Planning for a late-life marriage

According to the U.S Census, individuals over the age of 60 are finding new love on an increasing basis. In a survey conducted from 2005 through 2007, over a million people were living together as an older, unmarried couple. By the next survey, conducted from 2008 through 2010, that number increased to over 1.2 million. Some of those couples are likely thinking of getting married.

Getting married is a weighty decision no matter where you are in the stages of life. At over 60, however, you likely have completely different concerns about marriage than those who are younger. Both individuals in the couple have likely developed their own careers and have assets earned throughout life. There might be children from previous marriages and relationships — or even adult children and grandchildren. Protecting both existing assets and relationships becomes important.

Men and woman who are over 60 have likely already made plans for late-life finances, and they don’t want to give up their pensions or retirement funds because romance came calling. This is one reason many late-life couples never enter into marriage and simply cohabitate. But you don’t have to forgo beliefs or a desire for marriage to protect your assets. For the over-60 crowd, marital agreements might be a good part of the plan.

Marriage agreements act as contracts between two people, laying groundwork for how certain things work during the marriage as well as rules for what happens if the marriage ends in divorce. Working with a legal professional to develop a late-life marriage agreement lets older couples experience the joy of marriage while protecting the joy and fruit of life before the marriage

Source: Bankrate, “Marriage vs. living together after 60,” Marilyn Bowden, accessed Sep. 11, 2015

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