Dear Moneyist: I am a 49 year old woman about to get married for the second time. I work and am self-sufficient and have been all my life, but as a single mother, I don’t have much savings. I have a 23-year-old son who works and shares a flat with 2 roommates.
My fiance is a wonderful 56 year old man who is caring and generous. He is a widower and has two adult children, who are also alone. My fiance owns his own business and he has done well. However, I don’t want to stay out in the cold. Let me explain why. After we get married, my fiancé wants me to give up my apartment that I rent and move into his house. I live in one of the most expensive cities in the US However, I have lived in my apartment for over 10 years and the rent is affordable, and I love the location. I don’t expect him to put my name on a house he had with his first wife, but I am concerned about what would happen if he died. I suppose she would leave the house to her children, but what would happen to me? Would I be forced to leave your home and find an apartment that would probably be more than I could afford? By the way, my landlord will not allow me to sublet my apartment because I could get a lot more if I move out. What should I do before I say I do? Getting married in New York Want to read more? Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter and read more of his columns here. Dear Get Married: These are good conversations to have before you get married and before you give up your beloved home. I suggest having the conversation about your financial future (s) separately, and not linking it to your current life situation. Continue in this conversation with “I need to know before I give my notice to the landlord” or “Why should I give up this great apartment without knowing where I am going …?” They are not advisable. It would trivialize the larger conversation. There is not a small amount of uncertainty with this apartment. From what you say, it sounds like you’re getting a good deal with this apartment rather than living in a rent stabilized apartment – they’re wanted in New York City like Jason searched for that Golden Fleece. In that case, anything could happen. The rent could go up, your landlord could sell the building, or he could decide that he wants to rent it to someone else and get more money for it. There is also a lot of uncertainty in marriage. You could live happily ever after or get divorced after 10 years, and you would have to find another place to live and depend on your own savings and whatever arrangement you agree to, and that is your responsibility, and not your future husband’s. However, assuming that doesn’t happen, you can always agree to a life estate or a life lease: if your fiancé dies before you do, you live there for the rest of your days. Most big decisions involve some kind of risk / reward. “Will I take that new job, but what if it doesn’t work out and the company goes under, or if I hate my new boss, and then I left this perfectly comfortable job where I wasn’t so unhappy anyway? Or, ‘Am I Overinvested in stocks for my age and build? What you are faced with before your wedding is your own tolerance for risk. This is a good opportunity to discover yours. The Moneyist: My ex-husband put his wife in his life insurance before you die, going against our divorce. You are now fighting with me in court. You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at email@example.com. Hello MarketWatchers Take a look at Moneyist’s private Facebook FB group, + 0.90%, where we seek answers to life’s thorniest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about or comment on the last columns of Moneyist.