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Don’t let money be a divisive issue in a second marriage

If you're taking wedding vows for a second

If you're taking wedding vows for a second time, take steps to ensure money issues don't become divisive.

According to the National Stepfamily Resource Center, 60 percent of those who remarry get divorced again.

If you want to beat the odds in a second marriage, it’s key to keep money from being a divisive issue.

  • Throw out prior financial strategies

“Don’t expect your new spouse to go along with whatever budgeting or spending styles you used in your past relationship without talking about it first. Whether you want separate accounts, joint accounts, or a hybrid system (the “yours, mine, ours” strategy), develop a plan for how you will manage your new family’s finances,” says Jacqueline Newman, a divorce lawyer in Manhattan.

  • Update wills and beneficiary designations

“People commonly forget to update the beneficiary designations on insurance or retirement accounts. Beneficiary designations listed on the accounts trump instructions listed in a will or trust document. It would be a shame for someone’s new spouse to be unintentionally disinherited due to a failure to update paperwork,” says ReKeithen Miller, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Stamford, Connecticut.

  • Take your time

Not only is rushing into a second marriage without discussing debt and financial philosophies a bad idea, know that it can pay to wait for financial reasons. “If you’re nearing 60 and considering a second marriage, if you wait until 60 to remarry and your first marriage lasted at least 10 years, you may be able to receive a Social Security survivor’s benefit from your ex-husband if he predeceases you,” says Sharon Lacy, a senior planner with Natural Bridges Financial Advisors in Santa Cruz, California.

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