Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
GeoMetry
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:26 pm

Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by GeoMetry »

These are the tips I often pass along. Can you add to the list?


1. If one of you does not work outside the home don’t forget about spousal IRAs.
2. If you are unable to max out all your tax advantaged accounts (401k, IRA) you should max out the younger spouse’s accounts first because the RMDs will come later.
3. If you are converting IRAs to Roth convert the older spouse’s accounts first, again because of RMDs.
4. If possible one of you should get a government job with a health care plan you can take with you into retirement. Preferably the older person would have the government job because the retirement date would be sooner.
5. Saving for retirement is (relatively) easy. I have discovered that it is access to health insurance that dictates my ability to retire. If you don’t have a health insurance plan you can carry into retirement you are pretty much stuck until age 65. You can get out 18 months early if you can afford the COBRA payments.
6. Without health insurance that can be carried into retirement, if you are the sole breadwinner and you have a younger spouse, you will need to keep working till your spouse is eligible for Medicare.
7. If you don’t live in a community property state you need to think about in whose name you should hold your brokerage account(s) and other assets that could get a step up in basis at the death of the first spouse.
runner3081
Posts: 3556
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by runner3081 »

8) Don't get divorced.
User avatar
David Jay
Posts: 9357
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:54 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by David Jay »

GeoMetry wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:58 am 5. ... If you don’t have a health insurance plan you can carry into retirement you are pretty much stuck until age 65. ...
6. Without health insurance that can be carried into retirement, if you are the sole breadwinner and you have a younger spouse, you will need to keep working till your spouse is eligible for Medicare.
I would vigorously disagree with these two statements. There are simple ways to handle the transition period between employer insurance to Medicare.

Specifically, going into retirement with enough Roth assets to control your MAGI (to, say, 250% or 300% FPL), one can access an ACA plan at very reasonable rates.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius
HomeStretch
Posts: 4971
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by HomeStretch »

9) review SS claiming strategies to determine best age for each spouse to claim SS.
Topic Author
GeoMetry
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:26 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by GeoMetry »

David Jay wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:36 am Specifically, going into retirement with enough Roth assets to control your MAGI (to, say, 250% or 300% FPL), one can access an ACA plan at very reasonable rates.
I wouldn't argue with you on that but, I want to say this in the most politically neutral way possible, I'm not confident that the ACA will always be there.
mcraepat9
Posts: 1616
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:46 am

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by mcraepat9 »

For many married couples, we are talking about many years in the future. For all we know Medicare won’t be there either.

For others, we are talking about the short term. So assuming the status quo exists as it is makes the most sense.

For now, we can only make decisions based on the status quo, which includes the ACA.
Amateur investors are not cool-headed logicians.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 20644
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by Watty »

GeoMetry wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:58 am Can you add to the list?
Don't make special lists of rules to try to follow.

Your life will take twists and turns that you could never have predicted and some of them will actually work out better than you could have planned.

A few general things would apply to anyone though and those are outlined in the Bogleheads Philosophy wiki.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehe ... philosophy
User avatar
22twain
Posts: 2548
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by 22twain »

People need to evaluate the political and economic risks to any program that they plan to use in retirement (ACA, Social Security, Medicare, tax rates, tax treatment of IRAs, etc.), and come to their own conclusion about how they might reasonably be affected. That's different from saying simply, "you're stuck."
Help save endangered words! When you write "princiPLE", make sure you don't really mean "princiPAL"!
Pierre Delecto
Posts: 298
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:45 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by Pierre Delecto »

GeoMetry wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:58 am These are the tips I often pass along. Can you add to the list?


1. If one of you does not work outside the home don’t forget about spousal IRAs.
2. If you are unable to max out all your tax advantaged accounts (401k, IRA) you should max out the younger spouse’s accounts first because the RMDs will come later.
3. If you are converting IRAs to Roth convert the older spouse’s accounts first, again because of RMDs.
4. If possible one of you should get a government job with a health care plan you can take with you into retirement. Preferably the older person would have the government job because the retirement date would be sooner.
5. Saving for retirement is (relatively) easy. I have discovered that it is access to health insurance that dictates my ability to retire. If you don’t have a health insurance plan you can carry into retirement you are pretty much stuck until age 65. You can get out 18 months early if you can afford the COBRA payments.
6. Without health insurance that can be carried into retirement, if you are the sole breadwinner and you have a younger spouse, you will need to keep working till your spouse is eligible for Medicare.
7. If you don’t live in a community property state you need to think about in whose name you should hold your brokerage account(s) and other assets that could get a step up in basis at the death of the first spouse.
I understand the logic of 4 above but really have a hard time recommending someone should purposefully seek out government work for healthcare or pension. All of my parents and in-laws were career long government workers — both at local and federal levels. Huge, mega double pass. Yes they have good pensions in retirement but I wouldn’t subject myself to those workplaces for decades. I can’t even believe some of their situations and co-workers. It’s mind blowing. I would not willingly seek that out for healthcare or a pension.
StealthRabbit
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by StealthRabbit »

