The thought of divorcing later in life, such as when you’re approaching retirement age, can seem scary on multiple fronts. At the top of your list of concerns may be the prospect of not finding love again and living out the rest of your life alone. Next, and perhaps more importantly, thoughts that you may not be able to afford to support yourself may weigh even heavier in your mind.
If you’re worried about your financial future, you have many valid reasons to be concerned, given the insight that has emerged from two different studies conducted during the past few years.
How divorce near retirement age impacts your financial future
The author of a CNBC study crunched financial data regarding women 65 years of age or older. They found that the average American household income for women in this age bracket went from just over $67,000 when married down to just under $36,000 once they divorced.
The CNBC study’s author noted that these retired women generally failed to adjust their lifestyle to account for the reduction in their annual household income after their divorce, which made them vulnerable to no longer being economically self-sufficient.
Another study, published by the magazine Worthy, focused on a sizable sample set of women 55 years of age or older. Nearly one-half of them reported being unprepared for the downturn their finances would take post-divorce. Many of the women polled reported being blindsided that they didn’t qualify for alimony. In some cases in which they were eligible, they were surprised to learn that it wouldn’t last as long as they’d expected.
How can you protect your financial future amidst your divorce?
One of the best things you can do as you prepare to divorce is to find out what to expect in your case. This knowledge may allow you time to consult with a financial planner to sort out your options for growing what you do have. This insight may also help you come up with an effective strategy when negotiating a settlement in your divorce.