BOSTON (CBS) – Just some facts:

  • 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce.
  • 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
  • 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.

According the Pew Research Center last year, 4 million adults ages 50 and older were cohabiting. I believe as more Boomers divorce or become widowed we will see that number increase.

There are stages in our lives where it may not make fiscal sense to tie the knot formally. I recently met a couple in their 70s who met on line and are living together.

Marriage is too cumbersome they told me both financially and legally. They have children and grandchildren and want to protect their inheritances. The only reason to consider getting married was to set a good example for their grandchildren.

There are many financial issues to consider when you are over 60.

  • Widows/widowers can lose their late spouse’s pensions or other retirement benefits such as retirement health care if they re-marry.
  • A divorcee could lose their alimony if they re-marry and in some divorce decrees if they live with someone for more than 30 days. Haul out that agreement and re-read it.
  • If you are widowed and re-marry before age 60 you lose the ability to collect benefits on your late spouse’s Social Security record.
  • More of your Social Security benefits may be subject to taxation due to increased joint income.
  • If you are married and one of you needs nursing home care the healthy at home spouse could be responsible financially for some of the nursing home costs.
  • If you are single there is no need to be accountable to anyone about your spending habits. So if your grandson wants a car you can decide it you want to help finance it.
  • Staying single gives you more flexibility as to who inherits your assets when you die. This is especially important the second time or third time around where there are children from a previous marriage you wish to protect.
  • Your adult children may not want you to marry the golf pro at the club because they worry that he is after Daddy’s insurance money! He may want to be a kept man!


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.


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