Retirement: Venus Saves, Mars Spends

Here are the three most common money personalities. See which one best describes your partner.

If Phil sounds like your husband, be firm. Tell him how much you must save for retirement. If you have your own plan, you have more control and can maximize your contributions. Convince your husband that he must contribute to his 401(k) plan as well. But then give him some ideas about how he can begin making regular monthly contributions. In addition, consider investments that require monthly contributions such as variable annuities or mutual fund accounts that draft funds from your bank account. Title the accounts in both names with "and" rather than "or" so they require both signatures for withdrawals.

If your mate is domineering about money issues like Fred, knowledge is power. Sneak a peek at the papers he keeps hidden to find out whether he has kept your retirement savings on track. If not, supplement his savings with savings of your own, such as a retirement plan through work or your own IRA. Don't let him dissuade you. As you move toward financial independence, he'll loosen up -- he'll have no choice. As he begins to save more, let him know you appreciate it. Once he knows that discussing money will bring compliments rather than criticism, he may become more open.

Got a husband like George? Consider yourself lucky. Chances are you are in pretty good shape because he has been saving. Find out how much you have saved, and use a calculator to estimate how much you need to save. Then reassure him that you are on track, and convince him he does not need to make money the central focus of your lives.

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