News and Commentary

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 advance planning can go a long way toward ensuring their financial goals stay on track.

Following are three tips that soon-to-be retirees should consider:

Keep Saving

The spouse who remains in the workforce should continue making annual contributions to his or her 401(k) retirement-savings plan. The maximum contribution you may contribute to a 401(k) in 2022 is $20,500, or $27,000 is you are age 50 and older. A working spouse also may contribute up to $6,000 in 2022 to a non-working spouse’s IRA (or $7,000 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. Ideally, non-working spouses should postpone collecting Social Security until they are 70 years old in order 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, an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. For more information, call (954) 712-8888 or email

Provenance Wealth Advisors, 515 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.

Lee F. Hediger is a registered representative of and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.

Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants. PWA is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment Advisory Services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc., and Provenance Wealth Advisors.

This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of Raymond James. All information is not a complete summary or statement of all recommendation. Please note, changes in tax laws may occur at any time and could have a substantial impact upon each person’s situation. RJFS does not provide tax advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making an 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 59 1/2, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

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Posted on December 15, 2022