Retirement is a time of transition. For many individuals, it may also be a time of becoming newly single. Divorce rates among those who are 50 and over have doubled during the past 20 years, and still others end up widowed long before their own lives come to an end.
It’s good news, then, to hear that romance isn’t dead for retirees. The Internet has made it even easier for single seniors to find and meet each other, and even retirement communities and community centers are holding singles’ events. So while finding love after retirement may not be an issue, preserving your assets can be, especially if you decide to remarry.
Online Relationships: Serious or Scam?
Some online relationships really are love at first type—but many more are the result of scam artists searching for a new victim. Romance scams occur when the person you’re dating online starts asking you for large sums of money, banking or credit card information, or to invest in their business idea. The scammer will usually try and tug on your heartstrings after developing your relationship for a month or so, saying they need the money for some emergency they’re facing, or maybe even to come and visit you.
It’s a good idea to have a family member or someone you trust take a look at the dating profile of the individual and the emails they send in order to determine whether they might be a little too good to be true, and possibly a scammer. Should you receive a request for financial assistance from them, you can also review it with a trusted advisor to get their take. Realistically, it’s doubtful that a legitimate boyfriend or girlfriend will need money from you, or demand expensive gifts—at least, one worth keeping won’t.
True Love and True Asset Separation
When you do find true love after retirement and you want to bind that love with a marriage certificate, it’s a good idea to first talk about what you each want to accomplish with your assets. If you both have children from prior marriages, you may want to keep your assets separate so that your descendants inherit your property after death. If your new spouse will need financial assistance after you’re gone, you can always set up a trust so that they can expect something.
If you’re concerned about receiving a former spouse’s Social Security benefits after you remarry, then you may want to wait to remarry until after you turn 60. Otherwise, you won’t receive benefits for your deceased spouse while you’re married to the new spouse. There is an exception for disabled people—these individuals must only reach age 50 to retain deceased spouse benefits after remarriage. You can get more details on the Social Security website.