Alert
Close

Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Join the Drive to End Hunger!

Highlights

Close

You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AARP Auto Buying Program

Contests and
Sweeps

$10,000 Winter Escapes Sweepstakes

Beat the cold and cozy up to a chance of winning $10,000! See official rules.

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Managing Marriage and Money Issues

5 financial arguments worth fixing before they become problems

4. Risk versus security

Older couples also frequently bicker over what Bethany Palmer calls the "risk versus security" dilemma.

Sometimes it manifests itself with investments: One partner is more risk-tolerant and wants to invest heavily in stocks, while the other spouse is risk-averse and prefers to stick with safer assets like bonds or certificates of deposit.

Beyond investing, couples wrestle over business and entrepreneurial opportunities, second-career options, or even just going back to school, all of which have huge financial implications.

"Age 50 is such a turning point for most people," Palmer notes. "That's when people often start thinking: 'I've always wanted to get my law degree' or 'I really wanted to do this or that my whole life.' "

But since "most of us marry our money opposite," she says, conflicts can arise if a risk-taking spouse wants to do something after age 50 that his or her "security-focused" partner can't tolerate.

The more conservative spouse may be saying: "It's too late" or "You're over 50."

The best answer for this dilemma is to have a plan B and think through best- and worst-case scenarios and then decide whether both parties could live with the outcomes.

For example, if making a high-risk investment or pouring money into a speculative business venture is under consideration, you and your mate should contemplate how you would fare if you lost all your money. That's always a possibility.

The two of you need to be on the same page before making any big move that could be economically risky in the long-term. But other questions, like pursuing a new job opportunity, need not be viewed as such a high-stakes proposition.

Palmer cites an older couple she knows in which the wife, after turning age 50, told her husband that she wanted to become a flight attendant. He wasn't ready to support the idea. But the couple talked through it and ultimately the husband recognized that it was his wife's lifelong dream. She did it for 10 years, loved it, and the couple fared just fine, Palmer says.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Related Video

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Exclusive annuities for members from AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Homeowners Insurance
Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points