Divorce is hard enough as it is, but when the divorce occurs after a lengthy marriage filled with children, grandchildren, and loads of wonderful memories, it can be especially painful. This type of divorce characterized by lengthy marriage is frequently called a gray divorce and there are unique financial considerations that you must understand if you are going through a gray divorce.
What is a Gray Divorce?
Whenever one or both parties to a divorce are mature-aged, it is considered a gray divorce. Gray divorces are more common than you may think. It’s not surprising that after the kids graduate from school, or get married and move forward with their own lives, parents will make the quality but painful decision to divorce.
A study conducted by Bowling Green University found that over the last 20 years, the divorce rate among mature-aged persons has more than doubled. And that brings us to the second question, “What is a mature aged person?” Baby Boomers between 58 and 80 are considered the largest group of mature-aged adults. And yes, Gen Xers between 42 and 57 are also considered mature-aged. And there are financial implications.
Impacts of a Gray Divorce
What you already know is that New York is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. What you may not know is that New York has the third longest life expectancy. An August 2020 article in USA Today stated that it takes $1.4 million dollars to live comfortably for 20 years. This seven-figure amount can seem even more daunting among mature-aged couples concerned about their limited earning time horizon as well as the impact on their nest egg. But that doesn’t mean you should stay in a marriage that is over. It means you need to be prepared.
Protecting Your Finances
It’s impossible to completely protect all of your finances during any divorce including a gray divorce. However, you need to have a strategy to either mitigate the financial impact or a plan to recoup your nest egg after a gray divorce. Recouping is the appropriate term here because it is a fact that your nest egg will be impacted by your divorce and the divorce process. The potential loss of dual income sources may be significant, but there are tips to help you rebuild:
- Cut Costs – It may be time to establish a budget. Cut out the luxury items, and reduce expenses where you can, to increase savings potential. It may be time to downsize out of your large family home or reconsider that new car purchase. Be smart with your money.
- Hire a Financial Advisor – A Certified Financial Planner or financial advisor can guide you in making sound investment decisions, and can also help you plan for expenses and future unknowns. Their expertise is earning money with what you have available, so lean into their insights.
- Get a Job – Don’t be afraid to get back into the workforce and certainly don’t be afraid to start your own business. It may be time to retool yourself to enter into a job or profession. Choose an outlet that gives you passion. I, the author, went to law school at age 42. I’m confident that you can retool if that’s what you choose to do.
Hiring A Qualified Attorney
The unique financial considerations of gray divorce are significant and can impact your retirement years. Protect yourself by interviewing divorce attorneys who understand the landscape of a gray divorce and who know how to navigate the related financial nuances.
Move forward into this new happily-ever-after stage of your life. Contact us today to discuss your gray divorce or matrimonial concerns.
Let Me Be Your Brave!
Mia Poppe, Esq.
Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC.