My fiancé takes saving for retirement more seriously than I do, but some simple advice from a financial expert completely changed my thinking

jen glantz

My fiancé and I have always been open about our finances, but it wasn’t until we got engaged that we
started talking about our different approaches to saving for retirement.
He’s been saving since his early 20s, and I didn’t get going until I hit 30. Even now I don’t make regular contributions to my SEP IRA.
After meeting with a financial expert, though, I’m starting to get on the same page as him — I now understand that making monthly contributions can earn me more interest than stashing my cash in a savings account.
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My fiancé and I don’t keep our finances a secret from one another. We’re open and honest about both our money mistakes and successes. For the most part, we’ve learned that we are both on the same page about major financial decisions, from being cautious about accumulating unnecessary debt to sticking to budgets throughout the month so we don’t have to tap into our savings account or emergency funds.

But after we got engaged and our dinner-table talk turned to combining our finances, we realized we had one major thing we disagreed on — our retirement savings goals.

For most of my 20s, I rolled my eyes at the idea of funding a retirement account I couldn’t access until my 60s. I wanted to spend my hard-earned money on my life in New York City and building a strong financial framework for myself (including growing my savings account and not carrying balances on my credit cards). It didn’t help that a few months after giving in and opening up a 401(k), at a company that matched the amount I put in every month, that company laid me off. When I became my own boss, full-time, at 26, the idea of saving for retirement was forgotten.

It wasn’t until I was on the cusp of turning 30 that I took my retirement seriously and opened up a SEP IRA, but even then, I hardly put money into the account and even today am slow to fund it.

My fiancé was very different. He had a 401(k) and had actively contributed money starting in his early 20s, and is passionate about making sure he has a well-funded retirement account to tap into later in life.

Was this an issue we needed to agree on? Was this something we could each go about in our own ways? Marriage was about to force us to confront that question and navigate the decision.

Here are the steps we took to decide how aligned we needed to be about our retirement plans.

Having tough conversations

After getting engaged, combining finances and getting on the same page with our retirement plans became the No. 1 thing we fought about. We decided that we’d both listen to each other’s feelings about funding retirement …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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