Your financial life encompasses more than your assets. It should include your goals for the future and how you want to live right now. When it comes to retirement, the decisions you make today can have an impact on what retirement will be like in the future.

And, since retirement oftentimes involves a spouse or partner, it’s important that both of you be involved in planning for it. Here are six suggestions to help couples plan:

1. Decide what’s important.
A good first step is to agree about your retirement goals. What do you want your wealth to accomplish? What do you dream about doing one day? And, what’s happening now that might impact your financial future? Are you helping support adult children or your parents? Think through these important questions together and, when you reach an agreement, create a plan to pursue your goals.


2. Find a risk tolerance you both can embrace.
According to UBS Investor Watch,1 women are often more conservative than men when it comes to investing. Work together to find a comfortable balance between your and your spouse’s risk-tolerance levels. Couples describe this as the most satisfying approach to planning for retirement.

3. Don’t forget long-term care planning.
Life expectancy is growing, and many of us are spending more years in retirement. This makes issues like healthcare and eldercare more important than ever. Start the conversations now about a long-term care plan for you both. Do you envision staying in your home? How heavily will you rely on family to provide your care? How will you finance future health and long-term care costs?

The decisions you make today can have an impact on what retirement will be like in the future.

4. Coordinate your strategy for Social Security.
Even if you’re not counting on Social Security as a major source of retirement income, it’s important to recognize that couples have various options to consider. Making informed decisions before you start Social Security can lead to significantly higher benefits over the long term. Discuss with a financial advisor your best options to help maximize your benefits.


5. Keep in the know.
It isn’t always easy for both of you to be inolved in every financial decision, especially when it comes to managing your accounts. But it’s good for both of you to know your net worth; your assets, liabilities, insurance, property and financial accounts; where all these records are held; and how to access your money once you retire.

6. Get involved and stay involved.
UBS Investor Watch,2 says this is the most important step couples can take to avoid feeling stressed about retirement. Make it a point to review investment statements together. Check in with each other to see if it’s time to adjust your strategy, and make sure you both speak with your financial advisor, as well as your lawyers and accountants. Talk on a regular basis to make sure you have the information you need, your goals are aligned and you’re pulling in the same direction.

Putting in the effort now can pay off for both of you. If you’re not already planning for your retirement together, the tips above can help you start.

1 2Q 2014 UBS Investor Watch.
2 Ibid.
The information contained in this article is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed by UBS Financial Services Inc. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as the basis for an investment decision..

Jesse Rodriquez is a Financial Advisor with UBS Financial Services Inc. in 888 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, Calif. 92660. UBS Financial Services Inc. Financial Advisor(s) engage Worth to feature this article. In providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both investment advisory and brokerage services which are separate and distinct and differ in material ways. For information, including the different laws and contracts that govern, visit The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors. UBS Financial Services Inc., its affiliates and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice. Clients should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Insurance products are made available by UBS Financial Services Insurance Agency Inc. or other insurance licensed subsidiaries of UBS Financial Services Inc. through third-party unaffiliated insurance companies. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of UBS Financial Services Inc. a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC.

This article was originally published in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Worth.