Over the last two decades, the percentage of couples divorcing in their 50’s and 60’s has risen from three to almost thirty percent. Sociologists have a term for people in their 50’s and 60’s who are divorcing. They coined the term “gray divorce”. Baby boomers are living longer and more of them are divorcing. This impacts not only their retirement and income, but also other important areas of their life. If you’re over 50 and considering a divorce, keep these things in mind before you put yourself in a stressful and financial hardship.
It doesn’t matter how old they are, they can be grown adults, with families of their own; consider their feelings and emotion when you are contemplating a divorce. A divorce can damage your family’s harmony and create an unnecessary divide if it’s not handled carefully. The two of you may not be married anymore, but you will always be your children’s parents.
In long marriages, a spouse is entitled to permanent alimony. It’s not actually a permanent though. Permanent alimony usually lasts until either spouse dies or the receiving spouse remarries. In some states, if the receiving spouse lives with someone else and has a supportive relationship, it can affect the alimony arrangement. The alimony payments also can be restructured after the supporting spouse retires and lives off a retirement fund.
Couples who have been married for a while, have likely accumulated assets together. It can be a home or retirement accounts or other investments, most people want to keep the home as part of the divorce settlement. Keeping the house doesn’t always put you in a better position after the divorce. In most cases, a house continues to have unexpected expenses, which may or may not affect its future value. As for retirement, it’s possible to split one spouse’s retirement account or 401(k) through a domestic relations order.
Life and Health Insurance Policies
Some couples, during their marriage, purchase a life insurance policy, which goes to the supported spouse after the divorce. If the supporting spouse dies, the supported spouse gets the insurance payout. After a divorce, you may not want your ex-spouse being the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. You may find yourself in a position to take out a new life insurance or health insurance policy. Unfortunately, at a later stage in life, there may have pre-existing conditions that raise the costs of obtaining a new life insurance policy. Health insurance may also cost more after 50, so look into a replacement health insurance policy soon after the divorce.
Social Security Benefits
Social Security benefits can help the lesser-earning spouse after the divorce. In fact, the lesser earner can receive Social Security benefits based on the higher earner’s work record. However, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years, and the lesser earner must be 62 or older. Even if the higher-earning spouse has not applied for Social Security benefits, the lesser-earning spouse can collect the benefits if the couple has been divorced for a minimum of two years.