The New York Times recently ran a story on the growing trend of so-called “gray divorces” between married couples aged 50 or older. According to recent studies, such divorces have doubled since 1990 and are expected to reach approximately 800,000 per year by 2030. The significance of a gray divorce was put into context in the article by following the experience of a 61-year-old Minnesota man.
The individual, closing in on retirement, suddenly found his assets being asked to serve double duty after his divorce. The past 30+ years had all been designed to provide for a shared retirement with his wife. Now that those shared assets must be divided to support two households, however, the individual was forced to admit that his financial belt was tightened.
While his retirement post-divorce may mean living in a smaller house or taking less lavish vacations, he noted that gray divorce does not mean one’s ship will sink. Rather, the split simply means that one’s vessel must steer a new course.
This perspective is noteworthy, given the doom and gloom associated with later in life divorces. While those in their 50s and 60s generally do not have to worry about divvying up parenting time in a divorce, settling asset splits and alimony payments grow in significance.
Couple poor economic growth with the unexpected expense of supporting another household, and it is easy to see how a divorce can upend retirement plans decades in the making. Despite the obvious exposure, gray divorcees can split up and maintain their retirement goals.
Local St. Paul family law lawyers understand the concerns of those seeking a split later in life. As a result, they can steer one’s vessel through the morass of a legal dissolution in such a way that retirement plans do not need to sink. A proactive approach can mean subtle tweaks to retirement not its complete evisceration.
Source: The New York Times, “Retirement Plans Thrown Into Disarray by a Divorce,” Constance Gustke, June 27, 2104