I won’t deny that I haven’t ever thought about getting married again. I loved being married. I hope to be married again someday. But here’s the rub. As a young(ish) widow, the financial repercussions of remarriage make it a complicated notion for me and my kids.
If we widows and widowers marry before the age of 60, those social security benefits that our deceased spouses worked so hard for disappear the moment we say “I do.” Same with Workman’s Compensation if we receive those. And yes, many pensions and 401(K)s dry up as well. If you have children of college age, then a new husband’s assets are counted into the family contribution and that may change a child’s financial eligibility for financial aid. If one of you ends up in long-term hospital care, you will have to spend down both spouse’s assets before qualifying for Medicaid.
And it’s not just widows. Disability benefits disappear with marriage as well. How does that affect, say, a young person in a wheelchair who wants to get married? And divorcÃ©es lose their alimony when they remarry. How sad that with so many couples of all flavours wanting to get married, our society makes it difficult. Isn’t marriage supposed to equate to a more stable society? I wonder why then there are so many disincentives? It seems that in most other societies, there’s an economic advantage to marriage.
The survivor benefits are only the beginning. There is also the question of the deceased spouse’s estate. Seems we require a pre-nup agreement in order to ensure that that estate gets inherited by our kids. Careful arrangements have to be made for a new spouse and any children they bring to the equation.
A mathematic translation is needed. Does gaining the benefits from re-marriage such as lower Health Insurance costs, a divided mortgage payment, dual incomes, and tax incentives for married couples equal the lost revenue from Social Security, Pensions, Workman’s Comp and all the other disincentives?
I found many articles showing that many couples are choosing cohabitation over remarriage, a number that in fact, doubled between 2000 and 2009. Sure, cohabitation is all well and good, until something happens and you’re denied visiting your partner in the hospital because you’re not “next of kin.” Only a few states recognize co-habitation as a “common-law” situation.
I guess this raises a whole 47% question as well. There are many in this USA who don’t believe anyone should be getting benefits of any kind. Of course I am very Canadian in my ideas, so the fact that many of us receive these benefits, benefits that we or our deceased spouses have worked our lives paying into, doesn’t seem like a bad thing.
Gee. Not very romantic, all this money talk.Â Marriage should be about love, right? When I’m asked the question, “Do you want to get married again?” the answer is “yes, very much, but it’s complicated.”
I’m curious to hear how some of you remarried’s have handled this.