In 2017, the rate of divorce in couples aged 55 to 64 was up to 12 couples per 1,000. This phenomenon of older adults splitting up is gray divorce. Divorce is already emotionally taxing on those who go through with it.
When you are in the middle of a divorce, particularly a gray divorce, the financial repercussions can feel devastating. After all, you may have accumulated a lifetime of wealth with your significant other. AARP explains some of the ramifications of gray divorce.
What to expect during a gray divorce
During a gray divorce, odds are you will cut your wealth in half. As an added obstacle, your bills may increase. If you have retirement funds, you must split those too. The older the divorcee, the more likely there are to be complications. After all, a person in his or her 50s may be able to start a career, whereas another person celebrating a 70th birthday may not be able to.
What to do during a gray divorce
As you plan for a divorce, you should have your finances in order. Make sure that you have all your tax return information, your account numbers and log-ins, along with any brokerage accounts. If you suspect your spouse could hide assets, then you may need to enlist an accountant to help you locate all your assets.
Divorcees should also track their health insurance. Will you lose your insurance during the divorce? If you will, then you may need to plan for how you will afford health insurance or if you qualify for government options.