and begin the fun process of planning your future!

© 2009 Kim Kirmmse Toth

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13 Comments


  1. ameena
    Sep 15, 2009

    Within these conversations, each may want to peek into the other person’s side and remember that they are both doing the best they can in unknown territory. We talk about “empty nest” syndrome. Studies are just now being done about “filled nest” issues. Know when to get help rather than give up trying.


  2. Kim Kirmmse Toth
    Sep 22, 2009

    I couldn’t agree with you more Ameena. New territory is often intimidating as well as exciting. Keeping the doors open (and ears!) makes life so much easier!
    Thanks for your comments!


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