News and Commentary

UPDATED Staggered Retirement Requires Married Couples to Plan Carefully By Lee F. Hediger

Spouses saving for an eventual retirement during their working years often have different timelines for leaving the corporate world behind. While a difference in retirement dates can eliminate one income stream and help couples ease slowly into their golden years, careful planning can help ensure their financial goals stay on track. Following are three tips that soon-to-be retirees should consider.

Keep Saving

Working spouses should continue making annual contributions to their 401(k) retirement savings plans. The maximum contribution you may contribute to a 401(k) in 2023 is $22,500, or $30,000 if you are 50 and older. A working spouse also may contribute up to $6,500 in 2023 to a non-working spouse’s IRA (or $7,500 for those age 50 and older) when the couple files joint tax returns and meets other income requirements.

Delay Social Security

The longer you wait to claim Social Security, the greater the benefit you will receive. While you can begin claiming these benefits when you reach 62, non-working spouses should wait until they are 70 to receive the largest possible monthly benefits. However, when one or both spouses have significant health issues, this timing delay may not be possible. At a minimum, try to wait until age 67 to receive 85 percent of your full Social Security benefit.

Plan and Stick to a Budget

Even when couples stagger their retirement years, it is important that they do not lose sight of their expenses. Despite the freedom that retirement can bring, the activities and experiences for which retirees hope to spend those golden years are rarely free. Couples should instead project and estimate a budget that will allow them to enjoy retirement without living beyond their means and squandering their hard-earned savings.

About the Author: Lee F. Hediger is a co-founding director with Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs and a registered representative with PWA Securities, LLC. He can be reached at the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office at (954) 712-8888 or

Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., 19th Floor, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.

Lee F. Hediger is a registered representative of and offers securities through PWA Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.

 This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.

Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of PWA Securities, LLC. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of PWAS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making any investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

401(k) plans are long-term retirement-savings vehicles. Withdrawal of pre-tax contributions and/or earnings will be subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty.

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Updated on October 16, 2023