May/December Relationships: How Will Your Age Difference Define Your Financial Future?

May/December Relationships: How Will Your Age Difference Define Your Financial Future? by Fabienne Swartz

{2:15 minutes to read} One of the most fascinating aspects of humanity is the fact that no two people are exactly alike. We all have different tastes and priorities—and sometimes a lack of priorities.

An increasing trend that I have observed is an uptick in the prevalence of so-called May/December relationships between a relatively young person and someone who is considerably older. Everyone has different preferences, but there are some very real implications to following your heart in situations like these—the key is going into it with your eyes wide open.

Consider for instance these cases:

  1. Spouse A had already retired from working five years ago and was under a mountain of debt before getting married to Spouse B, who was 20 years younger. Most people would agree that having so much debt is not an advantageous position to be in, especially for someone bringing a child into the world (and refuses to go back to work!). In this case, Spouse B became a retirement plan for Spouse A. Now that they have gone their separate ways, Spouse B is charged with subsidizing Spouse A’s retirement in the form of child support.
  1. Spouse C had a child at 45 years old, while Spouse D was 30. Over the years, their family grew to include two children, but Spouse C retired and started drawing a private pension at 60. Unfortunately, a congenital heart defect tragically took Spouse C’s life at 63. Spouse D was left alone with two teenagers—and no assets to pay for college.

At the end of the day, it is the younger parent who is left footing the bill for things such as SAT prep courses, tutoring, college application fees, college visits, everything. A judge can do many things—but resurrecting the dead or forcing someone to go back to work once he or she is past the legal retirement age are not among them.

There is little doubt that May/December relationships are going to become more and more common as our lifespans get longer and the Decembers look more and more like Septembers. It is an important food for thought, though, for all the Mays out there: Protect yourself financially, and don’t volunteer to take on another dependent—who will never become independent again!

Become financially strong on your own by contacting me today.

Fabienne Swartz JD (Belgium) CDFATM
Certified Divorce Financial AnalystTM
500 Mamaroneck Av.
Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
(914) 798-6940

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