These days, more and more couples are deciding to end marriages later in life. In the last 30 years, the divorce rate for couples age 50 or older has more than doubled. Known as gray divorce, this late-life separation presents unique challenges for senior adults who find themselves suddenly single. Ending a marriage so close to retirement age can have a devastating financial impact. The following advice may be helpful for those in Arizona who find themselves in this situation.
One of the first things to do is to crunch the numbers and figure out how much cash is coming in and how much cash is flowing out. Doing this will enable individuals to see if they need to cut spending or increase income. This is also a good time to recalculate retirement savings. Update retirement savings goals and determine how much to save in order to reach goals. Without question, divorce can wreak havoc on finances so it may also be necessary to delay retirement.
Divorce also has an impact on Social Security for those couples who were married for at least 10 years. If one spouse earned significantly more than the other, the lesser earning spouse may be entitled to claim benefits based upon the work record of the higher earning spouse. Doing so does not reduce the benefit payment to the ex-spouse whose work record is used. Those who are age 62 years or older can collect benefits even if an ex-spouse delays filing for benefits.
This can also be the perfect time to update estate plans. Beneficiaries and powers of attorney may need to be changed. Divorce can be challenging and confusing at any age. Those in Arizona who have questions regarding any aspect of divorce could benefit by consulting an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.