Baby boomers, whose parents looked askance at ‘moving in together,’ are doing just that in their old age, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens.
The Pew Research Center reports that more seniors than ever before are cohabitating. In fact, Pew says that the number of unmarried seniors who are living together increased by a whopping 75% between 2007 and 2016. They do it for companionship and, of course, the financial benefits.
Are seniors increasingly living together due to divorce or because their marriages ended in divorce? Neither, it is most likely due to financial issues that arise with marriage.
“For a number of people in this age group, it’s a financial issue,” she said. “A woman could lose her pension if she remarries. It is just too costly. So even though they may feel they are not behaving appropriately, people feel they don’t have choices,” says Alexis Walker, co-director of the School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences and holder of the Petersen Chair in Gerontology and Family Studies at Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
Bankrate.com points out that marriage after 60 can affect more than just corporate pensions.
For example, if you’re receiving Social Security benefits based on your late spouse’s work record, you may lose them. “But if you’re receiving benefits on your own work record or you remarry after age 60, then your Social Security will not be affected.”
Remarriage in retirement could be a health hazard for the poorer partner. While a spouse’s assets will be considered in determining Medicaid eligibility, Harris says, a significant other’s will not.
There are many considerations in whether to marry or not after 60. And financial concerns are pushing baby boomers to avoid getting married even if they want to.