When a couple that has spent decades together decides to divorce when they are near or after the point of retirement, people refer to the dissolution of their marriage as a gray divorce. Gray divorces have become increasingly common at a time when divorce rates among other population demographics have decreased.
In other words, more older adults are choosing to seek their freedom and independence in order to make the most of their golden years. Regardless of your motivation for considering a gray divorce, it’s important that you realize it may require more planning than divorces that take place earlier in life.
You may want to work with your ex in order to keep the costs as low as possible
Divorce can be expensive, and the more contentious it is, the more it will likely cost you and your ex. While you may disagree on a lot of the remaining issues from your marriage, you might still agree that you want to keep the expenses related to your divorce low.
Filing an uncontested divorce, possibly after completing divorce mediation, can be a way for you to retain control over the outcome and keep the costs as low as possible.
Divorce will have an impact on what your retirement looks like
When couples divorce earlier in life, they have decades to recover financially from the impact of splitting their assets and the costs of divorce itself. If you have already reached retirement age or if you are only a few months or years away from it, you will have far fewer options for rebuilding your retirement assets or portfolio.
That lack of recovery time could mean that your retirement takes place later in life if you decide to continue working full-time or part-time to recoup lost funds. Some people may also choose to change their retirement arrangements. Living with your children, taking on a roommate or simply traveling less may all be ways for you to stretch your retirement funds further after divorce.
If you know that you will be happier after a divorce, there is no reason to stay in an unsatisfying marriage just because you have lived with your spouse for years. Really looking at your financial circumstances and needs will help you better prepare for the reality of ending your marriage later in life.