It’s never too late to get married. For seniors, marriage can be a great opportunity to ensure financial security and access new tax benefits. However, it’s important to think through the legal, financial, and logistical implications of getting married in your golden years before you run down the aisle. While getting married later in life comes with several advantages, there may also be a few cons to keep in mind. Here are a few questions to consider before getting married as a senior.
How Will Marriage Affect Your Health Coverage?
First, find out how marriage will affect your health care coverage. Encore Life Health can help you evaluate your Medicare health plan and determine how getting married may affect your coverage and premiums. The good news is that marriage may be able to save you some money on Medicare payments. Depending on your joint income, for example, you may be eligible for Medicare savings programs that weren’t available to you as an individual earner.
Keep in mind that you may lose your Medicaid eligibility if you get married because Medicaid combines the assets of both spouses when determining a senior’s eligibility for coverage. Before getting married, be sure to do your research if you rely on either Medicare or Medicaid for healthcare coverage.
Where Are You Going to Live?
Getting married is a great opportunity to reevaluate your living situation. As a senior couple, it’s important to think about your long-term needs. Consider buying a new home that will accommodate any age-related challenges that may come up in the future.
If you want to move somewhere new, it’s a good idea to rent before buying so you can get a feel for the community and determine if it’s really the right place for you and your spouse. There are many online tools that can help you in your rental search. For example, you can find apartments near Seattle on websites like Apartment List. Some listings even include 3D tours! Take advantage of search tools that let you filter your results by desired amenities, location, price, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
What About Taxes?
Depending on you and your partner’s income, getting married may result in tax benefits or penalties. In some cases, getting married can increase your taxes owed by thousands of dollars every year. On the other hand, you may wind up paying less tax filing as a married couple than you would if you remained single. Take the time to learn about marriage bonuses and penalties so you aren’t met with an unwelcome surprise come tax time.
How Will You Handle Finances?
Speaking of taxes, how are you going to handle other financial matters? Will you and your new spouse combine your financial accounts, keep them separate, or use some combination of the two? Regardless of what you choose to do, open communication is key to ensure you’re both comfortable with your arrangement.
You may also be wondering what will happen if your or your partner brings debt into your marriage. According to The Balance, any debt you take on before marriage does not become the responsibility of your spouse. If you incur debt after getting married, the implications depend on whether or not you live in a community property state.
Remember to Update Your Estate Plan
You should always review and update your estate plan when your relationship changes. Ensure that the right people are included in your plan, such as your new spouse. If you’ve been married before, make sure your ex-spouse is no longer on your plan. Remember to also consider your children and your spouse’s children, redistributing property according to your current wishes.
If you’re thinking about getting married in your golden years, try not to rush into things. Take time to discuss important issues with your partner so you can be prepared for any legal and financial challenges that result from your marriage. Good planning and communication will ensure your marriage goes smoothly right from the start!
Before getting married, talk to a licensed insurance agent who specializes in Medicare Insurance plans. Encore Life Health can help you better understand Medicare and how marriage may affect your coverage. Call today! 253-221-3592