Couples Should Plan for Care Together

Megan Ray  |  July 20, 2011

When it comes to planning for retirement, most couples are free-spoken with their plans. They talk about traveling and visiting the grandkids, or even just having a quiet little apartment near a golf course. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that they've touched on financial details.

In fact, according to The Associated Press,  a new survey conducted by Fidelity Investments discovered that 59 percent of couples dictate the responsibilities of finances to one spouse, who is responsible for the great majority of readying assets for retirement.

This tactic can leave the rest of the family in the dark, which can be a problem when it comes time to think about paying for assisted living facilities or transitioning to an independent living community.

"The life expectancy for a woman on average is about three years longer than a man so there's a likelihood that the wife will have to manage the retirement finances alone or at least be the primary decision maker at some point in time in retirement," said Chris McDermott, senior vice president of Retirement and Financial Planning at Fidelity.

Just 35 percent of women believed they could take care of finances if the responsibilities fell to them in the future.

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