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For successful retirement, spouses should plan together

September 9, 2013

There's no denying that planning for retirement can be a complicated process, and a new study suggests that older adults should not go it alone. Researchers from the University of Missouri found that when couples planned for their second act together, the chances of their retirement being successful greatly improved, according to results published in the Clinical Gerontologist.

The findings were culled from an extensive analysis of the Health and Retirement Study, which polled married couples age 45 and older. A study team led by Angela Curl, an assistant professor in the university's School of Social Work found that when one spouse planned for retirement, the other followed suit. In addition to financial concerns, this process also focused on other areas of senior living.

"Many times, adults might not think about what it actually means to be retired, or they think about retirement in abstract terms," Curl said in a press release. "Individuals need to plan for retirement in more concrete ways. If individuals want to volunteer when they're retired, they might ask themselves where and how often they will volunteer. Having specific plans and steps to follow will help individuals enter retirement with more success."

Such advice may prove to be especially important in coming years. According to the Administration on Aging, there will be more than 72 million people 65 and older by 2030 - more than double the figure from 2000.