Starting a new life together is an exciting time that many couples look forward to, but increasingly people are choosing to tie the knot later in life. Getting married later can offer many advantages. Couples may have had more time to build their careers, create greater financial stability, and establish themselves in their communities. Additionally, getting married later in life can foster healthier relationships for those who don't rush into things, allowing them to know each other better both emotionally and intellectually.
To help your new marriage start out on the right path so you can make the most of this life together, we offer the following insight.
Consider Your Finances
Regardless of your age, it's important to make sure you and your partner are on the same page financially. It may be wise to consider talking with a financial planner who can help you assess your current finances and plan for the future together.
Talk About Expectations
Marriage involves sharing a lot of responsibility and working through any issues that come up. Discuss your expectations for how you both plan to handle each other's needs, as well as how to manage money and divide household chores.
Address Living Arrangements
Choosing your living arrangements takes careful action. One or both couples may own a home, or they may rent an apartment or move into the other's home. It's crucial to address both parties' wants and expectations here. No matter what you decide, be sure to recognize that there will be a transition process. This may include downsizing or merging belongings, moving furniture, and reporting a change of address. It’s important to look at the big picture and make sure that both partners are comfortable with the living arrangement.
Don’t forget to factor in additional costs. If you decide to purchase a home together, consider your budget and annual income and whether one partner will take on more of the financial burden—and how that may affect your future finances.
Additionally, whichever person moves into the other's home, discuss which items that partner can bring with them and how you will handle any costs associated with moving.
Adjust Health Insurance Coverage
One of the most important topics to consider when getting married later in life is health insurance coverage. As you age, your medical needs may change, and it’s important to ensure that you are covered for any eventualities. If one or both of you already have a health insurance plan, figure out how to combine coverage. In some cases, one partner may need to switch plans or add a new policy.
It’s also important to consider the cost of long-term care if either partner becomes ill in their later years.
Manage Estate Planning
Estate planning is an important part of preparing for a successful marriage later in life. It involves making decisions about how your assets and finances will be managed if one or both spouses become incapacitated or pass away. There are several steps couples should take to ensure their estate plan is up-to-date, including creating a will, discussing life insurance policies, and setting up guardianship for any children.
Additionally, it’s important to review any existing powers of attorney or trusts to ensure they are still valid. By taking the time to plan now, you can ensure that your wishes are honored when the time comes.
Start a Business Together
Starting a business together is an exciting opportunity for couples marrying later in life. It can provide financial stability, additional income streams, and the chance to be creative in retirement. This is a great way to spend more quality time with your loved one while boosting your income. Whether it’s combining your knowledge and starting a consulting firm, opening a brick-and-mortar store, or developing an online venture, dual entrepreneurship can be quite fulfilling.
There are details that will need to be addressed, like a business plan, marketing, and registering your business with the state. Many new small businesses choose to register as an LLC because it brings several benefits, including limited liability, tax advantages, less paperwork, and flexibility. Do note that each state has its own regulations surrounding LLCs, so be sure to research the rules applicable in your region before getting an LLC.
No matter what path you choose as a couple, it's important to be communicative and considerate of each other's wants and needs. By taking the time to address these key topics, you can ensure a smooth transition into married life.
Mary Shannon created SeniorsMeet.org, along with her husband, Bob, to have a website that allows seniors to meet up and talk about topics that are relevant to their daily lives. They hope to build SeniorsMeet into a supportive community of like-minded seniors.