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How does divorce impact retirement for older couples?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2019 | divorce, family law, Firm News |

The divorce rate has been falling in our country for a few decades. But one age group is actually divorcing at a higher rate. Divorces between couples over the age of 50 have more than doubled in just 25 years.

When older couples that have been together for a long time separate, some call it “gray divorce.” Older divorcees face unique challenges that young couples may not encounter. One problem you may experience is that divorce might change your retirement plans.

You have less time to earn money before retiring

If you have been saving well, you probably aren’t too far from retirement when your gray divorce starts. Unlike someone in their early 30s, you may not have decades left to grow your bank account before you stop working. If you planned on retiring with just what you have saved, it can be tough to lose half of it to your ex-spouse.

Even if you have plenty of money left in your retirement account, divorce brings new expenses that might affect your plans.

The costs of divorce can add up quickly

Starting over after divorce can be expensive. You’re probably used to sharing everything with your ex after decades of marriage. Depending on how you divide your assets, you might have to spend money on:

  • A new home, furniture and utilities
  • A car plus insurance
  • Your own cell phone plan
  • Increased taxes as a single filer
  • Health insurance

These expenses could put a large dent in your retirement fund. Add potential alimony to this and your savings may drain rapidly. You might have to retire later or go back to work if you are already retired.

Despite all these added costs, it is possible for you to retire comfortably. Carefully dividing your assets may benefit both of you in the future. An experienced divorce attorney can help you work with your spouse to secure your financial situations in your sunset years.