Often couples that are starting over in a new relationship and entering retirement find it more advantageous to keep their money separate. I definitely agree; if you are not married and want to maintain your independence, combining assets only to have to untangle them later due to a messy split is not good for your pocket book or your mental well being. Retirement is generally viewed as a “couple event” but that doesn’t mean you have to add the complexities of financial entanglement with someone new. A pre-nuptial agreement or co-habitation agreement is always recommended for starting over, newly single retirees that are planning a future with someone new. It is vital to protect your assets and agreements should favour both parties, bringing a clarity to your union and your combined assets. There are usually a lot more variables to consider when you are starting again at an older age. Do not discount the advantages of a pre-nup, instead think of it as a framework that is best for your future together.
Now on the other hand, if you are NOT starting over and have been married a long time but still have separate accounts, investments and money, my first question is: WHY? If you plan to retire together, you need to manage your money together. It is important that both partners be involved in the financial decision process. You must save and dissolve your debt together especially if you created it together. The most financially successful couples, are those that combined their incomes, working together to spend and save for their future. Those couples that keep their finances divided or secret with separate accounts and liabilities are usually always worse off. One partner is always languishing and the debts tend to get higher while the savings never grow. A good rule of thumb is, if you want to retire debt free and wealthy, you must work together for a common goal. Dream together, plan together and remove uncertainties…..together!