The divorce rate for couples over the age of 50 has been rising steadily since 1990. Now, almost 25 percent of divorces involve at least one party over 50. These are known colloquially as “gray divorces.” Why are gray divorce rates increasing? Several reasons have been proposed. Longer lifespans, more women in the workforce and changing ideas about the purpose and meaning of marriage are all contributors to rising gray divorce rates.
It’s no secret that divorce is expensive ”“ but you’d think that older people who have had time to amass wealth would be less vulnerable to the financial hit. Current research, however, suggests otherwise.
Gray divorce leaves less time for divorcees to recover. Things like remaining work years, complex commingled assets as well as issues of estate planning and adult children can all make it difficult for people over 50 to weather the financial storm of divorce.
Ensuring Your Retirement After Gray Divorce
Here are some considerations to make to ensure that gray divorce does not ruin your retirement.
- Don’t go it alone. There are many professionals out there that are ready and willing to help you make this transition smoothly. Seek out a divorce attorney, financial planner or accountant to help clarify your exact wealth and assets.
- Consider downsizing your real estate. Sometimes, it is prudent to sell the marital home for something smaller and more suited to your needs.
- If you were married for over 10 years, don’t forget that you are entitled to spousal Social Security benefits.
- Don’t forget about your health. Healthcare costs in retirement can be expensive, and you will likely need to adjust your health insurance as a result of divorce.
If you are concerned about finances following a divorce after 50, discuss your concerns with a Denver divorce attorney.