Love After 60: Pros and Cons of Senior Marriage

July 11, 2017

 

What are the pros and cons of senior marriage?

  1. Depending on the retirement and medical plans, a new significant other may or may not be considered beneficiaries.
  2. Many new senior couples decide to live-in instead of getting married because of the many financial complications.

 

Love knows no bounds and seniors are no exception to love. Getting married is often an option, even for those living with dementia caregivers in Chicago. However, marrying at a later age is more complicated than it seems. This most especially due to the fact that seniors rely on retirement plans to sustain themselves, and these come with a set list of beneficiaries.

 

The Trend

When a relationship is formed at an old age they may eventually consider getting married. However, they often decide against it in the end, usually due to financial issues.  Pensions could be lost, which could be too costly for the couple. This is why the rising trend these days is old couples living together without officially getting married.

According to the U.S. Census Board, over 1,000,000 senior Americans were living with their unwed partner in 2005-2007. The number increased by 14% in 2008-2010.

 

Retirement

If seniors decide that they want to get re-married, then it’s best for them to do so when they are 60 years old and above. This is because there can be penalties on retirement income if they get married before that age. An example of this is when a senior is receiving social security benefits from the record of his/her last spouse. He/she may lose said benefits if he/she remarries. But after 60, this rule is void.

While remarriage doesn’t usually affect retirement plans from previous employers, the employer only honors the listed beneficiaries on paper. This may be divided when the couple gets divorced. In this case, the employer still pays for the retirement plan as long as the two individuals are alive. This means that a new significant other will not get these benefits.

If the original partner has passed on, then the surviving partner may choose his/her new love to be a beneficiary. This has drawbacks as well; if he/she wants to do this, then he/she must withdraw and pay the income tax within five years of the death of the previous spouse.

 

Medical Issues

Remarrying at a senior age is not very beneficial for the partner who is less financially secure. This is because the assets of a significant other is not a determining factor in Medicaid eligibility.

Insurance is not a problem as most plans dictate that the surviving spouse will still have converage after the death of their partner. Medical coverage is also not affected when a senior remarries after a divorce. In fact, either of them are still employed, then he/she can get medical coverage for his/her significant other since many companies include live-in partners as possible beneficiaries.

However, if both seniors in a new relationship are retired, then the beneficiaries remain to be for the original couple.

In case one partner has no insurance, the new couple may choose to have a cohabitation agreement. This states that one party will finance the medical insurance of the other. One can avail of this by having the blessing of the deceased spouse’s estate or by guaranteeing that the supporting partner can pay for a decent life insurance of the other.

 

These are the biggest factors that seniors must consider when thinking of getting married at an old age. The lack of medical benefits and pension for the new partner of a senior means that they may deal with a big financial blow for their future together. This is why many choose to just cohabit with each other; so they may still get their benefits as individuals rather than as a couple.

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