More Over-Age-50 Divorces, and More to Think About for Divorcees
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Married Americans over the age of 50 are splitting up at a record pace, and that presents them with a unique number of problems and challenges.
According to a study from Bowling Green University, the divorce rate for Americans age 50 or over doubled between 1990 and 2010. In that time, one in four U.S. divorces involved Americans aged 50 or more.
Here are some more points from the study:
- The rate of divorce was 2.5 times higher for those in remarriages versus first marriages, whereas the divorce rate was lower the longer a marriage lasted.
- More than 600,000 people aged 50 and older got divorced in 2010, but little is known about the predictors and consequences of divorces that occur during middle and later life.
What can older divorcees do to minimize the financial impact of divorce on their lives, especially as they get closer to retirement?
We reached out to Howard Hook, a certified public accountant with Princeton, N.J.-based EKS Associates, for some answers.
Hook says the deck is stacked against older divorcees, for a variety of reasons:
They have no second person in the household to help in some of the planning strategies.
Hooks says: Probably the most difficult issue faced by a recently divorced person is managing their time. Whereas prior to the divorce there was some sort of division of the household chores amongst the spouses; now a recently divorced person finds themselves having to do everything themselves. Some of these, such as balancing a checkbook or saving for retirement, are items that someone may never have had to do in their lives or at least not for quite a long period of time. Having to learn or relearn a new skill set is hard enough at any age, but probably harder for someone 50-plus who does not have the time to begin with to devote to doing these things.
They are not eligible to use some of the strategies widely available to married people.