How Gray Divorce Can End in Retirement Losses for Baby Boomers
Not only are Americans living longer, but they also are divorcing later in life. One study found that the divorce rate for individuals who are aged 50 or older has doubled between 1990 and 2010. At this point, 25 percent of the individuals who are getting divorced in the United States are over the age of 50. According to a recent Washington Post article, the main problem with so-called “gray divorce” is that it can have devastating effects on an individual’s retirement.
Divorce Disrupts Retirement Plans
When a divorce occurs, a couple’s joint retirement plans are completely derailed. If the couple had a pension, an IRA, a savings account, or a 401(k) plan that they had intended to use in retirement, those benefits are now split in half. Each former spouse must maintain his or her own residence, which results in double the expenses that the couple had while married. However, they must fund double the expenses with only half of the retirement assets that they had anticipated. This can create a huge hardship for divorced individuals in retirement, or create an inability for the individuals to fully retire at all, or at least as early as they had planned. Even worse, when the couple’s retirement savings was insufficient to begin with, both former spouses can end up even worse off financially than they expected to be. The reality is that no matter what their retirement portfolio looks like at the time of divorce, it is unlikely that either ex-spouse will be able to maintain the same standard of living as he or she enjoyed prior to the divorce.
Divorce May Adversely Affect Women More Than Men
Baby Boomers are more likely to have adhered to the traditional American family structure, with the wife staying home to care for the children and working only part-time. The husband tends to be the primary breadwinner throughout the marriage, may have more retirement savings, and often handles all of the finances for the family. As a result, the lifestyles of older women who get divorced tend to experience more negative consequences as a result of the split. They may be unsure or completely inept at handling finances, and lack the resources to maintain their previous lifestyles.
Call Your Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer for Assistance with Your Divorce
Although divorce can occur at any stage in one’s life, a divorce that takes place later in life raises complex issues that are unique to an older couple. At the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, we know how to best handle these issues and resolve them to your advantage. We are here to help you by familiarizing ourselves with your circumstances, determining the proper strategy for your case, and helping you make the decisions that will benefit you most. Contact your Florida divorce attorney at the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC right away, and learn how we can assist you throughout your entire divorce process.