In recent years, the United States has seen an increasing trend of older couples ending their marriages. For various reasons, more couples older than 50 are finding reasons to divorce and go their separate ways. In doing so, older couples might face some financial challenges by separating, particularly when it comes to planning for their golden years.
According to CNBC, gray divorce may pose a problem for the retirement plans of the spouses involved. By dissolving their marriage, the spouses will split up their assets, which means they may live on just half the income or assets they thought they would have. While this sudden loss of money may produce some emotional anxiety, gray divorcees have another problem to worry about.
Basically, couples who divorce at an older age face a lack of working years left to make up their lost assets. A person who divorces in their twenties or thirties may still be able to work long enough to save for retirement, but someone in their fifties or sixties may be almost on the threshold of retirement. Older divorcees may have to put off retirement for later, but some people, due to declining health, cannot continue to work.
Gray divorcees may fear that they will run out of money before they pass away. This makes proper division of assets even more crucial for older couples. If a couple possesses an IRA, a divorce decree must specify its division. Spouses may need Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to divide up non-IRA plans. Mistakes in drafting a QDRO can delay the transfer of money between the spouses, so spouses may need legal professionals who understand how to draft a QDRO.
The financial problems posed by gray divorce is why some couples try to work things out instead of divorcing, yet in some cases a divorce is inevitable. Even if an older couple decides to end their marriage, they may find help from a mediator who can assist them to come up with fair and beneficial solutions.