Annabelle Harris is the creator of Elders Center. Her goal is to help soon-to-be-seniors and already-seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence. The site features a plethora of resources to help answer common and not-so-common questions about aging. Here, Annabelle shares tips for those starting a new relationship in their 60s.
Just as older generations were more likely to marry young than younger generations, older adults are also more likely to remarry after divorce or the death of a spouse. According to the data, just 29% of adults younger than 24 had remarried the year of the study, compared with 67% of adults between 55 and 64. If you wish to remarry in your golden years, here’s how to ensure your future with your new partner is a happy one.
Don’t Discount Your Children
If you or your new partner have children, don’t be surprised if they have opinions regarding your new relationship. Though it is important to acknowledge your children’s feelings, make it clear that you deserve to be happy. If your children and new partner do not get along or vice versa, do your best to keep the peace without sacrificing your relationships.
Discuss in Advance How You Plan to Combine Finances
When it comes to combining finances as a newer, older couple, you may face several unique challenges. Investopedia shares a few tips to help you and your future spouse overcome those issues with ease:
- Agree on how to split paychecks, savings, and bills
- Determine how much you want to save as a couple
- Discuss your retirement goals
- Review each other’s credit histories and debt
- Set up a joint checking account
These are just a few ideas for how you can combine your finances with little hassle. CNBC also suggests going over existing court orders, such as child support or alimony orders, and drafting a prenuptial agreement.
Anticipate and Plan for Long-Term Care Costs
According to LongTermCare.gov, as many as 70% of individuals will need long-term care at some point in their lives. If neither you nor your spouse plan ahead, one of you could end up footing the bill for the other. While Medicare can help some, it only covers about 2% of long-term care costs — and that’s if you qualify after spending down your assets and going through other strategies. With advanced planning, and by reviewing your insurance and Medicare policies together, you can avoid costly and adverse outcomes.
Update Your Tax and Social Security Information
Legally, you must update your tax information with your new last name and tax filing status. Discuss in advance whether you plan to file jointly or as married filing separately.
You should also discuss how your marriage will affect your Social Security benefits, if applicable. When you marry a person with an income, you may lose your right to collect Social Security benefits, which could hurt your quality of life.
Shop for a New Home
Decide where you and your new spouse will live. If you need to sell your current home, take steps to ensure it is market-ready, such as making necessary repairs and updates. For example, broken windows and leaking pipes can be a major turn-off for potential buyers, so make sure everything looks nice and is in good working order before listing it. Once you sell your current homes, use appropriate resources to find one suitable for your new lifestyle.
You deserve to be happy and in love in your golden years. You also deserve minimal stress. By keeping the above considerations in mind, you can remarry with the peace of mind that you and your new partner will live happily ever after.
Photograph: Chino Rocha