Coming together at 50-plus is different from getting married in your 20s, particularly when it comes to money. "You've had a lifetime of solidifying your money beliefs" and behaviors, says Janet Stanzak, president of the Financial Planning Association. These are some ways to smooth the transition if you're tying the knot this summer.
It’s true, marriage at 50 looks a lot different than marriage at 25. And no, we aren’t talking about the latest wedding fashions or honeymoon destinations. Financially, there is much to consider when getting married past 50.
AARP Magazine published an article titled “4 Smart Money Moves If You Marry After 50”last summer that did a great job of discussing some reminders before saying “I do” after you turn age 50. These reminders will work for you if you are walking down the aisle this June, July, or August.
Talk about prior obligations. With age comes various obligations like support payments and debts. Share your credit reports and scores, and review previous divorce agreements for details about cash flow, assets and debts.
Don't forget your adult children. Although you may have considered what you'd like to do for them financially, and they've probably have some ideas about what they may one day inherit, a later-in-life marriage changes this. It also complicates your estate planning, so speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer about the changes. The article advises that you discuss your decisions with your new spouse and adult kids to hopefully decrease or eliminate the amount of controversy down the line. You can also formalize these plans in a prenuptial agreement.
In addition to a prenup, revisit your estate plan with a qualified estate planning attorney, in addition to your beneficiary designations. Wills finish second to legal titles to real estate or beneficiary designations on financial accounts, as well as retirement plans and insurance policies. Make any changes in writing, and be careful with Social Security, the article cautions.
On last thing: if you're close to 62 and want to apply for a former spouse's Social Security benefit, you shouldn’t remarry, as you must be single at the time you apply.
Reference: AARP Magazine (June/July 2014) “4 Smart Money Moves If You Marry After 50”