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Divorce after 50 and your financial future

For women, especially, a divorce later in life can lead to apprehension about the future and whether there will be enough money to live on.

As you go through the process of ending your marriage, it is important to make decisions that give you a good start on financial security for the coming years.

Facing gray divorce

A divorce later in life, often called “gray divorce,” brings issues that do not affect younger people. For one thing, older couples usually have more assets to divide, everything from vacation homes to retirement accounts. In one way or another, both parties will take a financial hit. In general, women live longer than men and worry about having enough money to support themselves throughout their lives. Even if the court grants a woman alimony, she would be wise to look into acquiring a second income.

Returning to work

If a 50-something woman still works, an impending divorce may cause her to change her retirement plans. To ensure a more secure financial future, she may have to work longer. On the other hand, a woman who has been out of the workforce for some time may want to think seriously about getting a job so she will have a second stream of income. Looking ahead, it could become her primary source of income if alimony payments should falter or come to an end.

Liquid versus illiquid assets

Many women want to keep the marital home, and you may be among them. However, houses require upkeep and come with property taxes, so a house represents a reduction in cash flow. If choosing between an illiquid asset like a home and a liquid asset like a retirement account, a compromise may be in order. Consider your financial future and weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Prepare for a lifestyle change

Both parties in a divorce experience lifestyle changes. As a woman, you may find that having your income and retirement savings cut in half means downsizing, learning to make do with less and becoming more budget-conscious. Explore all your options. Sound legal guidance helps you through your gray divorce. Sound decision-making helps you build a secure financial future.

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