Cupid Aims for Retirement Security

This Valentine's Day, light some candles, crank that Barry White and... discuss retirement security? Though it might not seem like the most romantic topic, getting your partner involved with retirement planning will help secure a financially happy future, for both of you.

Let's talk about our future -- How would you like to spend retirement? Sailing the world? Great, me too! It's good that we started saving in our early 20s to take full advantage of the magic of compounding!

How about doing some math together? Let's calculate how much we'll have to save in order to make our retirement dream a reality -- I brought my calculator to spice things up! First, we need to know what we have already. Our funds will probably come from Social Security, retirement plans from our employers and personal savings. Perhaps we should experiment with a real retirement calculator, like the AARP Retirement Calculator, the Smart Money Retirement Calculator from the Wall Street Journal and Kiplinger's Retirement Savings Calculator.

Let's look at our investment allocations and make adjustments to our budget. I think we both could be saving more each month in our personal savings account. (We should probably cut back a little on dinners like this.) We can take more risky investments now but as we get closer to retirement, we should move to more stable investments. Let's get a trusted financial advisor to help make sure we're on the right track!

I know there are many "what-ifs" ahead of us--and continuing with our retirement plan won't be easy. We don't know what lies ahead for the stock market, or the future of our family, or with our careers. We can make sure we have a solid foundation, and this helpful Retirement 101 tool from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans will help us understand how to prepare.

Okay, so maybe your romantic Valentine's dinner won't include a calculator with a side of investment risk analysis. But discussing how you might spend your time together in retirement is a terrific first step. By visualizing your future plans, you can start thinking of the price tag that goes along with that future -- and nothing says love like retirement security.