Marriage is an exciting venture about love and building a life together. It’s the same no matter what age you are. However, when you get married in your golden years, you both have a few extra considerations. Consider this checklist to help you figure out how to merge your established lives together as a newly married couple.

  1. Discuss Your Finances

Finances are a major concern for newly married couples. You’ll need to have a conversation about whether you intended to combine your assets and income or keep some or all separate. You’ll want to know what your financial life in retirement will be for both of you, so you can assure you are on the same page. Additionally, you need to have a talk with your families, so they will understand your new financial situation.

  1. Talk to Your Adult Children

When senior couples get married, their adult children sometimes worry about what this means for their inheritance and their relationships with their parents. Approach the discussion from their perspective and cover what will change and what will not.  They will probably be particularly concerned about your proximity for visiting, are there any financial issues of which they should be aware, will holiday celebrations be affected, etc.  Keeping an open dialogue with your family about your plans for the future is important.

  1. Decide Where You Want to Live

Combining two established homes is often more than you will ever need. Many senior couples choose to downsize instead. You can go through your items and decide what you would like to keep, donate, sell, or trash.  Consider looking at apartments. You’ll find places with elevators and security features. You get to avoid the yard work and other upkeep that comes with owning a house. You can view listings online and even find places that offer a virtual tour. If you have specific needs, consider talking to a realtor.

  1. Understand Medical Coverages

You may have different medical plans in retirement and you should each understand each other’s, so if there is an issue, you know who to contact.  You also want to understand the costs involved with your plans, so there are no surprises.  Also understand each other’s options under the plans to ensure you do not miss any opportunities for maximized coverage if there is a medical emergency

  1. Get Your Estate in Order

Do you both have plans for your estates? If you intend to make changes, you should get that out of the way as soon as possible. Talk to an estate planning attorney about creating a comprehensive estate plan. Research shows that every estate plan should include a will, a living trust, beneficiary designations, a named power of attorney, and a health power of attorney. Talk to your lawyer about what you can do to help your family avoid probate after you pass away and ensure everyone gets the assets you assigned for them.

6. Consider Starting a Business Together

After retirement, you may have to pad your income with a part-time job or you may just want to work to stay active and social.  Many senior couples decide to start a business together. It’s a good way to spend more time together while making money. Start by creating a business plan that provides you with something tangible to guide your business idea and improve your chance of success. Your business plan should include a description of your business and the products or services you plan to offer. Talk about how you intend to structure the company, what funding you’ll need, and your financial projections. Then work on your marketing strategy. Learn more about social media and Facebook advertisements. You can create your own ads using a Facebook ad template that allows you to customize your fonts, logo, and brand identifiers. Afterward, all you have to do is download the image and then launch your marketing campaign.

As you wade through the fun parts of a new marriage, such as picking out your new home, planning travel, and making new friends, make sure you set aside time to exercise, “smell the flowers” and try new things. Consider hiring professionals to help guide you in your new financial journey to ensure you will be solvent and able to enjoy your new life together without financial headaches. Then you can relish your new life together in the bliss you anticipated.  Congratulations and now go have fun!

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