Grey divorce need not ruin retirement plans

Although it is said that the percentage of marriages that break down are decreasing, indications are that grey divorces — those of couples older than 50 — are on the increase. For that reason, older couples in British Columbia may want to take a careful look at some financial issues that might have long slipped their scrutiny. Financial advisors often remind — or urge — young couples to work according to a budget and know where every hard-earned dollar goes. Older individuals might have grown more relaxed about their finances because they planned it carefully when they were younger. However, how will a divorce affect their carefully planned retirements?

Issues to address before filing for divorce include getting back into a habit of recording from where every cent comes, and on what it is spent. By listing every expected expense as a single person, the individual can determine whether there will be a shortfall. Being proactive and securing a part-time job or selling some non-essential assets may resolve the issue.

Professional advice may be valuable when it comes to government social plans, pensions and existing investments. Information about health care plans and tax implications might be invaluable. Some couples expect financial payouts from insurance policies at predetermined ages, and it may be wise to delay the divorce until those funds are available. A separation might be a consideration for the waiting period.

These are but some of the issues to address to preserve financial stability during and after a divorce at an older age. An experienced British Columbia divorce lawyer’s advice can be very helpful. If there is a prenuptial agreement in place, legal counsel can evaluate it and provide further support and guidance throughout all the legal proceedings that will follow. If necessary, a lawyer may be able to provide valuable input during negotiations with the soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Source:, “Don’t let divorce wreck your retirement plans“, Arielle O’Shea, Nov. 11, 2016

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