“My first marriage was a practice round”

“Third time is a charm”

Remarrying brings hope and joy. It’s a time to celebrate and to start anew. With all this joy why even bring up the topic of money?

Working with divorce clients, I’ve seen divorce settlements drag out over time. The main reason is because of money. Each party to the divorce has different money expectations. One may expect more money. The other may feel they have been more than fair. In the end, more money is wasted on legal fees than necessary.

Since we don’t have a crystal ball to look into the future, why not talk about things which can create difficulties? Why not talk about money?

According to “Remarriage in the United States: American Community Survey Reports,” second or third marriages increased for women aged 50 or older and for men aged 60 or older. At this later stage in life, you may have significant retirement savings or a pension. You may have a home which is nearly paid off. You may have a business you’ve successfully built. At this point of life, you’ve done a lot for yourself. Is it worth risking because you don’t want to talk about money?

If you want to have a better relationship than your previous one, then start with communication. Learn to talk about difficult things, including money. If your soon-to-be-spouse doesn’t want to talk about it, then you may want to understand the reason. Most people at later stages of life are beyond the fairy tale image of marriage.

To help you understand financial impacts from a marriage later in life, meet with your Certified Financial Planner™ professional. This person will help you decide how to handle finances with your new spouse, specifically the pros and cons of commingling assets.  Your CFP® will discuss how your Social Security benefits may be impacted, even if you don’t plan to collect on it for several years. You’ll also become more aware of tax implications.

Once you’ve met with your CFP®, then meet with your estate planning attorney to review your documents. If you have children from your previous marriage who are adults, they would appreciate knowing their inheritance will not be adversely impacted by your new marriage. By being proactive, you may circumvent bad behavior from your adult children.

From those meetings, you’ll be better equipped to discuss a prenuptial agreement. Marriage is a union but what is “yours” and “mine” does not always equate to “ours.”

Enjoy the bliss of remarrying but be smart. Talk about money and expectations. While it’s impossible to address every single thing which may come up in your marriage, at least you’ve set the foundation.

Niv PersaudNiv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”