Compared to tying the knot at 25, getting married in your 50s is a whole different ball game — especially when it comes to handling finances. AARP Magazine offers these four steps to help things run smoothly.


  1. Talk it through. Be candid with your partner about any prior obligations you may have, such as debt or support payments.

  2. Draw up a prenup. Later-in-life marriages can have an impact on adult children—making your estate planning complicated. Discuss options with your new spouse and adult kids, and consider drawing up a prenuptial agreement to formalize any decisions.

  3. Mind the laws. In many states, legal titles take precedence over wills for real estate and beneficiary designations on financial accounts, retirement plans and insurance policies. So revisit your estate plan and beneficiary designations, and be sure to make any changes in writing. If you intend to collect Social Security benefits from a former spouse, remarrying may affect your eligibility.  For more information, visit ssa.gov.

  4. Yours, mine and ours. Lastly, to help avoid future conflict, decide upfront how much of your individual finances you wish to combine. Any combination that works for your family is just fine. For example, do you want to have separate accounts, but a joint credit card? Do you want to pay expenses for respective children separately, but have a joint account for household expenses? Whatever works for you is what’s important, but you also may want to consult with a financial or tax advisor about the implications of your approach.


Source: "4 Smart Money Moves If You Marry After 50," AARP Magazine, June/July 2014


If you plan to brighten your golden years by saying, "I do," how will you handle the finances?