You're mad about him. He's crazy about you. But should you get married? Here are six financial issues you need to consider first.
Costs of Late Marriage
1. Social Security. Many divorced or widowed seniors get Social Security from their former spouses, but remarriage can affect their benefits. If you don't remarry and are divorced after at least 10 years of marriage, you can collect retirement benefits from your former spouse's benefits, if you are at least 62 years old. If you do remarry you can't collect on your former spouse's record until your later marriage ends.
2. Long-Term Care. Despite trusts and prenuptial agreements, you may still be responsible for a spouse's long-term care costs.
3. College Financial Aid. Single parents with children in college need to consider that a new spouse's income could affect the amount of financial aid the college student receives.
4. Survivor's Annuities. Widows and widowers of public employees often receive survivor's annuities. Many of these annuities end if the surviving spouse remarries. Before getting married, check your annuity policy to see what the effect will be.
5. Alimony. If you are getting alimony from a divorced spouse, it will most likely end if you remarry. In some states (and depending on your divorce settlement) alimony may end even if you simply live together.
6. Estate Planning. Marriage can have a big effect on your estate plan. In most states spouses are automatically entitled to a share of your estate (usually one-third to one-half). One way to stop a spouse from taking his/her share is to have a prenuptial agreement in which both spouses agree not to take anything from the other's estate.
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