Money tips for dating in retirement

The key is to understand each other’s values around money

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From the December 2015 issue of the magazine.

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Q: “I am a 58-year-old widowed male, in good physical and financial shape. I have no debts, own my home outright and recently retired with a pension. My daughter has forewarned me that dating is not like it was 40 years ago. How do I protect myself if I connect with a lady and the relationship goes south?

—Joe Lidster, Kamloops, B.C.

A: Your daughter is right: Dating in the era of Tinder and eHarmony is very different from your first go round. And you’re different too: financially established, in retirement and, by the sounds of it, a very good catch. So you’re right to date with some caution. The key is to understand each other’s values around money. You don’t need to talk about specific numbers but you do want to get a sense of how this person likes to spend and save. Setting clear expectations about who pays for what is a good exercise in communication that will either further solidify your bond, or bring you closer to breaking up. Eventually, you should go through the big stuff like net worth and cash flow—as an outstanding divorce settlement, no retirement savings or high credit card debt may or may not be a deal-breaker. But take note: Don’t move in together until you are totally comfortable about the finances because that step muddies the legal picture.

Bruce Sellery is a frequent guest on financial television shows and author of Moolala. Do you have your own personal finance question? Write to us at ask@moneysense.ca

2 comments on “Money tips for dating in retirement

  1. I feel that the most critical part of preparing for retirement is just having a plan. Whether you use a spreadsheet or a tool like OnTrajectory or some other website — you have to get everything out in front of you so you can make smarter decisions. Once you do that, then implementing your plan should be a priority,

    Reply

    • Yes, good general advice on planning for retirement, but it does not address the question raised in the article.

      I have seen some awkward situations develop with retired folks and the dating scene. Many find that it is best to just live apart and have a relationship.

      Before you get too involved, and you feel you are the one in the relationship with the most to lose financially, then go seek some legal advice. Why would you have lived your whole life saving for retirement and making wise decisions to blow it all on a bad relationship at this point in your life?

      CD

      Reply

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