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What about us single folks nearing retirement who are considering marriage. How does marriage affect our social security dollars. Do we get less or more as a couple, and if less, is the tradeoff worth what may be more costly individual medical. At this point in my life I am reluctant to give up any more dollars to the Feds than they are already locked into. But of course there are legal issues also, ownership, benefits for remaining spouse, etc. I will be getting more retirement than my man, so I want him to be taken care of in case anything happens to me. But it is hard to understand what the best financial position to take is. Marriage may be only a sentimental thought at this point, but does anyone have any experience with my dilema?
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The real incentive to have legal bonds comes near the end of life. If you are not married you cannot have any say in your significant others care. Family gets involved and it can get really messy.

My recommendation is, if you want to be together til the end of your days, ignore the financial negatives and take the leap. You will have some decisions to make and must research decision BEFORE the fact. Also to keep families calm etc. I would recommend that you get wills and/or trusts immediately upon marriage as well as medical power of attorneys for each other.

It doesn't seem to matter how little or much money is involved, but families can really go crazy. I have seen some really sad situations. Basically do what makes you both happy.

Florence
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<<How does marriage affect our social security dollars. Do we get less or more as a couple, and if less, is the tradeoff worth what may be more costly individual medical. >>

You also indicated that your SS was higher than your potential mate's. Marriage will probably not affect either of your current SS checks unless one is substantially larger than the other's. If you both draw your own retirement checks, marriage will not change that. If one or both receive a divorced spouses benefit or Widow/widower's benefit, marriage could affect the benefit amount of one or both of you.

As far as survivor benefits go, if you pass away first, your spouse is eligible to receive SS equal to your payment if it is higher. For example, your payment is $800, spouse gets $600. When you die, your spouse would then be eligible for a TOTAL of $800 in SS benefits (their $600 + an additional $200). These are payable as long as the spouse is full retirement age (currently age 65) or older at the time of spouse's death.

Reverse the situation and your spouse dies first. You continue to get your $800 and nothing else would be payable to you from SS.

SS is your best source of info about how marriage will or will not affect your current monthly payment.
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