The life expectancy of Americans in most demographics is increasing. Of course, this is good news. However, there are numerous challenges that come with this increase of life expectancy. There are much greater medical costs for people as they get older. Further, illnesses and other complications can decrease the quality of life for many people.
One of the unforeseen results of greater life expectancy has been the increase in divorce for couples age 50 and older (often called “gray divorce”). According to Investment News, increased life expectancy has been a chief cause of increased divorce among couples in this age group.
Although divorce is an acceptable option for people in any age group is their marriage isn’t working, there are some challenges that are unique to people who are a little bit older, especially if they have accumulated some wealth.
- Retirement: With less time to recover financially from a divorce compared to when you were younger, it’s important to protect your retirement plan. Especially if you lose a significant percentage of your future retirement income, you will need to look for a way to make sure you have the income you need during your retirement.
- Estate planning: One thing people often forget to deal with during divorce is their wills and other estate planning documents. If you are getting a divorce, it is likely that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not someone you want to name as a beneficiary. Further, if your spouse has any children from an earlier relationship, you might want to remove those children from your will. There are other examples, as well, but the important point is that you will have to deal with a number of estate planning changes as a result of your divorce.
- Adult children: More than ever before in our country, children are living at home with their parents for longer, often well into their adult lives. This can pose a problem for a couple seeking to part ways. Who will be responsible for providing food and housing for the adult child?
None of these problems are insurmountable in later-life divorce, but they need to be addressed and dealt with. The worst thing you can do is not prepare for these and other important challenges you will be facing.
By taking the time to plan appropriately and to work with an experienced attorney you can trust, you can be sure to get the best outcome possible and avoid potential long-term problems.