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How a gray divorce can affect a couple's retirement plan

Ohio residents may be interested to learn that the rate of gray divorce cases, or divorce after 20 or more years of marriage for people 50 and older, has doubled since the 1990s. Although various studies have tried to explain the trend, the reality is that both individuals may be very different people from who they were when they tied the knot.

Most gray divorces share commonalities with divorces among younger people. For example, people may no longer believe that their emotional or physical needs are being met after the kids move out. Both individuals may still have to divide up marital property. The main difference, however, is that couples will also have to divide up retirement accounts, meaning each person may be living on half the income they had previously expected to have.

If people find that they are uncomfortable with the amount they have left to live on, there may not be enough working years left to beef up personal retirement funds. For many, running out of money before they reach the end of their lifespan is a real fear. As a result, some choose not to divorce even though they are unhappy. For others, working with a financial professional or a mediator could help.

When a person's retirement is at risk, getting a divorce may be seen as a last-case scenario. However, some may still opt to get a divorce even if it means that their post-retirement finances may be tight. A divorce attorney may help help those going through a split after 20-plus years of marriage by explaining how certain decisions will affect their post-divorce finances. The attorney may also assist with creating a strategy that will allow those going through a late-in-life divorce to achieve goals unique to their needs.

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