Next Avenue: Widows: Don’t overlook the financial consequences of remarrying

by | Aug 1, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from Losing a spouse to death is a traumatic and life-altering event. Widows and widowers initially feel an overwhelming sense of loss and loneliness, but eventually some decide to find love again. According to a study led by a UC San Diego psychiatrist, 61% of men and 19% of women who lost a spouse were either involved in a new relationship or remarried within 25 months.

The decision to remarry after widowhood is a complex one and many things need to be taken into consideration, especially how it will affect your financial future. “This is a big topic that casts many shadows and there are many considerations,” says Robert Barnett, attorney, CPA and founding partner with Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld LLP, a law firm in New York that helps people with estate, tax and financial planning. “Every single week we see clients who are contemplating entering into a new marriage after the loss of a spouse.” Plus: I’m a 65-year-old widow in good health. Should I wait until 70 to collect my pension?Main considerations Jim Schwartz, senior adviser for Strategic Wealth Advisors in Scottsdale, Arizona, says he was receiving so many questions regarding the financial aspects of widowhood that he developed a checklist to help clients navigate the first two years. “How remarriage will financially affect you as a widow or widower depends on your age, pension plan and tax status,” he says. Schwartz offers these general guidelines for different benefits: Social Security — After the age of 60 (or 50, if disabled), surviving spouses are eligible to collect a survivor benefit. If they are not over the age of 60 but are caring for a child under the age of 16, they are also eligible to receive Social Security survivor benefit. Depending on their age, th …

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