‘A friend advised me to find a husband’: I am almost 50 years old and about to retire. Would it be a mistake to get married and mix my finances?
I am a single woman in her late 40s with no children. At 50, my federal agency will allow me to retire with full pension. I’m planning, because I have a significant amount of savings in my savings plan, and I’m moving to a Southern state, possibly Georgia.
A friend advised me to find a husband because nearing retirement would slow me down. My answer is that at this age, I see no reason to get married and live my financial life with someone else. Am I wrong?
“‘If a relationship doesn’t work out, I’ll have big problems breaking up with any of my pension or savings.’“
If a relationship doesn’t work out, I’m going to have big problems parting with any of my pension or savings. I’ve worked hard to achieve and accumulate what I have, and I don’t see a life where I’m going to split everything 50/50.
My friend said I could reach a prenuptial agreement, but I’m not sure that would provide adequate protection. In the worst case scenario, I would have to pay a lawyer to fight and uphold such an agreement, and that would also upset me.
What advice would you give a retired Maryland or Georgia resident with a federal pension and savings to get married at this point in life? What safeguards can I put in place to limit any financial loss?
Jaded in Maryland
Let me start with your friend and your finances, then we can move on to your retirement plan and the idea of a pre-marriage.
You don’t know what will happen in the future. You can bow your head for someone. Right now, you’re not building sandcastles in the sky by daydreaming about a future that hasn’t happened yet, but by destroying them. Leave a void in your imagination for endless, life-affirming possibilities.
People have a lot of unsolicited advice and it is often distilled through their personal experience and has very little to do with yours. Does your friend need a partner to help split expenses and enjoy the lifestyle and/or retirement of her choice? Does she feel the need to manage other people’s lives?
Who knows? The result is the same: You’re under no obligation to take her advice to heart, and you certainly don’t need to take her intervention personally. Her intentions – good, average or otherwise – are irrelevant. They are based on her life experiences, not yours. Continue doing what you are doing.
You’re in a very fortunate position to be financially secure enough to retire at 50, and you should feel proud and – yes – protect your savings, retirement and other assets . This column is full of letters from people who have get scammed into all kinds of financial woes. You are responsible for you.
That said, there’s no reason why you should treat your retirement savings like a gilded cage. If you’re happy being single, great. If you want to date, fandabidozi. As anyone who has used Tinder, Match.com
or Hinge will tell you, it hits more than slides, so start swiping right and left if you really want to get tired.
“Warning: Start swiping right and left if you really want to get tired.“
As for marriage, Maryland and Georgia are both equally distributed states. That is, in the case of marriage and divorce, the property that you and your husband have during the marriage will be divided equally but not necessarily equally. That doesn’t include inheritance.
The magic word, as you say, is prenup. Once a dirty word, it’s become less taboo now. A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers concluded that more than 60% of divorce attorneys reported an increase in the number of clients requesting marriage. It shows that people take the marriage contract very seriously.
The law firm Charlton & Glover with headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. shown, prenuptial agreements are legally binding, not limited to high net worth individuals, and are enforceable in Georgia. The law firm says you must file a notarized prenuptial agreement, fully executed in the county that issued your marriage license or where you live.
The company adds: “Prenuptial agreements describe how one spouse will pay alimony to the other. “They can describe assets, assets, liabilities, child support, and separate alimony is settled after the divorce.” Other provisions may include pet custody, superannuation, and alimony.
You don’t have to explain to anyone why you like your own company and choose to stay single, and/or why you might change your mind at some point in the future. You can do whatever you like, whenever you want. It’s your life, your choices and your retirement. Go get that. Roll into the big score 5-0.
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