7 Retirement Questions to Ask Your Spouse

investing retirement

Marriage is one of the most beautiful things we do. When we get married, we leave our old families and become one with our spouse. It is an amazing picture of the relationship between Christ and his church. Being on the same page regarding life goals and identity in Christ is essential to a fulfilling marriage.

While the idea of retirement is relatively new to our culture, it’s nonetheless essential to have conversations with your spouse about it early and often. Here are some questions to consider as you and your spouse discuss what retirement could look like for both of you.

1. What does it mean to be retired?

This is a super broad question. But it’s a necessary one. Often, you hear the idea of endless vacations, travel, and golf. However, I think this question should lead us to ponder more than luxuries or comforts. Is retirement all about living the easy life, or is it an opportunity to do something much more? I think it’s the latter. Retirement offers the freedom to make a significant Kingdom impact through both finances and time.

2. Where should we live?

This is another question that will spawn even more questions. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing where to live:

  • Proximity to family (think kids and grandkids)
  • Access to healthcare (critical if you have health issues)
  • Availability of a local church
  • Opportunities to serve within the community

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it provides a good starting point for discussion and prayer over where God may call you in your next season of life.

3. What kind of work will we do?

A standard view of work is that we do it until we’ve saved enough money to escape the daily grind. However, Scripture sees work as an inherently good thing. Good work does far more than provide a daily paycheck. On the contrary, work allows us to better reflect God's image and to do things or provide services that promote human flourishing.

As you consider the work you want to do, remember that it doesn’t necessarily need to be paid work. However, consider how you could still use your gifts and talents to provide service to others (1 Peter 4:10).

4. How will we pour into other people?

When I was in college, many students were “adopted” by older people at our church. It’s a time that I cherish greatly. I had the opportunity to learn and be mentored by a couple who had walked with God for decades.

You could also have similar opportunities. Now, you may not have a bunch of college students at your church, but younger families do crave your mentorship and wisdom. You can also consider how to pour into other church members and how you might be a gospel light to your neighbors.

5. How will we prepare financially?

This question may involve some of the more technical and nerdy aspects of retirement planning and also spawns more questions. While considering this, you’ll want to ask yourself, “How much is enough for me to live and give generously?” This question could help you determine a financial “finish line” to aim for. The next question would likely be, “How do we get there?” You’ll need to consider what tools you have, which include IRAs, Roth accounts, workplace retirement plans, and so forth.

6. Do we have our estate planning documents in order?

Your estate planning documents determine what happens with your assets after you pass away. It’s essential to keep these documents updated regularly.

There are three important documents that you need to have in order:

  • A will (dictates what happens to your assets)
  • A durable power of attorney (dictates who manages your finances if you’re incapacitated)
  • An advanced medical directive (dictates who can make medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated)

Additionally, you need to keep your beneficiaries updated on all of your retirement accounts. Beneficiaries on these accounts supersede anything written in your will, so you must make sure the beneficiaries reflect your wishes.

7. What are some advanced giving strategies we can use?

In my opinion, this is where wealth-building starts to get super exciting! There are tons of giving strategies out there that offer amazing tax benefits to you as the donor and to the organization as the donee. You can gift appreciated stock, utilize qualified charitable distributions from your traditional IRAs after age 70 ½, or take advantage of donor-advised funds.

Retirement can be some of the best years of your life, but not for the reasons of endless luxury or vacation. Instead, retirement can be a season of fruitful investment in God’s Kingdom. If you need help planning for retirement, consider working with a Kingdom Advisor who can help you determine the path to a retirement that maximizes Kingdom impact.

About the author: Jon Matlock serves as a financial planner at Beacon Wealth Consultants in Roanoke, Virginia. He is a CFP® candidate, a professional member of Kingdom Advisors, and a graduate of Southeastern Seminary. Before pursuing financial planning, Jon served overseas with the International Mission Board and also worked in their Church Success Center. In his free time, Jon enjoys serving his church, hiking in the beautiful Roanoke Valley, and spending time with his wife and son.