Planning ahead is key to retirement, experts say

Planning ahead is key to retirement, experts sayBy the time they reach 65, it's likely that many baby boomers will have been thinking about retiring from work for years. However, fantasizing about going on trips and having more time to relax doesn't count as productive planning. Preparing for retirement is essential to enjoying the golden years, according to a researcher from the University of Missouri.

Couples should work together to prepare for retirement both financially, socially and physically, according to Angela Curl, the aforementioned expert. Open communication between spouses will make everything run more smoothly.

"Any time a major life change happens, it is an opportunity for renegotiation of roles within a couple," she said. "If a couple wants positive changes to occur in retirement, it is important for spouses to be intentional in negotiating and planning for activities that match their ideals, finances and current health status."

Curl argues that it may be best for couples to slowly transition into retirement living. This means going part-time first, and slowly reducing working hours over time. She adds that working longer in life offers health benefits for older adults.

In addition to open communication among couples, Curl says talking to friends and family members about retirement is a smart move as well.