More and more older couples in Texas and across the United States are deciding to end their marriages sooner, according to a research center at a leading university. Unfortunately, this increase in the “gray divorce rate” directly impacts the retirement plans of a significant number of couples. Plans that were once seemingly adequate for the so-called golden years may no longer provide the protection that was originally intended.
Reportedly, the divorce rate for individuals over the age of 50 nearly doubled between the years 1990 and 2010. Of course, people are living longer, and that alone is thought to explain the increase in later-in-life divorces. Since many couples assumed they would be together during their retirement years, their financial plans typically reflected this assumption.
When that assumption is no longer valid, both parties could find their nest eggs diminished. Each party will also be individually responsible for housing and other living costs going forward, with the combined effect essentially doubling living expenses. One economist noted that this phenomenon essentially equips each party with fewer assets to cover greater expenses.
It can be challenging to divide a marital estate in a Texas divorce, but it can be made needlessly more challenging by unintended missteps in the process. Therefore, it is prudent for an individual contemplating divorce to seek the counsel of an experienced and dedicated family law attorney. The lawyer can inform the individual of all available legal options, provide ongoing guidance and support and focus on protecting the client’s rights and financial future.
Source: The Washington Post, “Divorcing late in life? Don’t let it destroy your retirement“, Martha M. Hamilton, Dec. 2, 2016