Boomers and Divorce: Will you still need me, will you still please me, when I am 64?

The Baby Boomers that have been married more than 25 years are divorcing at record rates! The population of people over 50 + years has doubled their divorce rates in the last 20 years with divorce statistics at approximately 25%, according to the recent study of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University. If you have been married previously, the likelihood that your second or third marriage will end in divorce is 2.5 times greater than first time marriages.

So you and your spouse have decided to divorce? Do you know the financially reality as a single person? Often, in your golden years, it is not a good picture with what has happened in recent years to the US economy. You should prepare yourself for the big picture before you make the “Divorce Leap”.

Get prepared financially: you may now be splitting the retirement funds in half. How is that going to affect your new life style? Legal fees for the divorce could be very costly depending upon disputes, length of your marriage, child custody, and the size of the estate that will need to be divided.

Be prepared for this major transaction. Setting up a new household could double expenses overnight. The National Center of Health Statistics says that it is very common for women to see a 45% post- divorce drop in their standard of living. How will you maintain your needs?

Seek Professional Help: Talk with your accountant, financial analyst, and an attorney to make smart decisions in separating assets and property. The decisions you make today may determine if you will be able to continue your lifestyle or cut back on spending to stretch the budget of your single life.

Retirement and Social Security: Couples who will have to live off retirement assets will have a lot of decisions to make on separating their funds. Many times there will be other legal documents the divorcing boomer couple will need to have to make sure all retirement and social security funds are the correct amount for each partner. You need to consider survivor benefits and special rules regarding Social Security benefits for couples older than 62 and who are married over 10 years.

Social media: You say it, you have to defend it! What you say on social networking sites can and will be used against you as evidence in a court of law. Nothing said on social networking is the best advice!

Whose pets? This is a very important issue for older couples who are empty nesters getting a divorce! Discuss this with your soon-to-be ex and come up with a settlement. A big custody battle can be expensive and the courts view pets as property. You may need the money down the road!

Health Care Insurance: This is one of the most serious problems facing the newly divorced boomer. What if one spouse is dependent on the other for health care insurance? Many couples decide, after finding out the huge cost of insurance, it may be better to stay married. Many insurance companies have very strict policies related to divorce, so make sure you know what you need to do in protecting your insurance.

Before you revert to “It’s got to be me” as a new single person, know the reality of your decision! It is not always fun to be older, wiser and much poorer!

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