The Baby Boomer generation remains one of the largest and long-lived in history. Born between 1946-1964, there’s no denying that you are getting older. Simply put, you’ve lived a lot of life!
And, as we all know, life comes with changes – including marital changes. Maybe you got divorced years ago and focused on your career or family. Maybe you’re recently separated and wondering what to do. Or, perhaps you lost your spouse and you’re ready to find love again.
Whatever the case, there are over 76 million Baby Boomers out there today. If you’re considering getting back into the world of marriage, there is undoubtedly someone for you! But, if you’re worried about getting older or wondering if it’s worth it to get into another relationship, it’s important to consider the pros and cons.
Not sure where to get started in weighing out your options? Let’s cover some of those pros and cons so you can make the best possible decision for yourself.
If you’re even considering marriage, chances are you have someone special in your life. Maybe you’ve even discussed the idea with them. But, you’re over 50 – why get married? Couldn’t you just live together or continue to date and be completely happy?
The questions you might be asking yourself are similar to the ones young couples have before tying the knot, too. So, it’s important to ask yourself why you truly want to get married (if you do), and what you’re expecting from it. Some of the most common reasons people get married (aside from love, of course) include:
- Tax deductions
- Social security benefits
- Legal decision-making benefits
- IRA benefits
- Estate planning
Those things might seem to take some of the “romance” out of marriage. But, they’re benefits to consider if you’re already in a committed relationship and thinking about taking the next step.
If you’re not sure if it’s the right thing for you, consider advice from a couples’ or marriage therapist to get more clarification. This can help to answer your questions and make you think of new ones that will make your decision easier. If you have more questions, you can make an appointment.
As you can see, many of the benefits associated with marriage have to do with finances. Unfortunately, many baby boomers face financial hardship or are on a tight budget. One survey found that just over 80% of Baby Boomers are in some type of debt.
If you’re over the age of 50, you might receive social security benefits or even a retirement pension. But, that’s not always enough, especially if you’re trying to pay off old debts. So, of course, sharing that debt and doubling your income by marrying someone can be beneficial. But, it shouldn’t be the driving force behind a marriage.
Instead, consider going back to college to get a degree or to advance the one you have. If you’re still able to work, a degree could land you a higher-paying job to mitigate some of your expenses. By setting goals, being realistic, and refreshing your skills, you can take better control of your financial situation by attending school again.
Obviously, there are other benefits to getting married than being more financially sound. Companionship is a huge thing, especially for seniors. Loneliness and social isolation can lead to adverse health effects, including:
- Risk of premature death
- Increased risk of dementia
- Increased risk of heart failure
Getting married means you’ll always have someone by your side, and that person will be able to take care of you and make decisions with/for you in the future. That’s especially important if you ever get sick or need special care.
But, some Baby Boomers are choosing to cohabitate with the person they love without getting married. Many people in the 50+ generation are finding love in new ways, including online dating. The world has changed when it comes to how people find and develop relationships, and that doesn’t always include marriage – even when it comes to serious commitments.
Living with someone you love can offer many of the same personal benefits as getting married. The financial “perks” won’t be the same, but you’ll still have someone to help you with everyday expenses thanks to two incomes. That person may not be able to make decisions for you from a legal standpoint. They may not even have a say in what to do if something happens to you (or vice versa). In those ways, a relationship without marriage is a risk.
But, if companionship is the most important thing to you, then you won’t be alone if you decide to cohabitate without marriage. In 2013, 3.3 million Americans over the age of 50 were cohabitating. If you’ve been married once, twice, or even three times in your life, walking down the aisle again may not be in the cards for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a long, committed relationship with someone for many years to come.
Would you get married again now that you are older? Please leave a comment below.