Does Your Wife Have a Secure Retirement? Jeff Masters 8 Nov 2013 no comments Ephesians 5:25 instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. This love is displayed by sacrificial acts of caring, giving and provision. It is the highest calling for husbands. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 wives outlive their husbands on average by 14 years. Studies also show that a widow not only faces the grief of the loss of her spouse, but also takes on financial obligations that her husband previously supported (2009 Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute). The physical care of the house, car and other functions we husbands many times take care of is suddenly cast on the bereaved wife. The shock of losing a husband can leave a wife confused and debilitated, making her vulnerable to poor decisions. This difficulty is compounded exponentially if your wife doesn’t have enough money to provide for her needs. A new survey from American Consumer Credit Counseling found that a majority of Americans are not financially ready for retirement, and many have not contributed to a retirement account for at least a year. The survey found that 70 percent of respondents did not think they were financially ready for retirement, despite the fact that a majority of the respondents were between ages 45 and 64. More than 30 percent said they do not contribute to a retirement account at all. If you are part of these statistics, then you may be setting up your spouse to be unprepared for retirement. Here are some areas that you can start to attend to, and diligently apply yourself, to give your spouse the freedom of provision after you are gone: Do some planning Every year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute and other think tanks issue research documenting how poorly Americans are prepared for retirement. We haven’t saved enough money. We don’t do a good job of investing the meager retirement funds we have scraped together. We don’t know how much it will cost us to live in retirement. We make New Years Resolutions and goals . . . there is much moaning and gnashing of teeth. Then we repeat the exercise the following year, and the next, and the next. Seriously, are you prepared for retirement? Think about what this means for you and your family. Make a plan, and carry it out! Get wisdom & get Understanding Search out and get knowledge on the best way to plan your financial future. There are countless strong sources of financial education online as well as nearby colleges and community centers. Consider taking a Financial Peace University class, or some other independent source of education. Be leery of being educated or getting your plan from a financial salesperson, they will more than likely be representing their institution or themselves more than your well being. There are millions spent on marketing financial products to consumers, and big financial offices have big overhead that can motivate sales persons to only take large accounts or higher commission products to compensate themselves and their companies…be leery! Understand your social security options Social Security tops the hit parade of financial issues that confront nearly all Americans approaching retirement. For people who are not in poor health and/or do not have a family history of early deaths, the best answer is usually to wait until your full retirement age. Taking benefits as soon as possible at age 62 locks in payments that are only 75 percent of what they would be at age 66, which is defined as the full retirement age for the current wave of retirees. Delaying benefits beyond age 66 will raise them by 8 percent a year until age 70, after which benefits do not increase with age (see socialsecurity.gov). Make sure your records are accessible, up to date, and completed Have a location where you and your spouse have stored your completed documents and all of your financial paperwork. Review with your spouse a list of explanations, passwords and directives, and make sure she knows where that list is stored. Of course, have your will completed and accurate. Make sure you have listed all important contacts, accounts, contracts and policy numbers, and where to locate that information. Set up good disciplines and stick to them! The best way to prepare for providing for your family is to establish automatic disciplines of saving and investing. Whether it is your employer’s plan, a personal retirement plan, or a regular investment account, make it an automatic monthly discipline! Be faithful to have a planned and secure retirement plan for you and your spouse. For more helpful information, read “Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning” at dol.gov/ebsa/publications/nearretirement.Html Jeffery Masters, President of Jeffery W. Masters & Associates Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC Investment Advice offered through Independent Financial Partners, a Registered Investment Advisor. Independent Financial Partners and Jeffery W. Masters & Associates are not affiliated with LPL Financial. Jeff is a Locally Endorsed Investment Advisor by Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey is not affiliated with or endorsed by LPL Financial. Share this articleTweet Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. You must be logged in to post a comment.