Articles Posted in Retirement

Since 1990, the rate of divorce for couples over 50 years of age has doubled. Increasingly, women over age 40 are reportedly seeking to end their marriages. The phenomenon has been dubbed the empty nest divorce and affects about one in four baby boomer marriages. Researchers believe the soaring divorce rate is a result of increased financial independence and a generational emphasis on individual happiness.

52-year-old Debbie Jenkins found herself surprised when she divorced her husband of more than two decades as she thought she would be married for the rest of her life. Instead, she filed for divorce after realizing neither party to the marriage could relate to one another anymore. She reportedly relied on her grown children and other relatives to help her cope with the changes to her life following divorce. Fifty-something Thatia Cuchera echoed Jensen’s thoughts. She ended her marriage after realizing the relationship she hoped for would likely never materialize. Instead, Cuchera stated she decided to take a chance on herself and embrace the world alone.

Some believe the empty nest divorce trend is a natural result of increased longevity. As life expectancy increases, fewer people are willing to remain in a marriage that fails to meet their expectations for four or five decades. Others feel women have more choices today than their mothers did and enjoy an increased level of independence. Whatever the cause for the higher over-50 divorce rate, financial advisers caution late in life splits can be especially complicated. As couples near retirement, a divorce can have a significant impact on each spouse’s financial outlook as assets are split between the two parties.

If you are contemplating dissolving your marriage, it is important to keep in mind that the State of Florida is a no-fault divorce state. This means no one has to be held responsible for the end of a marriage. If you are facing a divorce or another stressful family law matter, contact a capable South Florida family law attorney to help you protect both your rights and your financial future.
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Members of the baby-boom generation are increasingly choosing to divorce as they near retirement age. Although the overall U.S. divorce rate declined in recent years, divorce rates among adults aged 50 to 64 steadily increased. According to Susan L. Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University, one in four divorces in this nation currently involve someone over the age of 50. In 1990, less than ten percent of divorces involved a spouse over age 50. That’s a dramatic increase from only twenty years ago.

As the boomer generation ages and reaches retirement, the related life transitions can be tough. Some couples who spent decades together find they must reconnect with one another on a new level. Retiring spouses often have a difficult time adjusting to life without a daily work routine. Spouses who previously stayed at home alone may also have a tough time as their routine is suddenly interrupted by the presence of another person in the home all day. Many marriages will survive the transition, but researchers say weak unions may shatter under the stress.

Research has shown the baby-boom generation has frequently engaged in a pattern of marriage at a young age, divorce, and subsequent remarriage. According to Brown, marriages in which at least one spouse has been married before are twice as likely to result in divorce later in life than those in which both spouses are in their first marriage. A divorce near retirement age can cause a huge financial strain on both parties as retirement accounts and other assets are split. Additional questions arise as many late life divorcees have no plans to remarry. According to Brown, this can result in societal challenges if baby boomers become ill or can no longer care for themselves because no spouse is present to provide care as with past generations. Choosing to remarry can also pose added legal obstacles if estate planning and inheritance matters are not planned well in advance.
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Many clients never ask their divorce lawyer in Broward about their entitlement to their spouse’s social security retirement benefit. However, your Florida marital and family law attorney should advise you as to your entitlement to your spouse’s Social Security retirmenet benefit as an incident to your divorce since you may be entitled to receive additional money.

If you are divorced, you may be entitled to your former spouse’s Social Security retirement. This would increase your benefit without reducing your former spouse’s benefit. If you were married for 10 years, are at least 62 years old and have not remarried when you apply, Social Security will look at both your benefit and your spouse’s benefit. If 50% of your former spouse’s benefit is more then your benefit, you are entitled to the larger share of the benefit. While you do not have to wait until your former spouse retires, he or she must be 62 years of age.