Retirement Planning and Couples with Large Age Differences

Tim and Anne are a typical Southern California couple. After two bad divorces, they found new love. That was ten years ago. He was 55, and she was 45 when they got married.

Now, he is 65, and at retirement age. Anne, who is 55 wants to continue to work, and wonders if there will be enough money for her retirement, if there is a catastrophic illness in the family.
Large age differences create special situations, which need to be addressed early on in the marriage. For couples with an age difference of greater than 8 years, the retirement of one person, can have a major impact on their lives for a few reasons. The older spouse wants to retire and travel. The younger spouse, is still in her working years, and unless there are significant retirement funds available, work will get in the way of travel together.

Early on, the plan for retirement then needs to take into consideration, a much longer time to save for retirement, because, the available retirement income must last longer due to the large age difference.


  1. Work Longer;
  2. The younger spouse needs to work longer;
  3. Contribute larger sums to 401k, up to your limit.
  4. Consider investing in rental property.
  5. Evaluate how much interest your retirement account is making, and the volatility of your investments, and the risk involved.
  6. Evaluate your savings rate v. your spending rate.
  7. Consider long-term care insurance.

Mina N. Sirkin is a Probate Attorney in Los Angeles who helps couples prepare wills and trusts.  She advises couples about estate planning and retirement in Los Angeles and Woodland Hills, Ca.  Contact: 818-340-4479 or for more information.

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