Watch CBS News

Couples & Money: The Second Or Third Time Around

BOSTON (CBS) - A few quick stats:

  • 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce.
  • 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
  • 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.

There are stages in our lives where it may not make fiscal sense to tie the knot formally. I recently met a couple in their late 70s who met online who do not plan to marry.

Too cumbersome they told me both financially and legally. They have children and grandchildren and want to protect their inheritances. The only reason to consider getting married was to set a good example for their grandchildren.

Unmarried heterosexual couples 65 and older living together increased over 70% in the last decade according the Census Bureau. There are many financial issues to consider when you are over 60.


  • Widows/widowers can lose their late spouse's pensions or other retirement benefits such as retirement health care if they re-marry.
  • A divorcee could lose their alimony if they re-marry and in some divorce decrees if they live with someone for more than 30 days. Haul out that agreement and re-read it.
  • If you are widowed and re-marry before age 60 you lose the ability to collect benefits on your late spouse's Social Security record.
  • More of your Social Security benefits may be subject to taxation due to increased joint income.
  • If you are married and one of you needs nursing home care the healthy at-home spouse could be responsible financially for some of the nursing home costs.
  • There is no need to be accountable to anyone about your spending habits if you are single. So if your grandson wants a new car you can help finance it without asking permission.
  • Staying single gives you more flexibility as to who inherits your assets when you die. This is especially important the second time or third time around where there are children from a previous marriage you wish to protect.
  • Your adult children may not want you to marry the golf pro at the club because they worry that he is after Daddy's insurance money!



You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee's Money Matters newsletter here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.