The Moneyist: ‘I am trying to feverishly save for retirement’: My fiancé pays $1,700 a month to the IRS and owes student debt. We’re both 57. Should I marry him for his Social Security and pension?

by | Feb 15, 2023 | Stock Market

Dear Quentin, My fiancé and I met at age 42 after being recently divorced. We have (now-grown) children from our previous marriages, but none together. We keep our finances separate. Neither one of us had any savings when we met. We have been together for 15 years.  For 14 of these years my fiancé worked many jobs, and always had payroll tax deductions, but chose not to file yearly income taxes. He was always going to take care of it later. He did not realize the costly penalties of his actions. 

Last year, he filed his income taxes, and has recently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With the bankruptcy, he has now entered a five-year payment plan to pay his state and federal income taxes (mostly penalties), and other debt including student loans. 

“‘Last year, he filed his income taxes, and has recently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.’”

He must pay $1,700 per month for five years to the IRS. We are now both 57 years old. He is a veteran with a pension. I think he can start drawing his pension at age 62. So at age 62 his money problems should be over! I love this man, and would like to marry him. He says we can get married anytime I want. If we were to get married now, would I be responsible for paying off his Chapter 13 debt, which mostly includes IRS debt and student loans? I am worried about marrying him and having to pay his debt should he die before it’s paid off.  I am also worried that we are getting older and we’ve spent all this time together and he could die before we get married, and I will have no claim to his pension. I became a registered nurse five years ago, and hopefully have 10 years left to work. I am trying to feverishly save for retirement. I know it’s late.  I bought the house we live in two years ago, and I have $100,000 in my retirement account.  I am trying to figure out the wise money thing for me to do. Thanks for your help. The FianceéDear Fianceé, Let’s deal with the loans first, and the marriage second. Federal student loans taken out before you were married are the sole responsibility of the recipient even when he or she is married; if you married …

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