According to recent statistics, the divorce rate among couples who have been married for 20, 30 years or more has climbed dramatically. Consider Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as Tipper and Al Gore. People appear to be scratching their brains, wondering why, if these couples have been married for so long, they can’t make it “to death do us part.”
When you examine how the motivations for marriage have evolved over the last 50 years, and how divorce has become more socially acceptable, the outcome isn’t all that surprising. What men and women look for in a partner has shifted, as have their expectations for a long-term commitment. Men wanted to be in a position of authority, and women wanted someone to look after them. As more women gain financial independence, the desire to be looked after is dwindling. Rather, both women and men seek a best friend and equal cooperation in the relationship.
This is a Canada AM interview about Grey Divorce. Deborah shared the following information.
What causes GREY divorce?
- Women leave their marriages at a higher rate than males.
- When women decide to leave, their husbands are frequently caught off guard.
- Furthermore, studies show that women are more inclined to leave for their own mental well-being, whilst men are more likely to leave for someone else.
- We are living longer, healthier, and more physically fit lives. When adult children leave the house and their parents become empty nesters, many 50- and 60-year-old couples look at their partner and think to themselves, “I don’t want to spend the next 20 or 30 years or more with you.” Why?
- When it comes to infidelity, emotional abuse, and chemical or alcohol misuse, people have determined that they will no longer turn a blind eye.
- Many couples have drifted apart during the child-rearing years and realise they no longer have much in common once their children have left home.
- Many of these couples were leading parallel lives during their marriage and are now looking for a partner rather than a roommate.
- Emotional and intimate relationships have been lacking.
- People have become estranged, and their values no longer coincide.
- Many of these people want to spend the rest of their lives with a best friend and companion who shares their interests and values; they want to grow old together and hold hands.
If you believe your marriage or relationship is degrading because you are no longer the priority, you have lost that loving sensation, but you still love your partner – you’re just not in love with him or her, marital counselling may be able to help you get back on track.
You are not alone if you believe that divorce is your only option. Many others are coming to the realization that the “good enough marriage” is no longer good enough.
What happens if you get divorced in your fifties? In my divorce coaching business these days, there appears to be a recurring pattern. Many of my senior female clients are concerned about becoming bag ladies. Is this a realistic fear? It is irrational thinking for the majority, a slim reality for the few, but it can be avoided with adequate planning and awareness.
How common is grey divorce?
According to recent statistics, the divorce rate has risen dramatically among couples who have been married for 20 years or more, and are generally 50 years or older. People appear to be scratching their heads, wondering why these couples couldn’t make their marriages continue “until death do us part” if they were able to make their marriages work for 20 years or longer. The truth is that no matter how old you are or how long you have been married, you are not immune to divorce.
What’s remarkable, though, is that these older couples, dubbed “grey divorcees,” are approaching their twilight years as empty nesters, just as retirement approaches. Many couples’ life may not be winding down now that their children are out of the house and no longer a financial burden – a goal most parents cherish – but their finances may be, and that’s the rub. When assets were shared as a couple, the retirement plan that was dreamed of and planned for may no longer be realistic. When assets are split down the middle, retirement plans frequently need to be adjusted.
Sue Van Der Hout, a Director at One Vision Consulting who also teaches Family Enterprise at Seymour Schulich School of Business, and I discussed the retirement conundrum and drama that many women face. Ms. Van Der Hout delivered the reality check, and while it may be harsh for some, it offers you something to think about as you prepare to retire. “What does this mean in terms of my future ambitions and dreams that I want to enjoy in my later life – will this impact the way I intended on retiring?” you must ask yourself.
At the end of the day, you have options. While you may not enjoy having to choose between this and that, it is an unavoidable question. For example, “if you are in a situation where you feel comfortable in your retirement, the decision to spend $1,500 may not be an anxiety-provoking issue; however, if that is your annual vacation, or your daughter’s wedding gown, or your contribution to your Registered retirement savings plan, a lot of women end up in debt and have to climb out, and then start saving for their retirement,”
Van Der Hout advocates being pragmatic and “dealing with the financial disaster before moving on.” What does it mean for you to make future decisions if you have a wealth gap in terms of your ability to retire?”
What is the divorce rate for couples over 50?
Even if we are healthy and robust at 50 or 60 years old, the word retirement makes us feel old, yet it is inevitable regardless of how we feel. The uncertainty lies in how the retirement will take place. That is why Van Der Hout advises people to make a plan because “what do you do if you have limited resources, and your resources are strained to the maximum and can’t tolerate another catastrophe – a roof leaking, a root canal, or some physical injury whose recuperation isn’t covered by insurance?” She claims that the secret to a successful retirement is planning.
Here are the key financial questions you should ask yourself – or a professional – to ensure a secure retirement.
Create a financial balance sheet for yourself. What am I really living for right now? What do I require to survive?
Examine your financial situation. What is the current and future state of all of my resources? Is there an income gap preventing me from attaining my goals, and if so, what will I do to close it?
Consider your way of life. What would my financial situation be if I continue to live my current lifestyle? What would my life be like after I retire and change my lifestyle?
Recognize the difference between your wants and your needs. Consider the following questions: What do I need to do to better understand my finances in the future, and will my decisions help or hinder my retirement plans?
Make a retirement strategy. Create a list of objectives for yourself, possibly with the help of a professional, colleagues, or friends who are knowledgeable in the field.
How is retirement calculated in a divorce?
Create a retirement strategy. Make use of your financial and human resources to help you learn which assets will provide you with the best returns.
What city will you call home? To fully answer that question, you must first determine your needs and capacity. For example, if you’re downsizing from a three-bedroom home to a studio apartment, consider where you’d like to reside, how this would affect your career options, and so on.
Finances are frequently cited as a factor in the breakdown of our marriages; nevertheless, significant financial discussions were never fully explored; perhaps they were avoided. But, if the only bags you want to carry are Coach, Mark Jacobs, Prada, or 9 West, you need to start talking about financial retirement with your support team now, and the twilight you’re experiencing isn’t just retiring in later years, but a lovely evening sunset.
How do you survive a grey divorce?
Divorce is becoming more common among the current generation of empty-nesters. Furthermore, the divorce rate among persons aged 50 and up has increased in the last 20 years. It used to be that the likelihood of divorce decreased as people became older, but that is no longer the case. Retirement post-divorce is a concern for the grey divorce group, given that the ageing population is living longer and healthier lives.
Many people wonder, “What do you need to think about?” We provide an answer to that query as well as other information:
- Innovative ideas for a financially sound Ontario divorce settlement
- Adapting to post-divorce lifestyle variations
- Managing debt while receiving less medical or health benefits
- Divorced couples’ retirement plans
- Is your house a liability or an asset?
As you work through your finances for a financially secure retirement, learn how to protect yourself and create a list of questions. Contact Ken S Maynard at Divorce the Smartway
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