Pros and Cons of Getting Married in Your Golden Years

According to CNBC, adults over 50 are now among the least likely demographic groups to tie the knot. The reasons for this are complex: marriage is not only a romantic institution, its benefits are financial and societal as well. For the better part of America’s existence, the nuclear family dominated American life. Divorce was rare, childless marriages were borderline taboo, and the family unit was the organizing structure of American society. The 21st century has seen a number of changes in how Americans view and approach marriage. Those changes extend to the wisest among us: those of us entering our golden years.

Let’s explore this rich issue. Here are a couple of pros and cons for getting married in your golden years.

Pro: Tax Benefits

Pros and Cons of Getting Married in Your Golden Years - 1 Tax Benefits - Evergreen WellnessNo matter what age you are, the government incentivizes marriage. Most (if not all) policymakers would argue this is a good thing: marriage is a stabilizing force for a society. That public good translates to your bottom line. According to, the majority of couples who married in their golden years saw a tax benefit from the celebration of their love.

Con: Medicaid benefits

Pros and Cons of Getting Married in Your Golden Years - 2 Medicaid - Evergreen WellnessAccording to Investopedia, one of the cornerstones of the American government’s safety net has an interesting relationship with the institution of marriage. “Medicaid is based mainly on household income, so a person receiving Medicaid benefits who marries someone with a higher income could lose coverage.” Of course, an improved financial situation might be a net benefit, but it’s certainly worth looking into if you and your partner are contemplating a wedding.

Pro: Marriage can mean big housing savings

Pros and Cons of Getting Married in Your Golden Years - 3 Homesavings - Evergreen WellnessIt’s well-documented that married couples almost always live together. As the About article we referenced above points out, “When two single people living separately decide to marry, the total amount they pay for everything from housing to food to medical insurance immediately goes down…Bottom line: most living expenses will decrease dramatically when two people begin sharing the cost of one household.”

Con: You don’t have to be married to “cohabitate.”

Pros and Cons of Getting Married in Your Golden Years - 4 Cohabitation - Evergreen WellnessWhat that article only briefly mentions is that you don’t have to be married to live together. There are plenty more financial factors that could work against the practicality of a marriage, too.

Pro: Love

Pros and Cons of Getting Married in Your Golden Years - 5 Love - Evergreen WellnessIn the end, this is what it all comes down to. This may sound cheesy, but love is the best reason to get married. The financial and practical aspects of marriage are important, but if you are head over heels in love, don’t stress them. You’ve got the most important part of life figured out. The rest will fall into place.

Last updated: 03.26.2018

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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