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Lifestyle and retirement considerations in gray divorce

Divorce is a financially complex process with significant effects on both parties, especially if one or both of them are nearing retirement age. As you know, the choice to end your marriage will bring certain financial consequences. One of your primary concerns will be to minimize these consequences and secure terms that are fair and reasonable.

You are probably aware that your divorce could force you to alter your plans for retirement. Depending on the nature of your individual financial situation, your divorce could irrevocably change what you hoped to do with your golden years. The stakes are high, and your financial future is technically on the line. You would be wise to start thinking and planning about how you can protect yourself at every step of the divorce process.

The rise in gray divorce

Gray divorce is a divorce involving two people who are age 50 or older. Many of the couples taking this step are on their second or subsequent marriages, or they have been married a long time and have accumulated significant assets. Either way, there is a lot on the line, and the financial aspects of these types of divorces can be remarkably complex. 

If you are facing a gray divorce, you need to understand your expenses. This is the only way to get a realistic picture of your financial future and what lifestyle adjustments you may have to make. Think about what you spend now and what that could look like on just one income. You only have one chance to fight for fair and reasonable terms to your divorce order, and understanding your financial prospects beforehand will give you an advantage during this process.

Gray divorce outcomes often different for men and women

In a gray divorce, women often fare worse than men do. Statistics indicate that (on average) a woman will see her lifestyle decline by up to 45%, while men only see their lifestyle decline by 21%. For example, the woman often gets to keep the house, but the man may retain more retirement savings as an offset. The cost of upkeep, taxes and other expenses of owning a house can be overwhelming for a person living on one income. In the worst case scenario, the woman eventually sells or surrenders the house and loses any equity in the property.

Considerations for your future

The choices you make during your divorce will affect you long-term. It can be difficult to do, but it is beneficial to put your temporary feelings to the side and see terms based on what is most practical and will work for you well into the future. You may find it beneficial to discuss your concerns with an experienced New Jersey family law attorney before making any important decisions or agreement to a settlement.



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