'Today' Host Hoda Kotb Credits 'Right Time' for Engagement, Babies at 55

Just weeks after becoming engaged to her long-time boyfriend Joel Schiffman, Today show host Hoda Kotb is opening up about their life together. After dating for eight years, Schiffman finally dropped to one knee last month, with Kotb crediting her age of 55 for being the “right time” for such a major moment in her life.

“If someone had said to me when I was a little girl, ‘Hey Hoda, guess what your life is going to be like: When you’re 49 or 50, you’re going to meet the guy you’re going to fall in love with, and you’re going to have children at 55 and 56,’ I would have been like, ‘What?’” Kotb told PEOPLE in a recent interview. “It just shows you, the perfect life for you, and this is for me, is exactly as it comes.”

“Everything may look out of order, and it kind of feels it a little bit, but it is all right on time,” she added.

After divorcing her husband of two years, tennis coach Burzis Kanga, in 2007, Kotb and Schiffman began dating in 2013 after having first met through mutual friends at a Wall Street event. The couple moved in together in 2016 with Schiffman helping Kotb to raise her 2-year-old daughter Haley Joy, and Hope Catherine, whom she adopted in April of this year. Just last month, the couple announced that they had become engaged.

“He said some beautiful things,” Kotb said during the Monday, Nov. 25 episode of the Today show. “My heart has literally been pounding. I was totally shocked. He had a good poker face.”

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According to Kotb, she and her fiancée are planning to tie the knot “sooner rather than later,” and they are already busy with wedding preparations, including where exactly they will say “I do.”

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“We may go back to the place we were engaged in Mexico. Lots of margaritas and Mexican food. Keep the tequila on tap!” she revealed. “But, we haven’t thought about it too much, nothing we do is about bells and whistles in that way.”

“If he said let’s do it right now, I would. All I want it to be is fun and happy and everybody to feel easy breezy. No coordinated bridesmaids, just come as you are,” she added. “That’s the theme of the rest of my life.”