|by Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY|
People know they aren't saving enough for their golden years, but at least they are talking about retirement with their significant other.
Couples say they discuss retirement planning an average of 14 times a year, according to a telephone survey of 1,008 adults sponsored by Capital One ShareBuilder, an online investing site.
The survey shows 72% of employed adults say they're contributing a percentage of their annual income to retirement, tucking away an average of 6.4% of their annual incomes. Overall, folks believe they should be saving about 12.1%.
If you are saving less than 10% for retirement, especially if you're in your 40s and 50s, that's not enough, says
Couples may believe they're talking about retirement planning 14 times a year, but that may mean they've mentioned the word retirement or simply talked about finances, he says. Not enough people are having in-depth retirement discussions.
He says it's especially important that couples discuss the lifestyle they want to have and where they want to live. You can live in some rural communities on half the assets that it takes to live in many big cities, Greenshields says.
He advises couples to try to make retirement planning fun by having the discussions over dinner at a restaurant or on a weekend retreat. Try to figure out what's important to each of you, what expenses you have, what you want to do for your grandchildren and whether either of you plan to have a second career.
"If you compile a budget for six months of all your expenses, which my husband and I did, then you'll see what you need to save to create the lifestyle you hope to have in retirement," she says. "The budget provides a neutral way of starting the conversation about retirement savings."
One of the worst mistakes partners can make is to start blaming each other for spending too much. It's better to work together than "pick each other apart," she says.
Couples who fear they won't have enough to retire may feel especially deprived, and under those circumstances, it's easy to blame the other person when, in reality, no one is at fault, says
Sanford says she often sees couples when one partner is involved in retirement saving and the other isn't. "It's important that both of you are informed and know what your assets are."
Other survey findings:
• Employed men tend to save at a slightly higher percentage of their income (7.2%) than employed women (5.6%).
• 58% of pre-retirees say they plan to retire at age 65, but 57% say they are concerned they won't save enough in time.
• 61% of female pre-retirees are concerned they will never save enough for retirement, compared with 52% of men.
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