When you choose to end your marriage, you know that your life will change in various ways. The impacts of your divorce can have effects for months or even years of your life, and this is especially true if you choose to divorce at age 50 or older. This is a gray divorce, and the implications are serious for those who are heading toward their retirement years. It is particularly important for older individuals to protect their interests in a gray divorce.
If you are facing the prospect of a gray divorce, you know there is much at stake for you, and preparation is critical. It is beneficial for you to prepare for what’s ahead and learn how you can make choices that will result in positive, sustainable results. A divorce later in life may require some changes to your future plans, but you do not have to navigate it alone.
Looking ahead and preparing well
There has been a surge in the number of gray divorces in recent years, and one reason for this is due to the fact that people are living longer than ever, and they want to choose happiness later in life. There is also less stigma associated with divorce, which could play a role as well. If you are considering a gray divorce, you may benefit from carefully considering the following five issues:
- Your estate plan — After a gray divorce, you will need to make necessary adjustments to your existing estate planning documents, and you may need to designate new beneficiaries on certain accounts.
- Your assets, debts and expenses — It is important to have an accurate financial picture of your life in order to make the best possible decisions regarding property division, financial support and more.
- Social Security — If you were married for at least 10 years, you may have a right to spousal benefits from Social Security.
- Inheritance — It may be important to update intended recipients of your property in your estate plan, and it will help to know if any inherited assets you received during your marriage are separate or marital assets.
- Your financial plan — It is helpful to meet with an experienced financial professional and create a financial plan that will suit your post-divorce needs and objectives.
Your gray divorce will change your future, but that does not mean that your future cannot be meaningful and strong. As you make divorce-related financial decisions and navigate this complex legal process, you will find it helpful to have experienced guidance at every step.