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How does a gray divorce affect retirement planning?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | Divorce |

When you are facing divorce and nearing retirement age, you may have concerns about how your separation can impact your plans for the future. As an individual going through a gray divorce, there are factors you must consider and prepare for as you begin the process. A gray divorce can involve complex and pressing matters that can significantly impact how you spend your retirement years.

Important considerations when facing divorce after 50

Typically, a gray divorce includes parties who have been married for a significant time. Couples facing a gray divorce may not have the added complexity of child custody or child support concerns; however, many shared assets and benefits tend to accumulate over the years of marriage.

When divorce is on the horizon, it is imperative to take the time to fully assess the financial state of the parties and account for all properties, assets, investments, and benefits.

Division of assets

One of the most contentious issues in a gray divorce is the marital home, as it relates to significant financial interests and an emotional connection to the home itself. An assessment of the home’s value by a licensed appraiser is often necessary to negotiate a resolution for each party as part of the divorce.

Other high-value assets, like additional properties, vehicles, or art collections, must also be considered as they represent financial resources that could be used during retirement years.

Division of benefits

Of the many areas necessary to resolve during a gray divorce, the division of retirement benefits can result in contentious disputes requiring a firm grasp of what is at stake and what each party is entitled to under the law.

Benefits such as a 401k, savings, IRAs, and social security benefits can all have a significant impact on income and lifestyle towards the age of retirement.

Life insurance and healthcare

A life insurance policy will name a beneficiary, typically the surviving spouse, to receive funds after the policyholder passes. In a divorce, it’s important to review these documents and reassign beneficiary information if necessary.

Joint health insurance and long-term care may also need to be reviewed, as divorcing spouses will often secure separate policies to ensure they remain protected during retirement.

Planning for retirement

Beyond the stress and emotional challenges of divorce, a separation that is close to retirement can cause increased concern over your future. Stay informed of your legal rights to assets and benefits, and maintain access to important services like healthcare to secure your interests.