According to one study conducted by researchers from Bowling Green State University, divorces among older individuals age 55-64, doubled between the 22 year period from 1990-2012. For those aged 65 and older, divorces tripled.
Although people of all ages in the midst of a divorce have similar issues that need addressing, divorcing baby boomers, in particular, should take note of a few things.
1. Financial planning
Individuals who have 10 or more years left in the workplace have time to recover financially post divorce. They have a while to plan for a potential retirement with just one income. However, older individuals nearing retirement have less time to save up and pad their retirement nest egg. Getting a new plan in place to ensure financial stability in the upcoming years is important.
2. Altering beneficiaries
Many individuals have life insurance policies in place. But for older individuals, these policies should be readdressed as soon as possible post divorce. According to certified financial planners, life insurance policies are one of the top things overlooked when a gray divorce occurs. Since the original beneficiary was likely a previous husband, it’s important to make necessary changes. Even if there is a will in place with the right beneficiary, the designation in a life insurance policy will trump those provisions.
3. Changing powers of attorney
Similar, to changing life insurance beneficiaries, older individuals should take a look at any powers of attorney in place when a divorce occurs and make any necessary changes. They will likely want to designate a new individual to be in charge of making, for instance, medical and healthcare decisions, if they were to become incapacitated.
These are just a few immediate issues baby boomers seeking a divorce should consider. Those with questions regarding these or other issues involved with divorce should consult with a legal professional experienced in this area. A lawyer can offer guidance as it pertains to specific circumstances.