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Many older couples choosing to remain as unmarried partners

Two people meet, fall in love and then must make some important financial and possibly life altering decisions. Many older couples in Alaska are finding that marriage is not always their best option. In fact, many older couples are finding that remaining as unmarried partners makes more financial sense.

One consideration in the decision-making process concerns any benefits received. If one of the individuals is receiving alimony, marriage could cause it to end. Additionally, if one of the individuals is receiving benefits based upon a former spouse, those benefits could possibly end. Then, there are children from a previous relationship to be considered. If the couple were to marry, the inheritance these children are to receive could become tied up in the couple's estate.

Another consideration in making this important decision has to do with finances and healthcare. As one ages, the possibility of needing expensive medical care or possibly nursing home care increases. These possible medical debts could be a concern.

Taxes are also another item to be considered when deciding what is best for the couple. If the two individuals were to marry, it is possible that they would be placed in a much higher tax bracket. This could have a negative effect on their disposable income.

While marriage may appear to be the logical next step for an Alaska couple who is in love, it may not be the best financial decision. Often, remaining as unmarried partners is the logical option from a financial point of view. Cohabitation agreements offer a way of formally agreeing to specifics such as assets, debts and care as each individual ages. In making this important decision, many find it necessary to seek guidance in creating a cohabitation agreement and determining the most beneficial options for the couple.

Source: thefiscaltimes.com, "Today's older couples: Money focused and unmarried", Sharon Epperson, June 9, 2014

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