Aging IQ News | August 8, 2022
While we like to think that our first loves are our forever loves, the truth is around 40–50% of all marriages will end in divorce. While this is devastating and emotionally hurtful, it does open up opportunities for us to learn more about ourselves and what we need to have peace as we enjoy our greatest years. Fortunately, most of us will remarry. However, the older you are, the more important it is to look beyond love and focus on those actions, activities, and behaviors that will help you truly live happily ever after.
Today, Aging IQ News shares ideas geared toward happy senior couples on how to navigate everything from marriage and finances to start a business.
Where to Live
For many mature couples, one of the first questions to come up is, “where will we live?” It’s likely that you both already own a home, but you may not want to live in either. If you plan to sell one or both, talk to a realtor about upgrades and updates that will help you squeeze the maximum value out of your property. Keep pictures of what it looked like before and after in case you need to justify a higher selling price at appraisal time. A few updates you might make include adding a new deck, installing energy-efficient windows, or replacing carpet with laminate or wood flooring.
How to Make Ends Meet
While money should not be the central force behind your marriage, it is important. You cannot just make plans for the future; you have to pay your bills today. Discuss money matters well ahead of time, and if you find that your budget falls short, look for ways to bring in additional income. Working as a freelance consultant is a great option, especially if you don’t want to work a traditional 40-hour-week and you have skills that can help other business owners run their companies.
You might also consider starting a brick-and-mortar or online store, which lets you capitalize on your shared hobbies. Something to remember here is that you’ll not only have a chance to spend more time together, starting a business together opens up the potential for passive income later. What’s more, there are a ton of great business ideas for retirees to consider, including everything from taxes and bookkeeping to consulting and tutoring.
If you plan on going into business, check out the ZenBusiness guide on starting a company first. In it you’ll find helpful tips on advice covering everything from planning to permitting. This can be an excellent resource for helping you avoid potential pitfalls that plague new business owners.
Quick business trip: invest in business cards. Although it might sound antiquated in our digital era, business cards can be cute and creative, and they are a great way to leave potential clients a reminder that you are there for them in the real world and not just online. Speaking of online, you can use the internet to design your brand and marketing materials, and there are many templates that allow you to customize with the elements of your choice — font, text, icons, color — which is also a fun couple’s activity that can help you bond.
Conflicts with the Kids
If you’re marrying in your senior years, you likely also both have children from a previous relationship. Ideally, your children will respect each other as well as your new step-parent. However, you must keep in mind that adult children are adults, and they do not need to be parented. Don’t try and insert yourself into the role of parent, but do strive to respect them as the people they are and make friends. Remember, you can’t force someone to spend time with you, but you can model healthy behaviors by treating each other’s children in a way that acknowledges their feelings about you and the loss of their parental unit.
Something else to keep in mind here is that your new marriage might also put you in the role of step-grandparent. This can be overwhelming, and you may feel the need to try and compete with your new step-grandchildren’s biological grandparents. Don’t. But do (if possible) build strong and healthy relationships with everyone concerned, and don’t try and force the connection if it doesn’t develop naturally.
Divorce is never easy, even for those of us who have seen many years of life and lots of tragedy. But, there is a silver lining, and that is that love is out there. As a senior getting ready to take the rites of matrimony once again, you are in a position to start your new relationship with more than just love. The above advice can help you navigate some of the tougher situations, but only time, experience, and trial and error will help you settle into your new life.