Getting married raises many financial questions, such as whether to combine bank accounts, or how one another’s credit scores might impact the couple’s ability to buy a home. Getting remarried raises even more questions. And more Americans are getting remarried today than ever before.
Among all adults currently married, 23 percent were previously married, according to a Pew Research Center report. In 1980, that number was 17 percent. In 1960, it was 13 percent. Not surprisingly, remarriage becomes more common with age; in fact 67 percent of married people ages 55 to 64 have been married previously.
What financial planning steps should you take if you’re saying “I do” again?
First, it is important to review all existing financial documents and plans with your betrothed before heading down the aisle. Divorce agreements, credit reports, disability and long-term care insurance, and retirement goals and needs are key examples. Couples should also discuss to what extent they’ll merge their financial lives. Someone who has managed his or her own finances for years may have difficulty sharing control without formalizing specific parameters.
Second, getting married gives your new spouse certain inheritance rights that may disrupt your existing estate plan. It’s critical that you review your estate plan with your advisor before getting remarried, to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death. This is particularly important if you have children from a previous marriage or other individuals for whom you’d like to provide.
Depending upon the ages of all those involved, a prenuptial agreement with a timeline may be a helpful addition to your financial planning documents.
Saying “I do,” whether it’s for the first time or the fifth, should be a happy time. Openly discussing your financial concerns, plans and dreams in advance will help increase the odds of wedded bliss.