Love isn’t limited to the young. Today, an increasing number of seniors are following their hearts and walking down the aisle, starting new lives with partners well after retirement.
Being a newlywed senior is exciting, but it also comes with some challenges. If you want to make sure that you and your new spouse can build a wonderful life together in Calgary, Heather Waddell has some tips.
Talk to Each Other (Especially About Money)
Whether you’re 20 or 80, it’s easy to get swept up in the romance of it all when your wedding day is approaching. But taking a moment to have real conversations with each other is essential. That way, you can make sure you’re on the same page about the future.
Often, some of the hardest – and most necessary – talks are those about money. Generally, you want to ask difficult questions, ensuring you cover all of the essential information. Will you need a new retirement budget? Should you get a joint bank account? Are you going to save toward the same financial goals? How will you address personal spending? What should happen to your current assets? Are there inheritance issues you need to navigate?
The goal isn’t to spur disagreements. Instead, it’s to learn more about how you view money and your financial future, empowering you to make decisions together to avoid issues down the line.
After you have those conversations, it’s wise to create a will to formalize any plans for your estates. If you’re not sure how to tackle that, find an estate planner who can assist.
Make Cohabitation Decisions
As a senior, you might have figured that housing decisions weren’t something you’d need to worry about anymore. After all, more than 75 percent of Canadian households own their homes by age 65, so you may have assumed that you’d stay where you are now.
However, there’s a decent chance that you and your new spouse both own homes. As a result, you’ll need to either pick between those two houses or get a new one together.
Which option is best may depend on how functional your current homes are and how you view each other’s houses. Ideally, you want properties that let you age in place. Additionally, you want to go with a property that gives you both a sense of ownership. If you’re concerned you or your spouse won’t feel like the house is theirs after moving into the other’s home, selling your properties and getting a new one might be better for a fresh start.
If you’re going to sell, you may want to make some upgrades to increase your home’s value. Remodelling or updating the kitchen and master bath is an excellent idea if yours are a bit dated. Boosting your curb appeal with fresh landscaping is another solid option, as well as applying a coat of paint and replacing worn floors.
Along the way, take before and after photos and track your receipts. That way, you can quantify the value increase with greater ease.
Enlist Help from a Counselor
In some cases, your family may have concerns about a late-in-life marriage. They might fear you’re being taken advantage of, which is a feeling that’s hard for them to ignore.
If that’s the case, consider enlisting the help of a counselor. Not only can they help you explore your feelings on the matter and develop strategies for reassuring your family, but they can also potentially mediate difficult conversations with them. That way, you have an ally by your side.
Have Fun Together
As newlywed seniors, having fun together is essential. It helps keep your bond strong and makes your retirement years more enjoyable.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, let your heart be your guide. If you both adore traveling, start planning trips. If you’re foodies, visit restaurants you’ve yet to try.
Starting a new hobby as a couple is another excellent choice. That way, you’re both on the same exciting journey, allowing you to build unforgettable memories that’ll last a lifetime.
(Image Credit: RODNAE Productions)