While most of us consider having a stable job and effective investment plan our best strategy for ensuring a financially secure retirement, having a spouse whose financial beliefs aligns with your own is even more important. Whether or not your spouse has any control over your finances, he or she will influence your flow of money anyway.
Your Spouse Can Spend You Into The Ground.
It doesn’t matter if you earn $100,000 or $1,000,000 a year. If you spend 99% of what you earn, you won’t have much left over. You will end up making expenditures whether or not your spouse has an income. If your partner/spouse is a spendthrift, you will likely have a longer working career. This applies to husbands and wives. I’ve seen plenty of husbands of doctors who enjoy their fancy custom-made suits and alligator shoes as much as their female counterparts. Everyone has their own spending habits. Make sure you and your significant other agree on your finances?
Your Spouse Can Cut Your Net Worth in Half.
Yes, we’re talking about divorce. I’ve seen divorce rates quoted to be as high as 50%, whether or not the statistic is true. While most doctors I know stay married, I also know a good number of doctors who are divorced or separated. The reasons for separation always revolve around similar themes: spending too much time at work, incongruent spending habits, and infidelity (probably stemming from the problem of work). Add in legal fees, and a bad divorce can destroy years of hard work. If you’re less fortunate, add in child alimony and you will be in bad shape. We’ve worked too long and too hard for our family lives to implode. Don’t let that happen to you.
A Working Spouse Supercharges Your Net Worth
If you have a spouse whose income isn’t whittled away by taxes and opportunity cost from being outside of the home, you’ve hit the jackpot. Anything that your family can do to generate income will translate into more opportunities to contribute to your tax-advantaged accounts and savings. Having a dual income is NOT an excuse to spend more; consider it a luxury and opportunity build your target nest egg faster.
Additionally, your working spouse is likely also contributing to his Social Security earnings. While I don’t consider Social Security in my retirement calculations, it would be a nice bonus if it still existed by the time we need it. Having extra governmental money from your spouse would be even sweeter.
A Working Spouse Makes Losing Your Job Less Stressful.
If you are the sole breadwinner in your family and you lost your source of income, you are screwed. You have mouths to feed, and your entire family will be out on the street if you don’t find work. It also means that if your boss is taking advantage of your work, you can’t walk away. Not so if your husband is gainfully employed. If you have a second source of income, you could tell your boss F-You if you needed to.
Think about it. If you want stability in a web server, you need redundancy—multiple means to stay online. If you want security and redundancy in your financial plan, you need a spouse who is on board. Your spouse is your best means of achieving a sound retirement.
(Photo Courtesy of an iconoclast)