Some older couples who want social recognition for their love relationships are exchanging rings, throwing parties and holding wedding-type ceremonies, but they're stopping short of getting legally married to avoid complications with retirement funds, property and grown children.
"It was important for our friends to know we were committed to each other," recalled Dixie Reppe, 80, who wears a ring from her beau, Joe Pendergraft, 77, and refers to him as her fiance. "But the financial piece and the families — it's a whole lot more complicated. We decided to keep those things separate." The two live in adjoining apartments in Inverness Village in Tulsa, Oklahoma.