You decided that you want to date a rich man, so you went out, found yourself a handsome, successful older man, and you’ve been involved in this heated May-December relationship for a while. He’s spoiling you rotten and treating you like a queen. Things are going well, and your plan to date a rich man seems to be working. And then, one day, he asks you to make your May-December relationship official with marriage—what do you do?
Marriage is a big step—you’re going from the simple desire to date a rich man, to promising to spend your life with him. Before taking your May-December relationship to that level, there are a few things you need to do, like talk about finances. Money can be a touchy issue in some May-December relationships, especially if that relationship started with you just wanting to date a rich man for the sake of having that financial boost and with him willing to just keep spending on you.
Once you reach the point of marriage though, it becomes increasingly important to get everything out in the open, because his finances will inadvertently be affecting you, as his wife. When it comes to May-December relationships, it’s important that you and your older man are on the same page, especially when it comes to money issues, so that you can not only navigate through any challenges that may arise, but so that you can better prepare for your future together.
Here’s a list of things that you and your older man should discuss with regards to money before walking down that aisle.
Credit Scores: When all you were worried about was just being able to date a rich man, you probably didn’t really care where the money came from or how he got it. But now that your May-December relationship is on the brink of marriage, a credit score can be a good indication of his money management skills, or lack thereof. Despite this, it turns out that credit scores are the one thing most couples don’t discuss before marriage, according to a survey by one popular credit-rating agency.
Annual Income: Knowing how much money will be coming in the door each year will help you and your older man determine what kind of lifestyle you can afford to sustain after getting married.
Debt: When you date a rich man, he may come across as a big spender, which is great for a flourishing new May-December relationship. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t have debt. And if that’s the case, his debt will become your debt, too after marriage. That’s why it’s important to know about his financial history before tying the knot, so you know full well what you’re getting into. But it also works the other way. When you just date a rich man, you may not have to worry about your financial obligations as much, but once you agree to marrying him, you need to disclose any debt that you’ll be bringing into the marriage—he has the right to know just as much as you do about his debt.
Savings and Retirement Planning: This one goes back to that first point about your older man’s money management skills. When you date a rich a man for the short-term, his savings have no immediate impact on you or your May-December relationship. All that you see is him spending money, but you may not know what he’s got sitting in the bank. If you’re going to make that rich older man your husband, it’s helpful to know how much he has in savings—what happens if he loses his job tomorrow or his company goes bankrupt? Will the two of you have a financial cushion to fall back on? You also have to discuss what happens after retirement; if he’s older, he’s going to retire first. Does he have a plan in place, or will you be the one who ends up supporting him?
What do you think: Do you and your older man ever discuss money issues?
O’Bannon, I.M., “Getting Married? 10 Things to Know About Your Fiance’s Finances,” CPA Practice Advisor web site, June 3, 2014; http://goo.gl/5J5VZU.