Divorce can and does happen to people at any age. In fact, gray divorces, or divorces between people in their 60s, 70’s or sometimes older, are occurring at higher rates. Because these types of divorces usually come near or after retirement, they can affect household finances in unique ways.
Gray divorce may be between Baby Boomers at this point, but it will eventually affect members of Generation X, the Millennials, and even Gen Z. According to statistics, gray divorcees tend to have less money than their peers, even if their peers are widowed or unmarried. As of today, 10 percent of senior citizens are divorced.
How Gray Divorce Affects Social Security Benefits
Plenty of gray divorces occur between couples where one member of the household worked and the other took care of the home. If the marriage lasted longer than a decade, the spouse who did not work should still be able to receive social security benefits based on the work history of the other spouse. However, some marriages that end in a gray divorce have lasted less than 10 years. This leaves the partner who has never worked unable to collect any social security income. Facing the loss of expected income at age 62 or older can be devastating. It can also lead one of the ex-spouses into a lifetime of poverty or dependence on relatives and the government.
How Gray Divorce Affects Savings
Couples who have been married for years may have amassed retirement and other savings for later in life. When they decide to end their marriage, they must determine how best to divvy up their various savings. At the same time, they may be faced with the reality that the amount they saved to live on together is not enough for them to live comfortably when apart.
For example, many married people own property that one of them could not pay for alone. A gray divorce often necessitates that both parties sell the residence where they lived and purchase or rent other property. Not only can this drive down their savings, but it can force them to work longer than they expected or enter back into the workforce after retirement.
How Gray Divorce Affects Future Nursing Care
As individuals age, they routinely consider how they will pay for nursing care or hospitalization if needed. Usually, one party agrees to help if possible. After a gray divorce, the ex-spouses may be left without their previous nest egg, as well as without a feeling of support. It may be difficult to pay for healthcare beyond Medicare or expensive medicines.
Preparing for a Gray Divorce
Despite the financial realities of getting a gray divorce, couples should make the decision to part ways based on what makes sense for them as individuals. With the help of a compassionate divorce lawyer, both parties can navigate the confusing financial outcomes related to ending a marriage. Ultimately, both parties should feel confident that leaving will be more positive and allow them to move forward with their lives and dreams.
Bridgewater Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Facing Gray Divorce Anticipate Financial Considerations
If you are wondering how a gray divorce would affect your financial situation, contact a Bridgewater divorce lawyer at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Call us at 908-575-9777 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Randolph, Parsippany, Morris Plains, Woodbridge, Madison, Morristown, Somerset, Rockaway, and Short Hills.