Written by Alessandra Malito for MarketWatch

Last Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 10:54 a.m. ET
First Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 1:26 p.m. ET

Try these conversation starters to light the spark

Retirement planning may not sound like the most romantic topic to discuss at the table on Valentine’s Day, but it can be.

Retirement Tip of the Week: Make a plan to talk about money – financial goals, monetary obligations, future hopes and dreams – with your partner, and listen to what the other person has to say. 

Communication is key in all relationships, especially when it comes to money since it can be the main source of tension. This topic deserves more than one conversation (as it should) and plans will probably change through the years depending on how far away you are from retirement. Still, sharing thoughts and hopes about how you spend and save your money until retirement, and in retirement, will make a huge difference in the long run.

Remember to be open to your partner’s ideas as well, and understand you may not be on the same page initially. As with many aspects of a relationship, there will most likely need to be some compromise.

Not sure what to talk about, or how to start the conversation? Try these questions.

  • What do you want to do in retirement?
  • Do you envision your plans changing – such as traveling for the first few years and then settling down in a new town after?
  • Where do I fit intothe goals you have for retirement? Do you expect us to do all of the same activities together? Couples may find they want to do different things in retirement, such as one volunteering and another taking a break on the beach. Just like in the preretirement days, it’s healthy to have separate interests.
  • When do you think we should retire? Will we retire at the same time?
  • Where do you want to live in retirement?
  • If we move away from family, how often do you think we’ll visit our children or grandchildren?
  • How much money do you think we need for retirement, and do you think we’re on track?
  • If we’re not on track, is there anything we can do now to save more?
  • How do you feel about working part time in retirement?
  • Can we sit down and strategize one day about when we’ll both claim Social Security to maximize our benefits?
  • What kind of healthcaredo you think we’ll need in retirement? Are we properly insured or saving for that care? And will we need some sort of private insurance if we retire before Medicare eligibility at 65?
  • Do we expect anyone to take care of us, physically or financially?
  • If we don’t have a financial adviser, do you think we should try working with one?


If you have questions or comments, and we can help, don’t hesitate to reach out! That’s why we’re here.