Your Financial Blueprint for Divorce in Retirement

Steve McDonald By Steve McDonald, Bond Strategist, The Oxford Club

Two-Minute Retirement Solution

Over the last 25 years, the divorce rate for people over 50 has doubled.

The “love generation” is leading the way again… but this time, in divorces.

Their marriages are falling apart at a record pace, and it’s negatively impacting their retirements.

There’s less of a stigma associated with divorce, which has made it more acceptable, but it’s the longevity bonus (we’re living a lot longer) that’s the real driver of the breakups.

It’s a trend known as “gray divorce.”

We’re living a lot longer – in many cases, 30 years longer than previous generations – and an increasing number of boomers don’t want to be in an unhappy marriage for the final stage of their lives… not for 30 more years, anyway.

And if you’re in a second or third marriage, your chances of being single again double.


While divorce may seem like your last chance for “self-realization” (you have to have lived through the ‘70s to even know what that means), there are lots of reasons to be very careful about splitting up just before or during retirement…

  • The most obvious? Not splitting things down the middle anymore, like utilities, food, transportation, rent and mortgage costs. They add up, and you need to address them before they turn into a monthly surprise.
  • Multiple marriages with more than one set of kids can really complicate things like estates and wills.
  • Depending on how long you’ve been married, there are some Social Security benefit issues that spouses needs to consider. You may not be eligible for benefits in some cases.
  • If you haven’t been the primary breadwinner, you may have to go out and build a career, which is no easy feat at our ages. (If you’re interested in alternative ways to generate cash, click here to learn what hundreds of retirees are calling “the Perfect Retirement Business.”)
  • Quality of life is also something to consider. If you have to split what you’ve jointly managed to put away, it could require a big lifestyle shift.

If the love of your life from your 20s or 30s isn’t quite as lovey anymore and you have to split, at least give the financial side of the situation a hard look before you hit the dating scene again.

A 30-year retirement at poverty level is no joke.

Good investing,

Steve