Many couples are marrying later in life. In this article, Karen Weeks offers practical advice for couples who choose to tie the knot in their senior years.
Our hearts don’t stop loving when we get older — if anything, our capacity for love grows! If you have found love in your golden years, getting married is naturally the next step for adding fulfillment and companionship to your life.
With that said, there are plenty of challenges you may face when tying the knot, and it’s essential to prepare beforehand to resolve them in agreement with your future spouse.
One of the first things you will need to decide is where you will live. Maybe you’ve already determined that you will live in your and your spouse’s current home, or maybe you have chosen to get a new house together.
If you choose to get a new place together you will need to prepare for the home purchase while simultaneously selling your other homes. The last thing you want is to come across the perfect cottage or tutor and fail to close the deal because you are still waiting for your home to sell. With that said, if you think you are about to close the sale, you can free up some time by requesting an extended closing on your new property.
As with any healthy marriage, setting goals together is critical in your golden years. What do both of you hope to achieve in the coming months and years? Do you want to travel the country or the world? Do you want to start a new hobby together, or figure out individual fitness routines? Are there family members that you hope to see more of?
Have honest discussions about what you want now and in the future so that you can start making plans. For example, starting a company together could prove to be a fulfilling venture while also boosting your income. Plus, it can be a fun way to spend time together. One of the best parts of being a senior entrepreneur is that you don’t have to worry about sticking to traditional work hours.
If you work as a consultant or freelancer, you can use your expertise and choose your clients, workload, and hours. However, it’s critical that your business revolves around activities, products, or services that you enjoy. If it’s not something that you look forward to each day, it could pose various problems for your marriage and make it difficult to stay motivated through entrepreneurial challenges.
The Healthy Marriage editorial staff adds:
There is no one answer to this question as different couples will have different levels of importance placed on goals when marrying later in life. Some couples may feel that it is more important to focus on enjoying their time together and not worry about long-term goals, while others may feel that it is important to have a clear plan for their future together.
Ultimately, the level of importance placed on goals when marrying later in life will be up to the couple themselves.
That said, it can be beneficial for couples to discuss their goals and expectations for their marriage before getting married. This can help ensure that both partners are on the same page and can help avoid misunderstandings or disagreements down the road.
Also, while goals may not be the most important thing when marrying later in life, they can still be beneficial to have. Having goals can help provide a sense of purpose and direction, and can give couples something to work towards together.
There are financial pros and cons to getting married as a senior. For instance, combining your incomes could prove beneficial to both of you since you will be gaining more assets and property and you will have two incomes if you choose to continue working.
Older couples tend to be more set in their respective ways, especially when it comes to money management styles. They’ve also had more time to accumulate significant assets. This can make it a little harder to merge finances, especially when one partner is a spender and the other is thriftier or when one partner has considerably more resources than the other.investopedia.com
On the other hand, you and your future spouse may have different financial priorities and habits, which can quickly lead to issues. Just make sure you are on the same page and that you get any concerns out in the open.
Debt and Their Financial Situation
Then again, you must consider that you and your spouse may be responsible for each other’s debts no matter where they come from. And if there are children or stepchildren in the picture, it could cause your insurance premiums to rise.
Here are a few areas to consider when discussing debt:
- Medical debt
- Real estate and property taxes (see below)
- Future nursing home care
- What is their credit score (and how will this impact your marriage?)
Retirement Plans for the Future
The editorial staff at The Healthy Marriage also recommends:
If you are not already retired, one of the biggest issues facing aging couples is retirement. How well has your future spouse prepared for retirement? What retirement benefits can they expect?
Along with understanding how much money (above social security) you will both have in retirement, here is a list of questions we recommend considering:
- What are your retirement goals?
- How much money will you need to retire comfortably?
- When do you plan to retire?
- How will you generate income in retirement?
- What are your sources of retirement income?
- What are your expenses in retirement?
- What is your plan for health care in retirement?
- What is your plan for long-term care in retirement?
- What are your plans for leisure and travel in retirement?
- What are your plans for your estate in retirement?
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There are many significant tax benefits for marrying in your golden years. Not only can you and your spouse accrue unlimited assets without being required to pay estate taxes upon the other’s passing, but you will also benefit if both of you have IRAs.
Another thing to consider is that you and your spouse will need to make any necessary changes to your tax filing process. Any name changes should be reflected on your returns, and you will need to decide whether to file jointly or separately.
There are practical considerations to factor in when you decide to get married in your golden years. But in most cases, they shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your lives together as man and wife. Consider the information and advice above as you prepare for this new, exciting chapter. And keep making the necessary preparations for a flourishing marriage!
Final Thoughts on Marrying Later In Life
The article offers advice for those who are considering getting married later in life. The author suggests that couples should take the time to get to know each other well before getting married and that they should also be honest with each other about their expectations for the relationship.
The article also offers advice on how to deal with differences in opinion and how to manage finances when getting married later in life.
Guest Writer: Karen Weeks is a Senior Lifestyle blogger. She struggled to find a new sense of purpose after retirement which made way to learn a new skill and took a computer course. She then created ElderWellness.net as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well.
- Living Arrangements
- Pursuing Goals
- Financial Considerations
- Tax Implications
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