Age gap relationships require careful consideration. These refer to planning for retirement for a couple that might have between 10 and 30 years difference in their ages. Since no two couples are alike, retirement and estate planning requires a team of professionals who is familiar with your situation.

The majority of married couples have minor age differences that mean that they are on the same path for retirement and estate planning. Most married couples have three years or less as an age difference. However, nearly one out of every five second marriages and up to 5% of first marriages involve couples that have at least 10 years of an age difference. Financial planning considerations for relationships with larger age gaps include health care and retirement funding.

With longevity increasing, adding a significantly younger spouse can complicate matters. First of all, the withdrawal rate for the older spouse declines and the required wealth to support both parties through older ages increases. The wealth required to fund a person who wishes to withdraw $50,000 annually over the course of 30 years is $1.1 million, assuming 3% inflation and 5% return. The math can become much more complicated with an age gap relationship. It can also be complicated to determine the right Social Security timing.

Typically, it’s in the best interests of the social security benefit recipient to lock in survivor benefits and higher rates but one of the spouses in an age gap relationship might want to take their benefits even sooner.

The survivor could collect the deceased’s benefits at his or her full retirement age or reduced benefits at age 60. Based on their own earnings history, the survivor might qualify for benefits and remarriage after age 60 might not affect survivor benefits. The social security administration has complicated guidelines for how these retirement options work and it’s smart to set up a meeting now with an estate planning lawyer.

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