How a gray divorce can impact your retirement

On Behalf of | May 13, 2020 | Firm News |

If you have been married more than 20 or 30 years, you may have never planned that now, as you approach retirement, you would be facing divorce. However, if you and your spouse now plan to split, you are not alone. The number of couples ages 50 and over divorcing has more than doubled since 1990, the Pew Research reports.

Some of those divorces are second marriages, which are more prone to divorce. However, some are baby boomers who when facing retirement realize that they no longer have anything in common with their spouse. Either way, divorce can have a big impact on your retirement.

Here are some areas older couples should be aware of when it comes to retirement and divorce:

  1. Divorce will impact your monthly cashflow. Now that you and your spouse no longer will share a residence, you need to plan for how you will pay for your single life. You may quickly realize that you’ll have to reduce your expenses to keep your marital home or move into a smaller place to live within your post-divorce budget.
  2. Divorce will impact your retirement savings. Any retirement savings you’ve accumulated while married are part of you and your spouse’s marital property. As part of your divorce settlement in North Carolina, those assets will be split equitably with your spouse. If you want to keep the marital home or vacation home, or your spouse earned significantly less than you did over the years, you may end up giving your spouse more of your retirement assets in your divorce.
  3. Divorce impacts Social Security payments. Many of those nearing retirement can’t wait for the day they can draw on their Social Security benefits and work less (if at all). Yet for those facing divorce, they need to keep in mind that if you and your spouse have been married 10 years and your spouse doesn’t remarry, he or she will receive half your Social Securing benefits. Your spouse even can collect them if you put off retiring, if your spouse is 62.

The financial impact of divorce can derail your retirement plans, at least for a bit. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help you avoid any asset division mistakes that would even further delay your ability to retire when you want to.