Remarriage is a subject that comes with a lot to consider. There are a number of pros and cons, challenges and victories, and even successes and failures you could take into account. But if there’s one thing we’ve noticed over and over when discussing this subject with people, it’s that fewer and fewer senior citizens are choosing to remarry these days.
On the surface, you may assume that it’s a result of believing that remarriage dishonors the memory of a now-deceased spouse. Another common assumption is that perhaps that by the time you reach your late sixties or early seventies, there isn’t much point anymore. But for most older adults, neither of these issues even feature on the list of concerns. The reasons, as it turns out, are far more prosaic.
For some older people, remarriage would mean the end of their social security benefits from a previous spouse. This can be a frightening prospect when you are past retirement age and have limited options for additional income.
There is also the issue of inheritance. As we age, medical concerns become more of a daily reality. Some people worry that the inheritance they’ve set aside for their children and grandchildren would get slowly sucked away by hospital bills and nursing homes if they married late in life, and had to carry the financial burden of an additional person.
Also, with regard to the issue of inheritance, some people want their children from a previous marriage to inherit the assets that were built up during that marriage. By marrying again late in life, there is always the concern that your biological children’s inheritance will now have to be divided among not only your children, but also among the children of your late-life spouse as well.
As if those reasons aren’t enough, the concerns about how your new late-life spouse’s financial choices may affect your credit history, is one more reason to be cautious. After all, the person you are considering marrying late in life may be a big spender, or may come with lots of debt. No wonder people in their golden years are choosing to “shack up”, as they say.
Perhaps that’s not the full picture, however. For those whose lives are not critically dependent on their deceased spouse’s social security check just to get by, there are certainly ways to address all of these issues so that you don’t lose out on a chance to walk down the aisle one last time.
Restructuring your will, along with any trusts you may have, to reflect your wishes for your future marital arrangements will make a big difference. An experienced family law attorney can assist you in creating a prenuptial agreement that protects your children’s inheritance. Also, keeping separate checking accounts and credit cards can help to allay concerns about mismatched spending habits.
While we agree that there are some very valid concerns for those who are considering remarriage late in life, there is no reason to lose out on an opportunity to follow your heart if you make a few wise choices beforehand. So if you have found love again in later life, and are considering remarrying but have concerns about your financial future, come and talk to us. We can help you plan for a better, less troubled future.