Showing posts with label late in life marriages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label late in life marriages. Show all posts

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Late in Life Second Marriages - Things to Consider if You Remarry

By the time most seniors reach their 60s, 70s or older, many of them will be divorced or widowed.  Afterwards, some of them will remarry, and others will find someone to cohabitate with, even if they do not get married.  Adjusting to the single life after a long marriage can be difficult, and it is not unusual for people to find a new partner with whom they can share their remaining years.  

However, a second marriage has many different things to consider than a first marriage.  People this age are not starry-eyed young romantics.  Usually, they come into the marriage with assets, adult children, and possibly grandchildren.  There are a number of issues to consider.  Even the wedding ceremony is often different the second time around.  Among the questions you need to ask are: What will the wedding ceremony and honeymoon look like?  How should you combine your finances?  How will it affect your Social Security and pension payments?  What else should you consider?

Some of the issues you need to consider when you remarry are covered in this guest post by Donna Erickson, with extra information added by the author of this blog.  In addition to the information provided here, it is also important for the couple to meet with their investment advisors, tax advisors, and a lawyer to make sure they have dealt with the most serious pitfalls in advance. In some cases, this advice is also true for couples who do not remarry, but choose to cohabitate instead. Combining your finances and families can also present challenges.  Below is the guest post.

Getting Married After Retirement: How to Build the Life of Your Dreams

by: Donna Erickson

When you get married later in life, you face a unique situation with its own challenges. Fortunately, by approaching it correctly, you can build the life of your dreams while ensuring your long-term financial health. If you aren’t sure where to begin, below are some tips for getting married later in life.  In fact, many of these tips would be useful for couples of all ages who are planning to marry.

Be Creative in Planning Your Wedding and Honeymoon

A second marriage is less likely to be traditional, although that is certainly one choice for couples who prefer it.  However, many couples who get married later in life decide to have a smaller wedding, often at a fun destination.  You may choose to get married at a resort, in another country, or even in Las Vegas, which likes to be known as the wedding capital of the world!  The book, "Your Guide to a Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding,"  (Ad) may be a useful tool in planning a wedding in that city.  Travel agents can also help you discover alternate locations for a second wedding. 

Wherever you get married, you first have to decide if the two of you want to elope and celebrate with your families after you return from your honeymoon, or whether you want to include members of your families in the ceremony. You may want to try to blend your families from the very beginning by including your children or grandchildren in the ceremony.  On the other hand, if some of your family members have reservations about the new marriage, you may want to go off and get married in private and deal with any backlash later.  The choice is totally up to you.  It is important to accept your children's reservations, however, and not expect them to cheerfully participate if they really do not wish to.
Combine Your Finances Strategically

When you are established in life, there is a good chance that both you and your spouse have some well-worn financial habits which are not likely to change. Additionally, you may each have substantial personal assets, as well as specific ideas of what will happen to those assets after either of you pass away. As a result, this can make combining your finances a bit trickier.  However, it is absolutely essential you decide in advance how you wish to handle your finances, if you want your second marriage to be successful. 

These issues also need to be addressed, even if you are just going to live together.  For example, you have to decide which residence you are going to live in and what will be done with the unused residence.  Will it be sold or rented out?  Will the money from the rental or sale be kept separate or shared?  How will that affect your heirs?

You will have to decide on a fair way to handle your money, and each of you will need to talk to a lawyer about protecting your individual assets. 

Before you attempt to merge your financial lives, it is wise to discuss where you do and do not see eye-to-eye. In some cases, you may want to find a certified financial advisor or estate planner to assist with the process.  You should also talk to a lawyer about writing your wills and setting up a trust. If you both have assets you are leaving to your separate children, a trust is especially important so everything is spelled out in detail and the transfer of the assets can be handled as smoothly and quickly after your death as possible.  You need to discuss the best way to handle your assets with an attorney in your state, since community property and estate laws can vary from state to state.  

As you can imagine, inheritance issues can be challenging in a second marriage.  By working with experts, you can determine how to best treat your various personal and joint assets, as well as create a strategy for navigating different money management styles, ensuring everything is set up properly.

There can be an infinite number of issues to discuss.  Here is one common example:  The new wife moves into the husband's home.  Ten years later he dies.  Will the wife be able to remain in the home until her death, or will it pass immediately to his children and she will have to find somewhere else to live?  All these issues need to be discussed and planned for in advance.  If possible, adult children need to be informed of the estate planning you do, so there are no misunderstandings after you pass away.

A second marriage can also affect your Social Security and pension benefits. This is another matter which is important to discuss with your financial advisor, as well as an administrator at your local Social Security or pension plan office. They can help you decide if this marriage will help or hurt you financially when you retire, and how to use these programs to the best advantage. 
Have a Plan for Health-Related Needs

As people age, their healthcare needs typically increase. In many cases, you want to create a reliable plan to address how your healthcare circumstances may shift in the future.

Typically, the first step is to explore medical coverage options. Even if you both qualify for Medicare, it is smart to explore the various supplemental plans or Medicare Advantage plans, to ensure that you both can get the most comprehensive medical insurance coverage at the best price.  Do not forget to include plans that cover vision, dental care and hearing aids.  

You may find it helpful to read the book, "10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make."  (Ad) It will help you avoid choosing the wrong Medicare plan, signing up at the wrong time, or making changes which you might later regret. It is written by a Medicare expert who is licensed to work with clients in 47 states to help meet their Medicare needs.   

In addition to Medicare, it is also wise to explore long-term care coverage. Medicare does not offer any financial support for long-term care, and Medicaid is only available to lower-income households. If you do not fall in that category, looking for private long-term care options could be wise.

By purchasing long-term care insurance, you give yourselves critical safety nets. Additionally, it ensures that one spouse is not put at financial risk if the other requires care and there is not enough in your savings or retirement accounts to cover the cost of a nursing home.  
Plan Fun Date Nights (or Days) to Keep the Spark Alive

Doing fun things together can keep your relationship strong, regardless of your age. That is why having regular date nights is vital. It allows you to spend time bonding, potentially in unique ways, and create lasting memories.  This is just as important in a second marriage as in a first marriage.  In some ways it may even be more important for a second marriage, because no one wants to be married to someone who only has good memories of their previous marriage.  You want to create your own memories.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great options for spending time together, no matter where you live.  For example, in the Sarasota, Florida area, you could head to Myakka River State Park for some hiking or kayaking. A trip to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens can also be an excellent choice, particularly during the warmer months when many of the plants bloom.  Similarly, there are state and federal parks and botanical gardens all across the country, and most of them offer great opportunities for outdoor activities.

For those that prefer to stay indoors, try finding someplace new and fun which will create memories that are totally unique to your new relationship.  Again in Florida, the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is a quirky destination that is almost guaranteed to make you both smile. You could also check out The Ringling, a large complex brimming with entertainment opportunities. In other parts of the country you should be able to find lots of fun places to explore, whether you want to go to Disneyland in Southern California, Bourbon Street in New Orleans, or on a cruise to an interesting location. Look for places which neither of you visited with your former spouses, at least for some of your trips.  You do not want to be constantly comparing your current trip with the great time you had 30 years ago!

If you are both sports fans, why not take in a sporting event together? You can find discount tickets to watch  (Ad) sports teams online. Plus, you can use this site to filter your selection by date, price, and seat rating, all while taking advantage of the virtual seating chart with 360° views, making it easier to find the perfect spot.  Tickets to a sporting event you both enjoy is a great way to relax together.  Do not forget the sporting events of your grandchildren, too.  That can be a great way to help your families bond!

You can find more gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts.  Check it out here:

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