The rate of gray divorce, or divorce in couples past the age of 50, continues to rise. Once you have passed your 50s, you have likely accumulated a significant amount of wealth and property. That means that in a divorce, you have a lot at stake.
As gray divorce becomes more prevalent, many seniors are trying to manage their post-divorce finances. Some unlucky or unwise seniors stumble into one of the many financial pitfalls that plague gray-divorcés.
Not changing your beneficiaries
After a divorce, it is a good idea to revisit your accounts and change their beneficiaries and titles. If your former spouse is still listed as a beneficiary in your will, they could inherit your wealth—even if this is not what you wanted. Be sure to change the titles on your house, cars and bank accounts as well.
Not hiring an attorney
Age is supposed to make you wiser, but that does not mean that you have the legal acumen to handle your own divorce. Trying to navigate a divorce on your own may sound simple enough, but sooner or later you are bound to run into a legal roadblock. When that time comes, the process may become time-consuming and expensive. Spare yourself the trouble by consulting a divorce attorney in the first place.
Not collecting Social Security benefits
A lot of people are not aware that they may be entitled to a share of their ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits. If you were married for more than 10 years, you may be able to reap some of these benefits. Your former partner does not even need to know, since this is confidential information between you and the Social Security Department.
Not being diligent about alimony
Many gray divorces result in spousal support. If you are entitled to receive alimony, you should be diligent and organized about your payments. Ask how your alimony will be protected if your spouse loses their job, their income is reduced or they pass away. And make sure that your partner will make the payments on time and in full.