Getting married is exciting at any age. When you’re over the age of 45, though, there may be more to think about than what to do with another Crock Pot. You have spent years building wealth and planning for your future. Whether you are walking down the aisle for the first time, or have found love again, we have some considerations to help you financially navigate getting married later in life.
4 Financial Considerations for Getting Married Later in Life
1. Decide How to Combine Finances
When a couple decides to get married, they need to discuss how they plan to combine finances. People getting married later in life have likely already established money management styles. These couples need to discuss whether they want to combine checking accounts or if they would be more comfortable maintaining separate accounts and contributing to a joint account for bills and mutual expenses. Talk about what you are comfortable with and how you can support your future spouse.
It’s not unusual for couples to have financial commitments from previous relationships, including child support, alimony, mortgage payments, memberships and more. Couples should have an open conversation about which expenses they expect their future spouse to contribute to and stick to the agreed-upon financial arrangement.
2. Update Estate Planning Documents
The rom-coms never seem to point out that couples often go from signing their marriage certificates to updating their wills. But, those getting married later in life understand the need for long-term planning. Often, this plan includes creating wills, making one another the beneficiary to a life insurance policy or 401(k) and signing a power of attorney. Though a spouse is often a default beneficiary, if you have been planning and investing over time, you may have designated someone else as a beneficiary on your existing policies. Make it your goal to update key estate planning documents within the first 12 months of saying “I do.”
3. Review Your Benefits
Getting married can be beneficial when it comes to combining health insurance — couples are generally eligible to enroll in their spouse’s plan when they sign their marriage licenses. But when you marry later in life, you may already be receiving benefits as a single (or widowed) person that could be affected by your new marriage. Certain benefits, like survivor Social Security benefits, will end when you walk down the aisle with someone else.
If you receive medical insurance through a government sponsored plan, understand how your marriage could affect your coverage. If your combined income is greater than the plan’s income threshold, it could result in higher out-of-pocket medical costs for you.
4. Check for Insurance Savings
When you and your new spouse combine households, you will often combine insurance plans. From auto to homeowners insurance, you may be able to get a more favorable rate when you marry later in life. When you make major life changes, it’s always beneficial to let your local agent know so they can perform a SuperCheck® to uncover additional savings you may qualify for.
Finding love at any age is a wonderful and exciting time! Be sure that while you are planning the details of your wedding, you make time for honest conversations about the mutual state of your finances and how you plan to approach your financial future together.
Protect Your Future
Your Farm Bureau agent has financial tools for any age and stage of life. Congratulations on finding love and getting married! Let’s work together to protect your future.