our everyday life

Marrying After 60

by Cathryn Whitehead

Longer life expectancy gives many people the opportunity to form new relationships at advanced ages, and it makes sense emotionally to find someone to enjoy old age with. In many cases, it makes good financial sense to marry when you're older, but social security and tax laws discourage marrying after 60 for some individuals. Each person must balance cultural and religious beliefs with financial considerations to decide whether or not marrying after 60 is best for them.

Discuss goals, lifestyles and plans before marrying to avoid unpleasant surprises later. Most people over 60 have traditions and a way of life they are comfortable with, and even those open to change need to know their potential spouse's expectations. These include anything from family ties and religion to travel and pets.

Disclose finances to one another. Though many people in their mid-60s and older are retired, some still work. Discuss retirement plans, share credit histories and compare debt so both of you know what your financial situation will be if you marry. Figure out the insurance plans and type of bank accounts that will work best for both of you.

Check social security statements and laws to find out how benefits change when you marry after 60. As of 2010, people who remarry before they're 60 aren't eligible to collect benefits from their previous spouse's social security record, but those who wait until after they're 60 to remarry can receive benefits from either their previous spouse or present spouse based on the higher benefit amount.

Talk to a financial planner before marrying. Certified financial planners are up-to-date on laws concerning financial benefits and penalties of marrying after age 60. Tax laws change every year, and while some favor married couples, others penalize people who marry.

Have an attorney draw up a prenuptial agreement to protect assets. Even couples who marry after 60 can have a failed marriage, and no one should lose assets they've spent 60 years accumulating. Prenuptial agreements also protect assets that are expected to go to children.

Items you will need
  • Financial plan
  • Credit report
  • List of debts
  • Prenuptial agreement

About the Author

Cathryn Whitehead graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987. She has published numerous articles for various websites. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and on Poetry.com. Whitehead has done extensive research on health conditions and has a background in education, household management, music and child development.

Photo Credits

  • senior couple holding hands image by Janet Wall from Fotolia.com