A divorce is an unfortunate occurrence at any stage of life. Anytime two people who were once in love separate, it is a complicated issue. If one is prepared, though, this unfortunate occurrence can develop in a smoother manner.
First, divorce proceedings can unfold in a number or ways. They can be amicable, contentious, simple or complex depending on a range of factors, such as the relationship of the parties involved and their shared assets. Regardless, Older Americans are likely to face particular challenges.
According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, divorces for those over age 50 have doubled in the last 20 years, and roughly tripled for those over 65. There is even a name for these latter-year separations, the so-called “Gray Divorce.”
Let us share five tips for those enduring a Gray Divorce and planning for the future that you and your loved ones can use.
1. Financial Stability. Many older adults, especially seniors, have scaled back their younger, more aggressive approach to building a career. Others may be out of the competitive job market completely. In any case, stabilizing financial health will be critical. This could involve placing Gray Divorce assets in passive income producing investments, such as rental properties or those paying regular dividends, and taking on a part-time job.
2. Emotional Health. Most aging adults never imagined getting divorced, let alone spending their golden years without their once significant other. It is especially important for them to take care of their emotional needs and focus their attention on the love and compassion of adult children, grandchildren and lifelong friends.
3. Retirement. If a Gray Divorce adult is still working, then structuring professional and financial activities to support retirement will be key, particularly since any previous nest eggs could be greatly reduced due to a marriage split.
4. Personal Health. Self-care may be the most important aspect of coping with any traumatic event because everything stems from one’s basic well-being. Make sure to love and care for yourself, which might even involve caring for others.
5. Updating Estate Planning. Having a comprehensive estate plan is important at any stage of your life. This plan, however, will be impacted by the outcome of your divorce. Do not put off meeting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney in your local community to make sure that your plan can be updated and that you may be protected throughout all stages of life.
We know this article may raise more questions than answers. Do not wait to contact our office and let us help you navigate this time in your life.