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It Takes Two   

 

If you’re married and planning for retirement, you’re in good company. According to a recent survey,* more than half (56%) of married workers have calculated how much money they will need to accumulate for retirement. But just because you and your spouse are planning for retirement doesn’t mean there’s nothing more for you to do. If you are both participating in employer-provided plans, you need to coordinate your plan investments to make sure they reflect your long-term strategy.

 

Side by Side

Have you reviewed your own plan investments recently? Do you know which investments are in your spouse’s plan portfolio? If not, it’s time to get together and find out. Doing a side-by-side comparison of your investments may reveal that you have investments in the same funds or in the same companies or industries. Together, your combined retirement investments may not be as diversified as you’d like. Or you could be “over invested” in one investment type or asset class. As a result, your investments as a whole may be more aggressive or conservative than you intended.

Share a Strategy

Consider how comfortable you both are with the risk of investment losses and how many years you intend to keep working. Your goal should be to develop an overall, coordinated investment strategy for your retirement investments that fits your risk tolerance, investing time frame, and goals.

Marry Your Money

Next, look at the investment options available in your plans. Consider their objectives, fees and expenses, risks, and past performance. (Past performance does not guarantee future results.) Then decide together how you want to invest within each plan.

Keep in mind that your asset allocations for each plan account don’t have to match. Depending on the investment options in each plan, you may decide to put more money in stock investments in one plan and more into other types of investments in the other plan. Just make sure that, combined, your retirement plan portfolios reflect your coordinated investment strategy.

* 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey, Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates