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The family retirement conversation

Before you retire, what does your family think?

Retirement is so much more than what you have saved. It’s a chance to catch your breath. Explore. Create. Give back. Try something new. Spend more time with family and those you love.

Before finalizing your plans, have “the talk”

The sky is the limit for your retirement — but before you take flight, it’s time to have “the talk.”

No, not the talk about how to make your savings last, or how to claim Social Security. You’ve probably had that one already, or are thinking about it. We’re talking about a new type of conversation about retirement. About the things that matter more than money ever could.

Retirement can change family dynamics

Unless you've already been talking about your plans, your family will have made some assumptions about how you will be spending your retirement — and what it means for them.

Maybe they’ve been looking forward to some much-needed help with the grandkids, but you’re planning to move somewhere warmer for half the year — and won’t be able to help as much as they're hoping.

Or maybe you bought that new vacation home thinking it’s the perfect setting for quality family time — but your kids and grandkids can't make it there as often as you'd like.

Starting these conversations early — even before you’ve finalized your plans — can clear up everyone’s assumptions and expectations. And that can help you — and your family — to live your best retirement.

Opinions abound on Mom’s retirement

See how one family dealt with tough conversations involving a decision to downsize in this story produced with The New York Times' T Brand Studio.

What’s your retirement personality?

Having trouble picturing how you want to spend retirement? Take our retirement personality quiz to get a rough idea of where you could be leaning.

Take the quiz

Download our conversation guide

Not sure how to get started? Not to worry. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you envision the retirement you want and then plan a conversation to get your family up to speed. 

Use this workbook to get your thoughts in order. There’s also a version you can give to your family members to help them do the same. Then, schedule a time to talk. 

When you're ready to get started, download a printable version and write your thoughts down, or choose a version you can type directly into.

Helpful resources as you think about retirement

Planning your retirement — and talking about it with your family — can feel intimidating if you are just getting started. Here are some additional considerations to help you start envisioning the retirement you want, and how to talk to your family about it once your thoughts are in order.


Before you retire, what does your family think?  (article with video)

Are you and your family on the same page when it comes to your plans for retirement? Learn how to navigate family dynamics and different expectations.

Key questions for planning your retirement  (article with video)

There are a lot of questions to ask yourself when retirement planning. These questions can help you kickstart your retirement planning process.

Getting over the fear of spending down in retirement  (article with video)

Longevity, health, Social Security and your portfolio call all play a factor in your retirement years. Learn more about how to address these concerns.

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T Brand Studio and The New York Times Company are not affiliated with Securian Financial Group, Inc., or any of its affiliates.

DOFU 5-2021