Marrying Over 50: Money Tips Before Getting Hitched

Love Is Ageless, Not Necessarily Priceless

Over 2 million Americans get married every year. And many of those newlyweds have a few grey hairs ;). According to Pew Research, divorce rates have climbed for those 50+. It’s becoming so common with Baby Boomers, there’s a new term for it… “grey divorce.” Before you say “I do” or “I don’t,” let’s explore the myths and money tips for those of us who are more “seasoned.”

Prenuptial Agreements Aren’t Just For the Wealthy

For many couples over fifty, there’s a small percentage who are first-timers. For the majority, they may be divorced or widowed. Prenuptial agreements aren’t just for the rich and famous. Such agreements can allay concerns about passing down assets to children from a previous marriage.

Often more mature couples have accumulated assets such as a home and retirement accounts as well as debt. Prenuptial agreements and estate planning can ease tension inside and outside the relationship.

Talking About Estate Planning Before the Wedding

Similar to a prenuptial agreement, it’s important for a 50+ couple to talk about estate planning beforehand. Figuring out “his, hers, and ours” before the happy event eases confusion in the event of incapacitation and death. Who will benefit from life insurance payouts? How will long-term care costs affect your new spouse?

Money Habits & Separate Accounts

Ankor Wat Lake View PanaroamaThe older we get, the more stuck in our ways we are. Having separate accounts may be required, especially if you have a prenuptial agreement. Talk with your beloved about your attitudes toward money and how you want to handle expenses. According to, money is the number two reason for divorce. Before making any decisions about how you’ll manage your accounts, hold property title, and file taxes, talk to your estate planning attorney, CPA and/or financial advisor.

Debt Is a Big Deal

Getting married over fifty is a big deal and so is our debt (e.g., mortgages, student loans). You may hold separate checking accounts, but how will you handle any old or new debt? Many financial advisors suggest pulling credit reports and sharing the details with each other. Ideally, you want full disclosure to avoid major unhappy surprises.

Not Marrying May Make More Financial Sense

In a 2016 Pew Research Study, 23% of adults who cohabitate are over 50. This percentage has grown 75% since 2007! Why? Because older couples don’t want to give up higher social security income, alimony, or risk other benefits such as qualifying for Medicaid. Sometimes it makes more financial sense to live together and keep everything else separate.

As a daily money manager, I’m familiar with individual and joint accounts, and keeping everything organized to adhere to prenups and financial preferences. Call me for a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

Photo credits: Suzanne Nilsson, Neville Wooton

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