Getting Married Later in Life
With all the red and pink hearts, flowers, and Valentine’s paraphernalia suddenly appearing in your favorite markets and grocery stores, it’s hard to ignore that February is a month for celebrating love. But did you know that February is also National Wedding Month, according to the Association of Bridal Consultants?
If you’re in the autumn years of your life, you might think that your chance to experience romance and love (again or for the first time) has passed. However, there are many reasons that love and marriage can be even sweeter later in life. Below are the top 4 great things about getting married later in life.
1. Love and Companionship
This one is obvious. Now that you finally have the free time to enjoy hobbies, travel, and whatever you’ve been putting off during your years of working a 9-5, what better way to really experience it all than with a loved one by your side? Sharing the rewards of a long life can be even more fulfilling when experienced with a partner of a like mind; as the saying goes, a partner “doubles the joys and halves the sorrows.” There’s also plenty of medical research suggesting that being married actually improves your health. For example, married men tend to live longer than their unmarried peers, are less at risk for certain diseases like cardiovascular disease and depression, and have improved chances of surviving cancer. So not only does marriage help you enjoy life more, it can help you live longer as well.
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2. Less Pressure
For older couples about to tie the knot for the first or second time, you benefit from a whole life’s perspective to help you set realistic expectations. Not only are you more likely to have a better understanding of yourself – who you are, what your priorities are, and where you want to be in life – you’ve learned more about your own “deal breakers.” Which compromises can you handle and which, have you learned, are not even worth trying? It’s likely you’ve also realized that a committed relationship is more than just the emotional highs of young love; instead, you look to balance attraction with shared goals, values, and lifestyles. If you’re planning a wedding ceremony, you can also enjoy following exactly the desires of your heart, whether it’s the traditional, giant white dress, or a barefoot ceremony on an isolated island. Marrying later in life increases your chances for success by aligning two people who have had the chance to get to know themselves before joining together in marital union.
3. Fewer Illusions
Life has a way of being our best teacher, and by the time we reach our golden years, we’ve most surely been the recipient of and giver of a broken heart or two. You may still be vigilantly waiting for your own true soul mate, but more likely, you’ve realized that a successful relationship is just as much about determination and cooperation as it is stars aligning. If you have friends who have successfully navigated a second marriage after divorce or widowhood, why not spend some time listening to their perspective about the challenges and rewards of getting married later in life? Going into this new chapter of your life may not bring along the “innocence of youth,” but in many ways, that can be a very good thing.
4. Economic and Legal Benefits
Love and marriage should be about so much more than simply convenience, but you can’t ignore the benefits of a shared household, specifically when it comes to splitting costs. Many of your daily costs, like housing and food, are immediately distributed across two incomes. Some insurance companies offer discounts for married couples, and many married couples actually end up paying lower federal taxes than if they had filed unmarried. In addition, spouses can inherit unlimited amounts of property and money without having to pay an estate tax, and many pensions transfer over to a surviving spouse (not so with domestic partners). Similarly, if one spouse dies with a higher social security rate, the surviving spouse’s rate will be increased to match that of the deceased spouse. In many ways, being married can actually benefit your pocketbook as much as your daily life.
So when you’ve found “the One” who fits your values, lifestyle, and goals for the golden years of your life, find encouragement in the fact that marriage, even later in life, is great for you on so many levels.