Should I Tie the Knot or Not?

You never planned on it, but you’ve met someone and now you want to spend the rest of your life with that person. Since you’re already in a committed relationship, you figure marriage won’t change things much—well, think again! Marriage can change a lot of your personal settings, so to speak, and you may confront some unexpected issues that weren’t concerns when you lived together.
Positive Aging is all about making good decisions, especially those decisions that significantly affect other areas of your life. If you’re ready for the ultimate commitment, be fully aware of your impacts and options. Be sure to consult with your lawyer, financial planner, or certified senior advisor for guidance. Here are just a few of the questions you should ponder and ask.

On a personal level: It’s important to think of family and how they’ll be impacted. Try not to bring any unnecessary baggage into your life or theirs.

  • Do I have my family’s support?
  • I have trust issues. Will marriage change that?
  • What happens if my marriage ends in divorce?

On a family level: Many of us have family commitments and have financial documents, estate plans, wills and trusts in place.

  • Will marriage alter my children’s or grandchildren’s inheritance?
  • Will my child support be affected?

On a financial level: There are several things to address here, especially if you receive retirement benefits.

  • Will I have medical responsibility for my new spouse?
  • Will my Social Security be affected?
  • Will my spouse’s credit rating affect mine?
  • Will my health care cost change?
  • Will my taxes increase?
  • Will I lose my alimony?
  • Will my military benefits be affected?

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing to marry. Make sure you get advice from a trusted advisor to ensure your marriage and your aging experience stay positive.

Pat Landaker is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and a Senior Lifestyle Consultant. She serves on the City of Henderson’s Senior Citizens Advisory Commission and teaches Positive Aging at UNLV/OLLI. Contact her at [email protected] or visit

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