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Financial considerations for remarrying later in life

Published 5:26pm Thursday, December 27, 2012

Social Security: Remarriage can also affect the benefits of many divorced or widowed seniors (especially women) who receive Social Security from their former spouses. For instance, getting remarried stops divorced spouse’s benefits. And getting remarried before age 60 (50 if you’re disabled) will cause widows and widowers to lose the right to survivors benefits from their former spouse. Remarrying at 60 or older, however, does not affect survivors benefit. For more information, see ssa.gov/women.

Pension benefits: Widows and widowers of public employees, such as police and firemen, often receive a pension, which they can lose if they remarry. In addition, widows and widowers of military personnel killed in duty may lose their benefits if they remarry before age 57, and survivors of federal civil servants that receive a pension will forfeit it if they remarry before 55. If you’re receiving one of these benefits, check your policy to see what the affect will be.

Alimony: If you are receiving alimony from an ex-spouse, it will almost certainly end if you remarry and might even be cut off if you live together.

College aid: If you have any children in college receiving financial aid, getting married and adding a new spouse’s income to the family could affect what he or she gets.

To get help with these issues, consider hiring an estate planner who can draw up a plan to protect both you and your partner’s interests. Also see elderlawanswers.com, a contributor to this column and a great resource on many other legal topics.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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