Monday, December 14, 2015


Older and engaged? Here are 5 considerations before marrying

 When it
comes to tying the knot, Americans are, increasingly, fashionably late. For
various reasons, millennials are getting married later in life than prior generations did. According to the Pew Research Center, the median age of women and men getting married for the first time is now 27 and 29, respectively. That compares to a median age of 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960. Of course, not all late-life marriages are first marriages. Many people remarry following the death of a spouse or a divorce. According to Pew Research, about 53 percent of Americans ages 55 and older are remarried — in other words, on their second marriage or one subsequent to that. Getty Images And now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, greater numbers of gay people are getting hitched, or seriously considering it, after being single much of their adult lives, said Steve Branton, a certified financial planner who specializes in working with singles and unmarried couples, including same-sex partnerships. Branton encourages older couples contemplating marriage, whether gay or straight, to "walk" rather than "run" down the aisle. That's because it's important for such couples to think through the financial, legal and other issues associated with late-life marriages, he said. If you are pondering a late-life marriage or have recently gone down that path, here are a few things to consider. Woman buried under paperwork For too many women, this isn't a priority

1. Marriage penalty or marriage bonus? Many older people are already in their peak earning years, which means they may face the so-called marriage penalty if they get hitched. The marriage penalty is an informal term to describe the income-tax hit faced by some married couples, particularly those comprised of two high-income earners. Such couples may owe more in income taxes than they would collectively as single filers. Conversely, some couples — particularly those with very disparate incomes — are better off married from an income-tax standpoint, said Branton of Mosaic Financial Partners. He suggests unmarried couples do a pro-forma return to get a sense of what their income-tax burden would be as a married couple. "A prenup can discuss a whole lot of what happens if the marriage fails." -Raydeena Jones, certified financial planner with Innovative Financial "I worked with an unmarried couple who determined that the marriage penalty for them would be $20,000 a year, and they are three to five years from retirement," said Branton.

 2. Think about your estate plan. Getting married gives your new spouse some built-in inheritance rights that may upend your estate plan. So advisors say it's important to review your estate plan after getting hitched to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die, particularly if you want to provide for children from a previous marriage or other types of relatives. If, for instance, you want to leave a retirement account to a niece or nephew, your new spouse will need to sign a notarized beneficiary form permitting that person to inherit the account, said Branton. Time to go to cash for older investors: Advisor

 3. Be transparent about your finances. When you're older, you may have more in the way of assets and a higher income than someone in his or her 20s, but you may also have more financial baggage, such as obligations to a former spouse. To get off on the right foot, it's important for older couples who are contemplating marriage to be transparent with one another about their financial situations, said Lili Vasileff, a certified financial planner and divorce expert who is founder and president of Divorce and Money Matters. She suggests sharing information on assets and debts and reviewing any divorce agreements, as well as credit reports and scores. If your betrothed has lousy credit or significant credit card debt, that will obviously impact your ability to do certain things as a couple, such as buy a home, said Vasileff. Another issue older couples should discuss is how much to merge their financial lives, she said. After all, someone who has been handling his or her own affairs for many years may have a harder time compromising with a new spouse than a younger newlywed.

 4. Consider a prenuptial agreement. It's no fun to ponder divorce when you have finally found your true love — perhaps the second time around — but some advisors strongly urge older engaged couples to consider a prenuptial agreement.

 5. Consider the cost of long-term care. If you are getting married very late in life, there's a chance that you or your spouse will need long-term care during your marriage. According to Branton of Mosaic Financial Partners, the average stay at a long-term care facility is three years, and the price tag for that can be $200,000 to $300,000. If your betrothed doesn't have that kind of money or long-term care insurance, you might end up footing the bill for their care someday. Medicare, according to Branton, only covers about 2 percent of the cost of long-term care. In addition, as a married couple, you may have to spend down your collective assets significantly before becoming eligible for Medicaid coverage, he said. If you are thinking about marriage at an older age, "none of these things should be deal breakers," said Branton, "just considerations and issues to be dealt with."

What happened to the OTHER Married At First Sight couples? As one pair get their marriage annulled, how the other strangers fared when the cameras stopped rolling

I worried he might not appreciate my sense of humour but I figured that if we were as good a match as the professionals had predicted then he should get it.'
He did and replied joking, 'You'd better be as you're buying the drinks.' He added: 'I was really pleased to hear from her.' They then met in London the next day.

Sam, a chartered surveyor, said she was 'incredibly glad we didn't do it,' about walking down the aisle after she got cold feet two weeks before her February nuptials and pulled out, leaving two other couples to march to the altar

The programme said: 'The prospect of marrying a stranger is too hard for some of Sam's family to accept and so for Sam and Jack, the experiment comes to an end.'
But the couple spoke to MailOnline in July when they met in a less pressured environment and although Sam said then: 'It's too early to talk about love,' she added, 'But we have an amazing connection.'

Despite two couples falling by the wayside, one couple who did walk down the aisle are still together.
James Ord-Hume, 33, a university programmes manager, and his 32-year-old events manager bride Emma Rathbone, both from London, were on holiday together, five months into their union.
They were put together by programme makers after being subjected to a barrage of personality tests that were meant to find matches most likely to result in lasting marriages.
Interviews the couple gave after their wedding revealed: 'We don't fancy each other.'
Emma, an events manager, admitted: 'Physically, we've both said, if we met in the pub, we probably wouldn't stop for each other. Obviously, attraction is very important and that can affect your sexual relationship, so we have some work to do in that area.'
Speaking about the moment they met James, an university course co-ordinator, said: 'I think "awkward" might be the word of the day.'
Emma was not gushing about the day either saying: 'In the lead-up, I was nervous, but excited. When I saw James, my first thought was relief - he had nice eyes and looked smart. He immediately put me at ease.'

Viewers had expected the couple who would last would be Jason Knowles and Kate Stewart. 
They had sparks flying on the show, and shared a steamy kiss in a jacuzzi during filming. 
But they split up less than two weeks after their February wedding as Jason was caught using the dating app Tinder by one of his new wife's friends. 
Court paperwork shown to the judge revealed Ms Stewart wanted nullification on the grounds that Jason had 'wilfully' refused to consummate the marriage.
Judge Yvonne Gibson heard the case at a family court hearing in London which lasted less than two minutes. Neither of the couple was at the hearing.
The judge granted Ms Stewart the decree of nullity after she ruled that the marriage to Mr Knowles was never consummated and she would 'find it intolerable to live with him'. 
Although they split up in less than two weeks it has taken eight months for the matter to reach court.
Jason claims he went on Tinder because he realised the fleeting relationship would never work out.
Rather ungallantly, he also claimed he never fancied Ms Stewart, scoring her picture just two marks out of seven in the programme's matching stage.
In the TV show the couples met for the first time at the altar after having been selected by five experts, including Church of England vicar Nick Devenish, a sex therapist, a psychologists and two anthropologists.
The couple married in front of friends and family at a small civil ceremony in February before going on honeymoon to Ireland.
But what should have been a romantic getaway was the beginning of the end for the marriage.
Jason said later: 'We would kiss and cuddle but it's a strange thing to be lying next to a complete stranger night after night.
'At the start of the process they told us to send us a list of deal breakers and said we would not be matched with anyone who had them.