3 Tips to Protect Your Retirement During a Divorce

There are a number of reasons why divorce rates are rising for those over age 50. Some couples may wait until their children are out of the house to separate. Some couples may have sharply different views on how they want to spend retirement.

Are you over the age of 50 and facing a divorce? According to new research, you’re not alone. The Pew Research Center recently found that divorce rates for people age 50 and older have doubled since 1990. Divorce rates among those over age 65 have tripled during that same period.1

Regardless of the reasons behind your divorce, it’s important that you plan for how the divorce may impact your retirement. That’s especially true if you aren’t the breadwinner in the marriage. You may have lower income and fewer assets than your spouse.

If you don’t have a plan in place, your divorce could hamper your ability to enjoy a stable and comfortable retirement. Below are a few tips to help you navigate the process:


Research your rights.

It’s important to know your rights with regard to your spouse’s benefits, retirement plans and more so you can plan effectively for your retirement. You may have access to assets and income streams that you didn’t know were available to you. For example, you may have a legal claim to a portion of his or her pension and 401(k) plan. He or she may have property or business assets that generate income, and you may be able to negotiate for a portion of those resources.

You also may be able to file for spousal Social Security benefits after you are divorced. A spousal benefit is one that’s based on your spouse’s earnings instead of yours. This kind of benefit is helpful for individuals who have taken time off from their careers to support their spouse or have earned significantly less than their spouse.


Protect yourself against long-term care risk.

The need for long-term care is an unfortunate reality for many retirees. Long-term care is extended assistance with basic living activities such as eating, bathing, mobility and more. It’s often required because of issues like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and more.

Long-term care is often needed for months and sometimes years. As you might assume, it can be costly, and it can present unique challenges for single retirees. If you’re single you won’t have a spouse, and may not have a partner, to help you, which could make you more dependent on paid services such as in-home aides or assisted living facilities.

Take time to explore long-term care insurance. You pay premiums for the insurance today, and then, if you need long-term care in the future, the insurer pays for some or all of the costs. Long-term care insurance has an underwriting element. The older or unhealthier you are when you buy the insurance, the higher your premiums are likely to be. That means it may be helpful to consider long-term care insurance sooner rather than later.


Develop a support system.

Divorce at any age can be difficult. However, it can be especially challenging as you approach retirement. There are the financial challenges that come with splitting your assets just before you are set to retire. But there are also the emotional and personal challenges that may come with embarking on your retirement alone.

You can manage these challenges and reduce their impact by creating a strong support network. Take this time to reconnect with friends and family members. Perhaps pursue a new hobby or interest through which you might meet new friends. Also, surround yourself with trusted advisers who can help you navigate difficult challenges. An experienced financial professional can help you develop a strategy and manage risks.

Ready to protect your retirement from the fallout of your divorce? Let’s talk about it. Hal Hammond in Sarasota can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.



Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.

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