Getting married is exciting at any age. When you are over the age of 45, though, you may have to think about more than what to do with another Crock Pot. You have spent a lifetime of 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 for you.
Tying the Knot After 45 – 4 Financial Considerations
- Combining Finances – Whenever any two people get married, they need to discuss how they are going to combine finances. People getting married later in life likely already have 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 that sets aside money 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.
- Estate Planning – The rom-coms never seem to point out that couples often go from signing their marriage certificates to updating their wills. But, as people mature, they understand the need for long-term planning. Often this plan includes creating wills, making one another the beneficiary to a life insurance 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.”
- 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, take a look at the benefits you are already receiving as a single (or widowed) person. If you are receiving survivor Social Security benefits, these are often lucrative, and will end when you walk down the aisle with someone else.
If you receive medical insurance through a government sponsored plan, understand the income thresholds will apply. If your combined income is greater than the threshold, it could result in higher out-of-pocket medical costs for you. Understand how this will affect your finances so there are no surprises after you marry.
- Combining Insurance – 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. When you make major life changes, it’s always beneficial to let your local agent know so they can perform a SuperCheck® and look for additional savings that you may qualify for.
Finding love at any age is a wonderful, exciting time! Be sure that while you are planning the details of your wedding, you pause long enough to have some honest conversations about the mutual state of your finances, and how you are going to approach your financial future together. Having this conversation can be difficult, but your Farm Bureau agent may be able to help – they have financial tools for any age and stage of life you are in. Congratulations on taking the leap and finding love later in life! Let’s work together to protect your future.