America’s divorce rate might be on the decline for most age groups, but amongst one group it’s hitting record highs. Who’s behind the spike? Baby boomers. The divorce rate for the over-50 crowd has more than tripled in the past 20 years, and the trend shows little chance of slowing. With Americans living longer and looking for more from their marriages, many are choosing to jettison an unloved spouse rather than spend their golden years with someone they no longer care for.
Unfortunately, many boomers are divorcing first and thinking later. Adjusting to life after a divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances, but divorce after 50 can have serious financial repercussions. Boomers need to understand the risks of late-in-life divorce, and take steps to prepare themselves before they file.
Financial Repercussions of Divorce
First, boomers need to consider their retirement. Have you and your spouse been saving money? Investing in a retirement plan? Whatever money you saved will now have to fund two separate retirements, which means that it likely won’t go as far. At best, this could mean that a person has to adjust their lifestyle and expectations; at worst, it could mean that a person would have to work much longer than anticipated.
Second, health care costs will likely rise. Health spending tends to increase as a person ages, but married couples are often able to defray some of these costs by caring for each other rather than hiring a nurse or a caregiver. Divorcing boomers need to consider who will care for them–and how much it will cost–before they experience a major health event.
Third, though some divorcees may anticipate short-term financial losses, older couples need to consider the long-term as well. If a person in their 30s goes through a divorce, they have decades to continue working, to make up any losses, and to prepare for their retirement. If a person in their late 60s chooses to divorce, they’ll have far less time to recuperate.
Finally, consider the difference between a “fair” division of marital property and an “equitable” one. While it might seem “fair” to split everything 50/50, it might be more “equitable” for a spouse who forewent their career to care for a family to take a greater share of the marital estate. Also consider which assets are easy to liquidate, should the need arise, and which assets might take longer to sell.
How to Prepare for Later in Life Divorce
The most important thing you can do before a divorce is initiated is to make sure that you have a handle on your finances. Do you know where your money is, and how to access it? Are your bills paid? Do your credit cards have a low balance? Does it seem like there should be more money in your joint account than actually is there? Find out now, if you don’t know.
Contact a Tampa Bay Divorce Attorney
If you are considering a divorce and are concerned about the effect it could have on your finances, contact our Experienced Attorneys & Counselors at Law since 1997 Serving all of Tampa Bay. Call 813-672-1900 now for a free initial consultation www.familymaritallaw.com.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google