An “age-gap” marriage historically is one with at least an 11-year age gap between the spouses. Age-gap relationships have increased over the years because the average lifespan has increased. In 1960, the average lifespan was 67 years for men and 74 years for women. In comparison, in 2017, the average woman lived to 81.1 while the average man lived to 76.1. Increased longevity has changed the playing field of marital relationship ages. And with these changes, new problems have emerged in the areas of retirement, financial and estate planning.
One challenge is deciding when to retire — the age gap could be a half-generation or more, and each spouse could be at a different life stage psychologically when it comes to retirement. Another challenge is navigating financial planning issues like asset allocation, distribution patterns, and investment accounts.
Age-gap couples need to understand the different rules for withdrawing assets, especially with regard to Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from retirement accounts. Usually, individuals calculate required withdrawals based on the Uniform Lifetime Table, but the rules are different with certain age gap couples, and there could be some tax benefits.
“When it comes to calculating one’s IRA required minimum distribution, if your spouse is 10 or more years younger, you must use the Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy table to calculate your RMD,” Diane Bourdo, CFP®, president of The Humphreys Group in San Francisco, told Forbes. “This will result in a smaller RMD, thus lowering your taxable income.”
You can read the full Forbes article “The Retirement Planning Challenges In Age-Gap Relationships” here.
With a presence on every platform, Forbes is the largest global business media brand with incomparable scale and the unique ability to convene, curate and cover the most influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world.
Forbes’ network of editors, journalists and contributors fuels the creation of content distributed through Forbes.com, Forbes Magazine, research and insights reports, and signature live events, reaching more than 120 million people worldwide.