Marriage During Golden Years

Would you believe that OVER HALF (53%) of people over the age of 55 are remarried? (meaning they are currently married within a 2nd, or subsequent, marriage)

It is a remarkable statistic considering that just 20 years ago, it was a social taboo to remarry late in life- to many people- who would be widowed and stay alone, or divorce and never try their hand at love again. But you know where we are going with this- later in life marriages mean more complicated bank accounts…..and that means you need to talk prenuptial agreement, no matter what!

Call it being ‘fashionably late’- you may have been married before, or this is your first plunge, but either way, Americans, including New Yorkers, are getting married older and older, trends and statistics say. This is creating a whole new set of issues, than if you were just starting out at the age of 25. You may have debt from your children's student loans, or money you have acquired through family interests, but the odds are that you do not have to worry about what you have now, so much as plan for what you will do with what you earn in the future.

Of course, not all late-life marriages are first marriages. More and more couples are remarrying after the death of a first spouse, or getting divorced after the kids leave the nest and finding ‘golden year happiness’ with a companion into their 70s and 80s. It is a beautiful phenomenon that as life spans are lengthening and social norms changing, people are getting 2nd chances at love, but there is a lot by way of planning that needs to catch up to our pocket books.

The difference is huge for a couple getting married in their 50s, then. This couple will have savings, retirement plans, life insurance policies, IRAs, trusts, bonds, and stocks, mutual funds, the list goes on. They will have had career changes, and therefore their funds maybe allocated across a variety of markets in many different products. If one partner understands finances, and the other doesn’t, this can create issues if you are older because there is well, more to consider.

Getting married later in life means that there are more financial considerations for the two of you to agree on and unfortunately, one reason why your grown children may be apprehensive about your impending marriage.  A prenuptial agreement will define both of your expectations on paper so that there is no question from family members at a later date as to what your intentions are.  Among the issues you will need to consider is whether you wish to keep your finances separate or combined during your marriage and how you will intend to handle long term medical care should one or both of you need long term medical care or should one of you outlive the other.  In addition to a prenuptial agreement, it would be wise to consult with an attorney about a will, living trust and health care directives so that all of these documents are in agreement and your families are not left with questions or concerns about what your intentions are.