/ Ask Terry Questions / social security / pension and getting married at 70

social security / pension and getting married at 70

By Terry Savage on November 14, 2020 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hi Ms Savage,
We are in our late 60s and early 70s and are going to be married next year.
my question is – will we loose money by getting married?
we both collect social security and receive a pension. we were told not to get married because we will loose to money is this true?!
thank you

Terry Says

If you marry at this stage of life, you will each continue to collect your own Social Security — UNLESs you are collecting on a former spouse’s account after having been married for at least 10 years. But if that is not the case, there will be no impact on your Social Security check.
BUT, if you add up both your checks and any other income you have, it could push you into a higher tax bracket when you file a joint return. And you will probably want to file jointly, because “married filing separately” automatically costs more in taxes.
If there is enough other income involved on a joint return, it could push you into a higher tax bracket. And if your joint income is over $174,000 you could wind up paying higher Medicare monthly premiums.

But there are a lot more financial aspects to getting married later in life. For example, you’ll need to draw up new, complementary wills or Revocable Living Trusts. Otherwise, have of your estate (in most states) will automatically go to your spouse. But if you each have children, and grandchildren, you might want to each leave your assets to your own family members.

You’ll want to decide who gets your healthcare power of attorney after you are married. There is a presumption that your spouse will have this power if you cannot act on your own behalf. But perhaps you want that done by another person.

There is a long list of things to discuss, including your current real estate, your plans to share living expenses etc. Fortunately several years ago I co-authored a great book (with two friends who are a divorce attorney and divorce court judge) called: The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know before Marrying, Moving In, or Moving On! It’s still available on Amazon.

It deals with later-n-life marriages and the need for a discussion of many financial topics. We also suggest an inexpensive prenup to document your decisions. I hope you will take the time to read it and I personally guarantee that the $12 cost in paperback will save you 10x that in financial aggravation in the future!

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