The National Center for Family and Marriage Research reports that the divorce rates for individuals over 50 doubled from 1990 to 2010. Getting divorced later in life can negatively affect one’s retirement. Additionally, for women in Pennsylvania and around the country, it is much more likely to result in significant financial consequences than for men.
Having to postpone retirement is a common occurrence after a divorce. Almost 20 percent of Americans over 65 years of age are employed, which is double the rate of the early 1980s.
The impact of a divorce also contributes to older women’s return to the workforce. According to a study conducted by economists at Mathematica Policy Research, women tend to be full-time workers later in their lives the later they get divorced. The scope of the financial drawbacks of a divorce extends beyond having to pay court costs and legal fees. Family assets have to be allocated between the two parties while the cost of living tends to double. When there are children involved, women may opt to retain ownership of the home in lieu of retirement assets, which can be an unwise decision as it undermines their retirement funds.
Older individuals who get divorced also have a greater chance of living in poverty . The gulf between the 3.4 percent poverty rate for married individuals 62 years of age or older and the 16 and 19 percent rates for single individuals divorces before and after 50 years of age, respectively, is disheartening.
Getting divorced near retirement age requires the careful consideration of how assets are to be divided. The parties may want their respective family law attorneys to attempt to negotiate a property division settlement rather than having the matter decided by a judge.