In Minnesota and across the country, the divorce rate has become relatively steady for most Americans. However, in one demographic category, it has continued to rise significantly: those at the age of 50 and above. Indeed, between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate more than doubled among this group, a trend that has continued since that time. This can be a particular concern when it comes to the financial effects of divorce, especially because there is less time to recover from those changes prior to retirement.
In particular, retirement funds and accounts are often the single largest assets up for division during the end of a marriage. After the divorce is finalized, people have less time to rebuild their individual accounts. Nevertheless, “gray divorces” continue to grow, in many cases because the issues that underlie these separations are often severe. The financial considerations that accompany divorce can be significant for people of any age, and it can be important to consider retirement planning during the negotiations that precede a divorce settlement. While this can be most apparent to older people, a study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that the retirement readiness of people who divorce at any age can also be affected.
The study measured the ability of working-age Americans to maintain their current standard of living after retirement. It found that around 50 percent of all households faced some level of retirement risk, a percentage that went up by 7 percent when the household had involved a divorce at some point.
Planning for the future can be an important aspect of divorce negotiations, including during the property division process. A family law attorney can help divorcing spouses to protect their interests and seek a just settlement on a range of matters.