Twenty years ago, older couples getting divorced seemed very rare. When a couple reached 50 years old or older, it was almost unheard of for them to get divorced.
However, “gray divorce” – divorce that occurs between older couples, usually age 50 or older – is increasing rapidly in the United States. There are numerous possible reasons for this trend. A recent article in Investment News claims that longer life expectancy is one of the primary reasons.
Retirement Finances and Gray Divorce
Whatever the cause for the uptick in gray divorces in recent years, there are numerous challenges involved with gray divorce. One of the most important challenges involves the financial aftermath of divorce.
According to the same Investment News article, retirement finances routinely suffer as a result of gray divorce. Because older people have less time to recover from the financial blow that divorce takes, gray divorcing couples are more likely to suffer financially than their younger counterparts.
What You Can Do
The first thing to consider is if there is any way to salvage your marriage. For many empty nesters, the primary work involves rekindling the fire that may seem distinguished from two decades of raising children. Date your spouse again, work on communication, shake things up, use the newfound free time to talk with each other and get to know each other again. Many couples who take this path find that they do, in fact, still love their partner.
If there is no hope for your marriage to continue, planning is critical. any divorce takes planning, of course, but in later life there is more risk of financial problems. Working with a skilled attorney can help you plan your divorce in a way that protects your financial future.
Do not rush into your divorce. Rather, take the time to get a good understanding of your financial choices so you can still live your retirement years comfortably.