Coming together at 50-plus is different from getting married in your 20s, particularly when it comes to money. You’ve had a lifetime of solidifying your money beliefs and behaviors, these are some ways to smooth the transition if you’re tying the knot this year.
Talk about prior obligations
Older couples bring obligations such as support payments and debt as well as decades of financial experience to a marriage. It may be wise to consider sharing credit reports and scores, and reviewing previous divorce agreements, which contain details about cash flow, assets and debts. If your new spouse has already pledged half his super to his ex-wife, it’s important to know that. Tongue-tied? A financial adviser, lawyer or accountant can help connect the dots for your spouse-to-be.
Don’t forget your adult children
You’ve probably thought about what you’d like to do for them financially, and they’ve probably thought about what’s coming their way someday. A later-in-life marriage changes that — and complicates your estate planning. Questions arise: Will the new spouse inherit money that would otherwise have gone to the kids? And do all adult children benefit equally from your individual or combined resources? Discuss your decisions with your new spouse and adult kids, with the goal of reducing controversy later on; then consider formalizing your plans in a prenuptial agreement.
Dot the i’s and cross the t’s
Revisit your will and superannuation plans. Talk to a professional and best to seek advise before tying the knot and to know what both parties are bringing to the table.
Decide how much to combine
If you are marrying for the second time and both parties have previous debt commitments it may work to maintain your individual accounts and open a new joint account. Then you can both kick in the same percentage of your incomes but pay for previous debts separately. It removes some of the potential for conflict.