Divorce, Remarriage and Long-Term Care Planning

You might have something in common with Bill and Melinda Gates. Gray divorce. How will that impact future long-term care? How would getting married a second or third time affect long-term care planning?

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Divorce, Remarriage and Long-Term Care Planning
4 Min Read July 20th, 2015 Updated:June 28th, 2022

Bill and Melinda Gates have joined the latest baby boomer phenomenon known as gray divorce. They were married for 27 years, but now, it is over. The Pew Research Center says the divorce rate for adults 50 and older in the United States has roughly doubled. It has tripled for those aged 65 and older. 

Today one in four people getting a divorce are aged 50 or older. People are also getting remarried as many of these same people are starting their second or third marriages. The gray divorce rate for couples in remarriages is about 2.5 times higher than for couples in first marriages.

Re-Marriage and Long-Term Care Mean Questions 

There are many challenges when entering a new marriage when you are older and considering the consequences of longevity, long-term health care, and financial considerations. 

Mixed marriages mean adult children will be less inclined to help the new "spouse." Perhaps of more significant concern, they don't want their parent's assets to be drained by their new step-parent's long-term health care costs.

If you considering divorce or find yourself entering or in a new second or third marriage, have you considered the financial costs and challenges of long-term health care?

Single Again?

Once you become single again, the one detail that gets completely untouched or not thought of — is the impact of long-term health care. About half of us reaching age 65 will need help with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia. The consequences affect your new 'mixed family' and your finances. 

These costs are expensive. Health Insurance, including Medicare and Medicare Supplements, won't pay for most of these costs. The exploding costs of long-term health care drain savings and adversely impact income and lifestyle.

The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows how costly long-term health care services are today and in the decades ahead. These costs vary depending on the type of services you require and where you live.

Find the cost of care where you live by using the calculator - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News

Marital Assets are Still Assets Even With Prenuptial Agreement

If you remain single, who will take care of you? Certainly not your adult children, as they have careers, families, and other responsibilities. Spouses often try to help, but you're now single, so that is no longer an option.

If you remarry, as many 50+ individuals do, it places your future legacy at risk. Even if you have a prenuptial agreement, the government considers a married couple's assets, even if separate, to be marital assets. 

Try to explain to the adult children of a mixed family that mom or dad's new spouse is spending down their inheritance because of long-term health care!

One spouse can't obtain Medicaid long-term care benefits if the other spouse has assets beyond the allowed amount.

Spouses Not Best for Caregiving

Married couples often assume that their partner will be there for them. We expect a spouse, if able, to help in some way if we experience something as simple as a broken arm or as complicated as Alzheimer's.  

The problem is caregiving is demanding, and if it happens when you're older, your new spouse is probably around your age. Even if they are much younger, do you want them to be your full-time caregiver? 

A spouse will often help to the best of their physical and emotional ability. However, expecting your spouse to be a caregiver is not realistic. 

Divorce complicates everything. Remarriage creates new challenges. Being prepared ahead of time will make it easier for everyone involved.

Family, Finances, and Long-Term Health Care 

The impact of long-term care is a genuine concern. It is traumatic. It creates a tremendous amount of stress and burden on your family. The consequences are more than just financial. The problem with long-term care is it affects both family and finances.

How will long-term health care expenses affect your lifestyle and quality of life? There is an answer.

Long-Term Care Insurance has become a perfect solution to provide you with guaranteed tax-free benefits that give you access to your choice of quality care, including in-home care that most people prefer. 

Ideally, you should consider a plan in your 40s or 50s when your health is better and premiums are lower. Most people who purchase LTC Insurance are in their 50s. However, if you are considering a divorce and/or remarriage, start your research now to find affordable coverage. 

Long-Term Care Insurance is Affordable Asset Protection 

These policies are not nearly as expensive as you might think. Of course, the younger and healthier at the time of purchase, the more affordable it will be. Learn more about the cost of Long-Term Care Insurance - How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost? | LTC News.

Long-Term Care Insurance is flexible and keeps you in control. Many plans have case management that will help your family find quality care in your desired setting. With case management, your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of trying to figure out what to do next.

Planning Makes it Easier for Everyone

If you now find yourself single or with a new family, an advance plan will safeguard your savings and allow your family, even a mixed family, the time to be family.

However, if you're happily married, you should not ignore this issue. As we age, we experience many changes in our health, body, and minds. Your spouse is also getting older. You want your family to have the time to be supportive and not face the stress and anxiety of being a caregiver.

Don't delay, as your good health gives you the option to have this vital coverage in place. Be sure to seek the help of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you shop all the companies and make professional recommendations. Insurance premiums vary over 100% between companies. 

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Being prepared for the consequences of aging should be part of your retirement plan. Ensuring your future access to quality care services is another vital part of retirement planning. Don't forget that long-term health care costs are expensive and can adversely impact your lifestyle and legacy. Finally, few of us want to burden our family members. Family caregivers face physical and emotional burdens.

Long-Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to address the costs and burdens of aging. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.

Have Questions About Long-Term Care Planning?

You might have questions about long-term health care planning, and LTC NEWS provides the answers for many of the most asked questions here - Frequently Asked Questions | LTC News. Find all the resources available on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Get Expert Guidance 

Long-term care is very specialized, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise. Find a specialist who represents the top companies, as premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. Leading specialists will often have over 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance.

A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Experts recommend seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find the right coverage. A specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right coverage at the right price. 

Loved Ones Need Help Now?

Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

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