Ever feel as is you are in a fog when it comes to finances?



Although Survive Your Husband’s Retirement is not a financial blog, Stacy Barbee contacted me to ask if she could share the following information with you. Since her advice could benefit many, it seemed like a good idea to share it. Your comments are appreciated, and Stacy she will be delighted to answer questions you may have on this topic.

Here’s What You Must Know About Retirement Income.

It is tough being a woman, especially after the death of the spouse. First of all, women are more likely to do part-time jobs than men, which don’t offer retirement plans. Moreover, women face lots of interruptions in their careers – sometimes for family issues, at other times for raising children. So, women work less than men. Their savings are less than men. Hence, they depend more on their husband’s savings and benefits after retirement.

Why is it risky to depend on husband’s retirement income?

Nothing is guaranteed in life. Marriage doesn’t mean that you’ll spend the rest of your life with your husband. Divorce is a great possibility. Plus, retirement savings may not be enough to cover both of your lifetimes. Usually, women live longer than men. Disproportionate payout or bad payout decisions may make them suffer more in the long run.

What should you know if you’re planning to depend on your husband?  

Here are the few things you need to know when you are planning to depend on your husband’s retirement income.

1. Spousal IRA: Like I said earlier, it’s best to be self-dependent. It’s good to contribute towards your retirement. But, if you’re not employed or self-employed, then your options are even more limited. However, there is a good option for you, and that is Spousal IRA.

The best part of Spousal IRA is that it allows you to have an individual retirement account without any income. This account will be yours. Regular contributions overtime can help you fetch a good amount from this account after retirement.

In IRA, your compensation should be equal to your contribution amount. The scenario is little different in the case of Spousal IRA. Here the contribution will depend upon the total compensation of you and your husband. If you’re married, your income is zero or less than your spouse, file a joint federal income tax return, then you can qualify for the Spousal IRA.

2. Qualified domestic relation orders: All marriages don’t last forever. In fact, 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Since most men have retirement savings, women with little or zero retirement savings get tensed about how these benefits will be handled at the time of divorce. As per the federal law, retirement savings can’t be given to anybody else. However, a woman can get all or a part of her husband’s retirement benefit by obtaining qualified domestic relation orders from the court.

3. Quantified joint and survivor annuities: Has your husband opted for traditional pension plan at work? If so, then both you and your husband need to decide about qualified joint and survivor annuity. You need to decide between these two options:

  • Both of you want to get a higher amount when alive and get nothing after your husband dies.
  • Get a smaller amount when alive but continue to receive something even after your husband’s death.

Traditional pension plan gives you a ‘normal benefit’ payable over the lifetime. The amount is equivalent to the percent of your final pay provided you have worked for a specific period and retire at a particular date. You might get 50 percent of your final pay after working for 30 years and retiring at 65 years. Obviously, your benefit will be less if you have worked for a small period.

Let me explain more clearly. 

John has worked for 30 years and retired at the age 65. His final pay was $100,000. So, he is supposed to get $50,000 retirement income every year over his lifetime. The benefit will end after his death. This is the single life annuity.

But to protect John’s wife, federal law states that he can’t receive single life annuity benefit unless his spouse agrees. Rather, the benefit should be paid over their lifetime (John and his wife), and 50 percent of it should be given to the wife during her remaining lifetime if she survives John. This is called ‘joint and survivor annuity’. The term ‘qualified’ is used as it fits the requirements of federal law.

You can get more details about the Qualified joint and survivor annuities from the IRS.


Right planning and decision can help you survive after retirement. Please don’t be depended on your kids after retirement. Check out the new retirement rules in 2016. Have a discussion with your spouse and then make a joint decision.

photo-3About Stacy “Stacy B Miller is a content marketer who works for Oak View Law Group. A writer by profession and a reader by passion, she loves to educate people about the nitty-gritty of finances so that they can build wealth, avoid making costly retirement mistakes and lead a comfortable life after retirement. Her primary message to readers is to ‘live debt-free, give proper value to your money and enjoy your golden days.”