A recent increase in divorces among couples over 50 years old, or “gray divorces,” has caught the attention of everyday people, researchers, and journalists across the country. Some have attributed the increase to living longer, the pandemic, and/or both spouses being more financially independent. Whatever the reason is, a gray divorce may wreak a lot more havoc on a person’s finances than a divorce earlier in life would have.
If you have found yourself thinking about a gray divorce, it is important to consider what your financial life will look like. With preparation and planning, it is fully possible to come out of a later-in-life divorce in great financial shape.
Older divorcees, sometimes called “silver splitters,” tend to have accumulated more in retirement accounts than younger divorcees. The division of retirement accounts can, unfortunately, impact how long an older divorcee will have to work. This mainly applies to people who planned their retirement thinking they would still be married at 65.
To get an idea of how gray divorce could change your retirement, consider the following:
- Is it necessary and feasible to increase the contributions to your retirement account so that you can retire as planned?
- Will you be able to work longer, if needed?
- Do you qualify for Social Security? If not, how soon will you qualify?
- Do you have any adult children or loved ones who will help you financially?
Another key thing to consider during gray divorce is your current health, as well as whether you are likely to develop any major health problems in the future. Some health conditions change how your life will look after divorce.
To best prepare, make sure to consider the following questions:
- Will health be a factor when dividing retirement accounts and other assets during the divorce?
- Will the divorce negatively impact your medical, vision, and dental insurance?
- If your current spouse pays for insurance, how will you pay for it after divorce?
- Do you need to consider Medicare? If so, do you qualify?
- Do you have any adult children or loved ones who you can rely on if a medical condition derails your life?
Other Things to Consider When Dividing Assets in a Gray Divorce
Generally, people over 50 have accumulated much more property and assets during their marriage than younger people. This is because they have had more time to do so and more money to spend.
Other properties and assets that may come into consideration during a gray divorce include:
- Stocks and bonds
- Employee stock ownership plans (ESOP)
- Life insurance policies
- Shared businesses
- Real estate, such as your main home and any vacation homes/properties
Whether there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, its provisions, and its validity are also considerations.
Start Over with the Help of an Attorney
Divorce for people over 50 can be extremely complicated. Although there is usually not the issue of child custody (because older divorcees don’t usually have children who are minors), navigating the financial side of a gray divorce can be a lot to handle. A skilled attorney can help.
At Grewal Law PLLC, we believe that no one should have to be stuck in a marriage that just isn’t working anymore. It’s never too late to start over. If you are considering gray divorce, we want to help you make the process as painless as possible.
Call (888) 211-5798 or contact our compassionate attorneys online for a free consultation.