Q&A: Remarrying late in life

Dear Liz: This is regarding the letter from the children worried about their widowed father remarrying. My father remarried a year after my mother died. He was 86. His wife and her family gave him love, care and companionship until his death at 93. I gained a wonderful new family whom I love. Once my dad asked how I would feel if he included his wife in his will. My response was that it was his money and he should do whatever he wanted. He raised me, sent me to college and was a kind and caring person. He owed me nothing else.

Answer: Thank you for sharing your positive experience with your stepmother and her family. Late-in-life companionship can be a real blessing.

Unfortunately, some predators target lonely older people and isolate them from their families as a way to get control of their finances. The predator paints the children’s attempts to intervene as “proof” of their greed. The original letter writers had seen this scenario play out in other families and hoped to avoid it in their own.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

shutterstock_101159917Today’s top story: How to start married life with extra cash. Also in the news: Credit counseling for new grads, how your brain tricks you into using the wrong credit cards, and the retailers that reward you for recycling your unwanted junk.

5 Ways to Start Married Life With Extra Cash
Giving your marriage a strong financial start.

Credit Counseling for New Grads
Getting your post-college financial house in order.

3 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Into Using the Wrong Credit Cards (And What You Can Do About It)
Keeping the right cards at the top of your wallet.

The Retailers That Reward You for Recycling Your Unwanted Junk
Better for the planet and for your wallet.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Questions you should ask your credit card issuer. Also in the news: Student loan tips your need to know, nearly half of couples split home down payments, and personal finance myths experts want to see disappear.

6 Questions You Should Ask Your Credit Card Issuer
Knowing the hows, whens, and whys.

5 Student Loan Tips You Should Know (But Probably Don’t)
Tips from exit counseling.

Nearly Half of Couples Split Home Down Payment, NerdWallet Survey Finds
Going 50/50.

8 Personal Finance Myths Money Experts Want to See Disappear
Mythbusting.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

siblingsToday’s top story: How couples can talk about money without a blowup. Also in the news: Amazon Prime Day, tax mistakes to avoid, and how to make good financial decisions.

How Couples Can Talk Money Without a Blowup
Remembering what’s important.

Prime Day Kicks Off With Low Prices on Amazon Kindle, Echo and More
Bargain hunting.

11 Big Tax Mistakes to Avoid
Proceed with caution.

How to Make Good Financial Decisions
Thinking before you spend.

Q&A: No wedding, no Social Security benefits

Dear Liz: I’m a female who has been with her male partner for 20 years. We are not married. In the event one of us dies, is the other entitled to the partner’s Social Security benefits? Or do we have to be legally married to qualify for benefits?

Answer: Your genders don’t matter. Your marital status does. To get Social Security benefits based on the other person’s work record, you need to make it legal.

Marriage offers hundreds of legal, financial and estate-planning advantages, and Social Security is certainly one of those. With married couples, lower-earning partners may qualify for bigger benefit spousal benefits than the retirement benefits they would receive on their own work records. After a death, the surviving spouse gets the larger of the couple’s two benefits. Social Security makes up more than half of most elderly people’s income, so this is no small deal.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

mortgage2Today’s top story: Why debt-to-income ratio matter when buying a house. Also in the news: Crucial insurance changed to make after divorce, how to manage your finances when you’re separated, and a bill in congress that would remove credit report strikes after four years.

Debt-to-Income Ratio Matters When You’re Buying a House
How to improve your DTI.

5 Crucial Insurance Changes After Divorce
Things to address immediately.

Managing Your Finances When You’re Separated
You may be apart, but your money is still together.

This Bill in Congress Would Remove Credit Report Strikes After Four Years
Significant changes could be ahead.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

seniorslaptopToday’s top story: Why getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important if you live in these cities. Also in the news: How couples can master the financial balancing act, overcoming income shocks, and how 529 plans can now be used for college supplies.

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage — Especially if You Live in These Cities
Where real estate inventory is moving fast.

How Couples Can Master the Financial Balancing Act
Creating an equitable balance,

How to Overcome ‘Income Shocks’ that Wreck Retirement Security
Coping with unexpected surprises.

Now 529 plans can be used for college supplies
Getting your freshman the computer she needs.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

emergency-fund-1940x900_36282Today’s top story: Debunking emergency fund myths. Also in the news: How filing separately could give some couples a lower tax bill, the financial benefits of living with less, and how much down payment you should have to buy a home.

Debunking 5 Emergency Fund Myths
Separating fact from financial fiction.

Filing Separately Could Give Some Couples a Lower Tax Bill
Splitting up your tax returns could save you money.

The Financial Benefits of Living With Less
Downsizing your way out of debt.

How Much Down Payment Do You Need to Buy a Home?
How much do you really need?

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

o-CREDIT-REPORT-facebookToday’s top story: Should you pay for credit repair? Also in the news: Tips on raising financially savvy kids, credit scores and dating, and why it might make sense to pay down debt slowly.

Should You Pay for Credit Repair?
The pros and cons.

11 Tips to Raise Financially Savvy Kids
Starting them off right.

Nearly 40% of Americans want to know your credit score before dating
Should credit worthiness determine date worthiness?

Why It Might Make Sense to Pay Down Debt Slowly
Slow and steady might win the race.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

gay-marriage-cake-toppers-485x320Today’s top story: Wallet-stretching tips for renters. Also in the news: Financial advice for newly married couples, why timing is everything with travel rewards credit cards, and how small businesses can be prepared when disaster strikes.

6 Wallet-Stretching Tips for Renters
Keeping a roof over your head without breaking the bank.

10 Pieces of Financial Advice for Newly Married Couples
What to do when you’re back from the honeymoon.

With travel rewards credit cards, timing is everything
Don’t miss out on valuable points.

When Disaster Strikes: 3 Ways Small Businesses Can Be Prepared
Keeping your business afloat during tough times.