Couples should discuss 'aging styles'

Sept. 24, 2010 at 2:03 AM

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. adults approaching retirement should discuss their expectations and define their "aging style" with their partners, a financial firm suggests.

Colleen Goldhammer, senior vice president at Genworth Financial says couples are often surprised to learn that their spouses have vastly different views on what their retirement should involve.

A Genworth survey indicates 6 percent of Americans believe retirement will be a period of winding down, while 57 percent view it as an opportunity for a new exciting chapter in life.

This disparity can present challenges when planning how much can be withdrawn from retirement savings. For example, Goldhammer asks: Should the couple be world travelers or backyard gardeners, part-time workers or new business owners or volunteers, or second home buyers or condo downsizers?

"'Let's Talk Retirement Income' encourages families to agree upon a shared vision for what life will be like after they stop working," Goldhammer says in a statement. "Retirement planning shouldn't solely focus on hitting a number for accumulated wealth. It should also be a result of thoughtful conversations about the day-to-day life we want to live when work is no longer the primary focus."

The survey of 2,939 U.S. consumers was conducted from Jan. 12-15 by Age Wave/Harris Interactive and sponsored by the Genworth Financial companies. No further survey details were provided.

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