More Seniors Say “I Do” to Living Together Without Marriage

More Seniors Say “I Do” to Living Together Without Marriage

Would she have made the same decision again? “Yes, but I would have done it differently,” she explains. “I would have kept a career and been more closely involved in finances.” She also “would not have tipped my hat” about getting divorced because when her husband found out her plans, he drained their joint accounts. “If you’re not happy in your marriage, do your homework and make your move in a calculated way,” she suggests.

For Those Considering Gray Divorce

  • Try to maintain your own career and/or source of income and build up your own nest egg.
  • Before any discussions with your spouse, research divorce attorneys and see what information they will need from you.
  • Consult experts – attorney, accountants, therapists, etc. – to get your own legal, financial, and family affairs in order.
  • Consider personal and family therapy to work on issues so they don’t impact subsequent relationships.

It’s not all just affairs and breakups – there’s a fair number of happy couples, too. But not all of them feel the need to get married. After two marriages that ended in divorce, Florida’s Adrianne Spiegel, 62, decided to skip another walk down the aisle the third time around. She and her significant other have been living together without being married for about 12 years and she sees no reason to naiset ItГ¤valta make it legal. “He brought up marriage pretty soon,” she says. “But I was enjoying our relationship as it was and we don’t have kids together so I didn’t see any reason to get married.” Spiegel says she has no regrets, and “living together without marrying might make you work harder at the relationship because it’s easier to walk away from it.”

Many Boomers remember a time when they had to hide the fact that they were living with a significant other without being married from their own parents. Fast forward to the 21st century, and many wouldn’t advise their own kids to get married to anyone they hadn’t lived with first. Yes, times have changed and there is often little stigma about cohabitating without a marriage license. Not surprisingly, the increase in seniors 65+ living together has climbed steadily. Forbes reports that in 2006, 1.8 million individuals in the US over 50 lived in unmarried heterosexual households, a 50 percent increase from the previous 2000 figure.

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Increasingly, seniors are choosing to share expenses and live as lovers and friends. Then, too, with the increase in both partners working, there’s less fear that women need a legal piece of paper to protect themselves. In fact, in some instances, says Langley, “marriage might be financially impractical. Will you lose survivor’s benefits, military or other pensions or alimony?” Indeed, she adds, not getting married might protect one’s credit rating or keep one partner’s debts separate from their own. “The legal separation can protect children’s inheritances or other individual assets.”

The reality is also that many people have had a negative experience when it comes to marriage. “They found that the marriage contract didn’t keep their partner from cheating and the divorce was nasty and traumatizing,” Langley says. “Seniors might not want to get stuck in a bad relationship or have to unravel the legal bonds of a marriage.” With living together, adds Spiegel, “you get the companionship and benefits without the negatives of being married. People should be together because they are happy together and make each other happy.”

How to Say “I Do” to Living Together Without Getting Married

  • Communicate with your partner in detail beforehand. Discuss how the finances will work. Who pays for what? Will you be buying a home together? Who will pay for any grandchildren’s expenses? Will any combined families live or vacation together? The more uncomfortable you feel about discussing a topic, the more important it is that you do so before moving in together.

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