By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
REGION – Being young and in love, many people overlook things that can stress a healthy relationship. Marrying later in life, after the age of fifty and beyond, does have many benefits but at times can also have some additional challenges.
A different focus
In your twenties and thirties, people are typically focused on their careers. A lot of time is spent with each other, friends and family. Once the added responsibility of children enters the dynamic, there can be added tension. Money or lack thereof, can be a big source of contention at any age. One spouse might earn a higher wage than their partner, which can hurt some relationships.
People fall in love all the time. They each bring their own set of beliefs, traditions and manners in which they were raised. Parenting newborns or small toddlers is exhausting and if one parent is staying at home to raise the children, resentment may form. One of the incomes may be lost or decreased, which can place a financial strain on a marriage.
After a divorce or death, many older people miss the companionship of being married. When given a second chance, finding love again is often such a blessing. It’s a gift to be able to share your life with someone else who holds similar values and enjoys many of the things you enjoy.
“One thing that is unique about marrying at an older age is that you are not first developing your career and your children are grown up, sometimes with children of their own,” said Dr. Alan Kulberg of Pittsfield. “You are able to pursue your interests as a couple and spend time with family or by yourselves.”
Both Kulberg and his wife, Joanie Rooks, were married previously. When they got married in 2014, she was 53, and he was 64. While he is retired, Joanie still teaches, but he wishes she would retire as well so they could spend more time together.
“Some families will go through transitions with blending but ours has been smooth,” Kulberg noted. “Together, we have six grandchildren, four on Joanie’s side and two on mine. There is no differentiation between whose side they are from. They are simply ours, who we love unconditionally and, with our children, are a very important and gratifying part of our lives.“
When couples form a union at an older age, there are important legal factors to take into consideration like assets, an updated will, and perhaps even creating a prenuptial agreement that specifically details what happens to your property and assets in the event of death.
“Overall planning is quite important when older couples marry,” said attorney Jeneen M. Moran of Millbury. “There are assets to consider and I highly recommend to my clients that they should have a prenuptial agreement in place well before an anticipated union. There should also be plenty of time to review it with their respected counsel so there does not appear to be any duress or coercion in signing it.”
“In addition, I recommend updating wills once you are married to make sure it reflects your new estate plan,” Moran explained. “You might still decide to leave property to your children, or you might decide that you would prefer to leave it to your new spouse.”
If each member of a married older couple owns their home, it is important to discuss what will be done with the property or properties. How will the profits be divided? Will one or both properties be sold?
There are many things to be mindful of when marrying at an older age. Finding love for the first or second time is truly a gift. While there might be some challenges, the benefits are great.