According to a recent report by National Public Radio, divorce rates among individuals over the age of 50 have dramatically increased in recent decades. In fact today a man or woman who is age 50 or older is two times as likely to divorce as his or her counterpart 20 years ago. There are many factors contributing to the so-called gray divorce phenomenon including longer life expectancies and the fact that more women work and have financial independence.
For a man or woman who divorces at age 50, it’s possible that he or she will again find love. In cases where an individual who is nearing or in retirement decides to re-marry, it’s important to have frank and detailed discussions with a fiancée prior to saying I do again.
For men and women over 50 who find love the second or third time, there are many matters related to one’s finances, retirement plans, property and estate plan that should be discussed and addressed with a soon-to-be spouse.
With age often comes wisdom and much of that wisdom is borne from past mistakes. If a betrothed previously filed for bankruptcy or lost a home in foreclosure, there could be financial implications or red flags. Learning about each other’s financial histories is beneficial when looking towards the future and discussing whether or not to combine assets.
Deciding whether to own a home jointly or what assets to combine can have an impact on an individual’s financial future and wellbeing as well as that of children from a previous marriage. Parents who re-marry later in life must also consider the financial implications of their decisions with regard to estate planning. Parents who want to ensure assets intended for the benefit of a grown child are protected may elect to establish a trust or some other way to ensure assets are protected and pass directly to a child.
For individuals nearing or in retirement who plan to re-marry, there are numerous factors that must be addressed, discussed and decided upon. Those who want to ensure for their own financial security as well as the security of heirs would be wise to consider a prenuptial agreement. An attorney who handles matters related to divorce and property division can answer questions and assist in ensuring an individual’s assets and best interests are protected.
Source: Forbes, “Saying “I Do” During Retirement Takes Careful Planning,” June 4, 2014NPR.org, “Older Americans’ Breakups Are Causing A ‘Graying’ Divorce Trend,” Ina Jaffe, Feb. 24, 2014