Could a grey divorce affect your retirement?

A recent survey by the canadian Investors Group revealed some interesting statistics relating to what is often called the “Grey Divorce” – the rapidly growing group of couples in their fifties and beyond who choose to get divorced later in life.

Although their findings presumably relate to the Canadian market the Investors Group statistics provide interesting food for thought. What is more Marion Korn and Eva Sachs, authors of the brilliant book When Harry Left Sally found that the phenomenon of the grey divorce is similar in many developed countries across the globe.

47% of those asked explained that their divorce had required them to scale back on their retirement plans and 80% had to work longer than they had previously anticipated.

On the other hand as many as 39% remained confident that they had the financial means to still enjoy their planned retirement but 55% had to change their plans entirely.

These are important findings not least because there is often a curious, idealised romanticism about the older divorce presented by the media and Sunday supplements.

Much is written, for example, of growing life expectations and the subsequent possibility of 20 years or more of a new, meaningful relationship after the first marriage has ended. The grey divorce is often presented as a second youth in ways that might make for charming newspaper stories but disregards the challenges that are often encountered.

“The older divorce presents different considerations,” explains Diane Genders, specialist divorce lawyer with Diane Genders Solicitors in Lincolnshire. “The older couple simply does not have the same time or opportunities to refill their savings or build up extra pension reserves. Great care has to be taken to make sure that the money that is available is therefore distributed properly.”

“Another difference is that instead of considering how couples can co-parent effectively after a younger divorce, the older couple will be thinking about how they can both still have meaningful relationships with their adult children and grand-children.”

“The similarity in all divorces is that the individuals need to take proper legal and financial advice on what their needs are now and in the future.”

James Espin, independent financial planner with Lincoln based IQ Financial Advice agrees.

“Having a financial planner working alongside your divorce lawyer enables you to forecast the impact the divorce will have on your future financial plans. That will mean revising your course of action if your original retirement plans are no longer viable or identifying remedial steps that might still be available to enable you to fulfil your previous wishes.”

If you are thinking about separation and have questions about how a divorce might affect your future plans then contact Diane Genders Specialist Family Solicitors in Lincoln on 01522 516500. Alternatively you can email in confidence to enquiries@dianegenders.co.uk and ask to speak to one of our experienced divorce lawyers.