Remarriage: Don’t relinquish a pension

Tom Blake marries Laurie Dey and Phil Green in 2998

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – October 19, 2018

Remarriage: Don’t relinquish a pension

In today’s eNewsletter, I want to address a question I received from Champ Carole. She wrote, “I’m living in Gardnerville, Nevada with my boyfriend and happily so.” Carole’s email had a senior dating issue inside. A possible pitfall when seniors remarry, or at least are considering remarriage.

Carole continued, “A gal friend just called me. She is a widow, as I am, and has a new guy friend. They want to get married in June. She has government retirement income from her late husband and is concerned about losing it if she marries. Her guy friend is retired and has good income and a big house. He seems to be a very nice guy—a widower, with two grown sons—one of whom lives with him.

“I wanted her to be able to contact you for advice—she doesn’t use email! Could I buy her a book of yours to help her? Any advice you could pass along to her would be helpful.

“My guy friend and I are trying to help her but feel kind of inadequate. I hope you can get this while on your cruise.

My response: “I have nothing against senior remarriage. In fact, this week, friends of mine and Greta’s, Tom and Artis, who live in Arizona, and have been together for nearly 20 years, announced via email that they got married on October 15. After I picked myself up off the floor of our stateroom from their surprise news, I congratulated them.

However, there is one exception to seniors getting married where I think it’s a bad idea. And that’s when a spouse would forfeit a guaranteed pension from a deceased spouse.

Carole, your friend should not get married, unless there is something about her situation that has not been revealed. What does she gain by getting married? Senior dating and adult children often don’t mix.

The government income is guaranteed. Marriage isn’t. It doesn’t matter that he has a big house and nice income. What if he decides after a month of marriage that he isn’t happy? She’s out and, also out her pension. Or, what if he unexpectedly passes away before arrangements are made to provide for her financially?

There might be exceptions: If he puts her on the deed to his house before getting married (might be a slim chance of that with a grown son living there), and, or, he  adequately provides for her in a pre-marital agreement. I still think remarrying is a bad idea for her.

Tom Blake marries Laurie Dey and Phil Green in 2998
Phil Green and Laurie Dey wedding with Tom Blake as Officiant in 2008

I married the above couple in 2008. It was a great idea and they are friends of ours and happy in 2019.

Carole’s friends can have a great relationship without getting married. Having a grown son living with him is also a red flag.

As far as a “Finding Love After 50” book, I can have one mailed to you one from California, but, it wouldn’t be autographed because I’m on a cruise.

flaf amazon

If your widow friend has more questions, she can give them to you and you email them to me.

Carole responded: “Thanks for the advice—that’s exactly what we said but, it sounds better coming from you. If you could get me a book I will give it to her.

This is a great community, and we’re keeping busy with many activities at our fabulous senior center. I volunteer at the local museum, joined the Elks club, enjoy swimming at a beautiful swim center (6 indoor pools) and hike occasionally with my man-friend.”

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

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