Finance Made Simple

Pension maximization is a retirement income strategy for couples. The goal is to “maximize” the pension benefit and offset risk with other avenues. Let’s take a closer look at how this strategy could benefit you and your spouse.  

For this strategy, one spouse opts for the highest annuity payout for their lifetime (single-life annuity) and obtains a life insurance policy to provide income for the surviving spouse. 

When working with couples who are part of the Millennial or Gen Z generation, the topic of starting a family often comes up. For many, the idea of having kids has always been part of their long term life plans. Then, when the milestone starts to get closer, sticker shock starts to set in. 

Although many organizations have stopped offering formal pensions, there are still several large corporations out there with a pension plan in place for dedicated employees. If you have a pension available to you, or if your spouse has one, it’s critical to understand how the cash flow from your benefit will impact your retirement. Knowing what payout options you have, and which is right for you, is the perfect first step. 

Buying your first house is an exciting adventure. It’s also one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make! Knowing how to budget for your first home, and how to financially prepare, is the best way to start your journey to homeownership off on the right foot. 

Many retirees look to relocate in retirement, or to pursue a snowbird lifestyle where they spend the warmer months in the midwest or north near their family, then go to their southern home for the colder months of the year. While relocating somewhere new and exciting in retirement is an appealing option for many, there are several key questions to consider before taking the leap. 

One primary consideration is how your potential new home’s tax laws compare to where you currently live. 

Couples have a unique opportunity to collect benefits from their spouse’s or former spouse’s work record. Spousal Social Security benefits were designed to help supplement income where one spouse was the primary income earner. These benefits are also extremely helpful for ex-spouses and surviving spouses. 

So how do spousal benefits work and when will they impact you? Let’s find out. 

Your financial advisor plays a key role in your life. They help you use your financial resources to craft a plan that embodies your goals, dreams, and aspirations. That is a big responsibility. Entrusting a professional with your hard-earned money is no small feat, and you deserve to be working with a team of professionals who knows you and cares about your success. 

Receiving an inheritance is often an affecting experience—marked by a loved one’s passing, the money is a wonderful gift that also gets intertwined in the grieving process.

After a loved one’s passing, it can be difficult to sort through the legal and financial repercussions that come with an inheritance. Your inheritance is an important responsibility and a chance to use the money in a thoughtful, meaningful, and intentional way that promotes the life and legacy of those who came before you.

When it comes to financial planning, a surprising number of couples choose to put one person “in charge” of their wealth management. It can make sense to have one member of a couple be responsible for some financial tasks (think: setting up bill pay, tracking progress toward goals, and even maintaining daily budget items). 

The Social Security Administration has announced that they will start to provide statements that highlight how much you can receive in benefits between ages 62 and 70. However, the SSA also has numerous online resources to help you:

  • Calculate benefits
  • Understand eligibility 

And more! 

When you read articles about planning for retirement, they often focus on retired couples. While it’s true that most retirees are married or have a partner and children, that isn’t always the case. In fact, “gray divorce” (or divorce after age 65) is becoming increasingly prevalent, with over 1 of 10 retirees being divorced

Additionally, the Social Security Administration also indicated that 26% of their total beneficiaries are widowed retirees aged 65 or older receiving spousal benefits. Regardless of why you are single in retirement, or whether or not it was by choice, you can still plan for a fulfilling and exciting next chapter in your life. Here’s how. 

Planning your retirement lifestyle can be a challenge, especially when you have big goals and ideas about what you’d like to accomplish in your next chapter. One way to ensure you stay on track toward a lifestyle you love without blowing your budget is to spend time prioritizing your goals prior to retiring. 

For many retirees, it’s inevitable. The urge to escape ice and snow each winter is often too great to ignore. However, uprooting your life entirely in order to live somewhere warm and sunny year-round may not be an option. Family, friends, pets, and a community you love may continually pull you back to your roots (even if the winters are less than favorable!). The solution that some retirees pursue is to adopt a “snowbird” lifestyle. Just like birds do, these retirees fly south for the winter months to a second residence that they own. 

Many pre-retirees and retirees know that their current living arrangement won’t make sense for their needs forever. There are approximately 21,000 senior living facilities in the United States as of 2019, and a growing senior population. The reality is that many seniors may want or need some kind of senior living community as they go through retirement. 


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