4&6 HC options... gotta be creative (as you do to be FIRE)
Be and stay Flexible.. Life happens, way different than your 'plan' (Unless you have a Gov Career / pension / financial security)

I left wage income(FIRE) at age 49,- single earner family, hourly night shift wages (never rich), no inheritance, no pension, no HC...

HC:
Pre-ACA was fine, THEN all the A(?)CA was implemented and it removed ALL of my affordable options. (hint: be creative)
available options for HC I used ranged from self insured, Medivacations (international care), HC cost sharing networks, ACA, ST international gigs with HC (Free travel, affordable care).
Catastrophic HC event ... all your plans can change in an instant... Dear friend just ran up $3m (uninsured) costs in 3 months (very unexpectedly), there goes the 'Plan'.
Spousal / adult child / parent disability and financial need: ER uncle had a very unexpected Medical event @ age 59 and spent the next 15 yrs as a very high need quad.

Health (in general). your future life can change permanently and quickly,

Other significant unexpected costs:
Property Taxes on my existing home increased of 300% AFTER FIRE... Be flexible, I had to change investments and cash flows significantly to meet increased fixed costs.
Adult kid / grandkid financial drain. (have a few friends who pay for several $20k - $80 rehab + many ER friends now caring for their grandkids FT (for various reasons).)
Uninsured / uninsured capital risk. (non-insured 'acts of War or Nature'). We live 40 miles from Mt St Helens, but can't get 'Volcano insurance' Friends lost an entire subdivision (30+ homes) to an unexpected landslide in a previously considered stable area. Friends in Christchurch, NZ still struggling with EQ damage (9 yrs later).
plans / interests / abilities / responsibilities change significantly during 40+ yrs in retirement
TheNightsToCome
Posts: 606
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by TheNightsToCome »

GeoMetry wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:58 am These are the tips I often pass along. Can you add to the list?


1. If one of you does not work outside the home don’t forget about spousal IRAs.
2. If you are unable to max out all your tax advantaged accounts (401k, IRA) you should max out the younger spouse’s accounts first because the RMDs will come later.
3. If you are converting IRAs to Roth convert the older spouse’s accounts first, again because of RMDs.
4. If possible one of you should get a government job with a health care plan you can take with you into retirement. Preferably the older person would have the government job because the retirement date would be sooner.
5. Saving for retirement is (relatively) easy. I have discovered that it is access to health insurance that dictates my ability to retire. If you don’t have a health insurance plan you can carry into retirement you are pretty much stuck until age 65. You can get out 18 months early if you can afford the COBRA payments.
6. Without health insurance that can be carried into retirement, if you are the sole breadwinner and you have a younger spouse, you will need to keep working till your spouse is eligible for Medicare.
7. If you don’t live in a community property state you need to think about in whose name you should hold your brokerage account(s) and other assets that could get a step up in basis at the death of the first spouse.
"Without health insurance that can be carried into retirement, if you are the sole breadwinner and you have a younger spouse, you will need to keep working till your spouse is eligible for Medicare."

So I can't retire til 76? Ok
(not gonna happen)
naples09
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:24 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by naples09 »

This might be one of the worst bogleheads thread ever.
Barkingsparrow
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:09 pm

Re: Retirement planning tips/thoughts for married couples

Post by Barkingsparrow »

GeoMetry wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:55 am
David Jay wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:36 am Specifically, going into retirement with enough Roth assets to control your MAGI (to, say, 250% or 300% FPL), one can access an ACA plan at very reasonable rates.
I wouldn't argue with you on that but, I want to say this in the most politically neutral way possible, I'm not confident that the ACA will always be there.
Same here - which is why I'm stuck in the OMY rut.
Post Reply