The concept of “gray divorce” has been discussed in previous posts. According to statisticians, it is a trend that is increasing in popularity among senior, or nearly senior, couples in Ohio and in other parts of the country. It impacts couples that have been married and stayed together amid wealth and poverty, health and illness, children and childlessness and then divorce as they enter their golden years.

As senior couples enter retirement and receive financial advice from companies that manage their investments, their advisors are often privy to the lifestyle goals and desires that each spouse hopes for. One such advisor in Arizona also specializes in retirement counseling and has suggested some strategies to help keep couples’ sights in-line. It could be helpful for spouses to discuss what they expect their lives to be like at the end of retirement, and exactly how they want their estate to be handled.

While many people want to leave an inheritance to children or other family members, some would rather spend all the money they have worked hard to accumulate and save over the years. There are insurance policies that can be purchased, usually for a premium, that exist to pay off the couple’s estate if one lives longer than the other. It is sometimes recommended when a compromise between spending all the retirement money and saving for the kids cannot be reached.

Whether couples in strained marriages stick them out for the sake of their children or for other reasons, sometimes divorce occurs. As couples near retirement years, many of them have accumulated assets like real estate, 401(k) plans and other investments that can be complex to divide in a divorce. It may be helpful for senior couples that are divorcing to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney.

Source: Reuters, “Till death (not retirement) do us part,” Linda Stern, Oct. 9, 2013