An interesting statistic over the last few decades shows that the rate of divorce among senior citizens has increased significantly. No matter what age bracket you fall into, divorce is never an easy decision to make. But it can pose some additional challenges for those who fall into the “senior” category. Today we are looking at some of the common struggles that seniors face when getting a divorce.
The financial impact of divorce can hit especially hard if you are a senior. The effect of rising living expenses in the face of retirement can drastically alter if not completely derail any plans for the immediate future. In fact, it can make it nearly impossible for a newly divorced seniors to afford to the keep the marital home on a single income or social security. According to recent studies, retirement can be anywhere from 30-50% more expensive for divorced seniors than for their married counterparts. Additionally, divorced seniors have less time to pay off debt and subsequently recoup losses associated with the divorce process. Not to mention that seniors who divorce after they have already left the job market will find is significantly harder to reenter the workforce and even harder to maintain their prior earning potential.
If you are over the age of 62 and get a divorce after ten years or more of marriage, it is an option to collect retirement benefits through your ex’s social security record. This will not reduce your ex’s benefits and drawing power. Additionally, former spouses might gain the ability to collect survivor benefits after their ex passes. Many people are not aware that these benefits are available to them. This makes it more important to speak with an experienced divorce attorney who can help you.
It is common in a household for one spouse to handle all financial matters. Financial matters include insurance, paying bills, and updating policies. In the wake of a divorce, the other spouse may find themselves at a loss. They probably do not know where to even begin to get their own insurance policy. Not knowing what insurance you need or how to get started can be daunting for anyone, let alone for someone who has not had to worry about these issues in the past.
Providing a plan for long-term care or final wishes is difficult for anyone. But for someone who is a senior and is suddenly newly single, this can be especially confusing. It is important to update your estate plan during the divorce process and again after completion to ensure that everything is good to go.
If you are a senior who is looking into divorce, it is crucial that you speak with a divorce attorney who understands all the nuances of a senior divorce. They can help you through every step of the process and make sure that all your post-divorce plans and needs are met.