Retirement is supposed to be a time to enjoy your free time and pursue new adventures. You may travel to new locations or pick up an exciting new hobby. For an increasing number of couples, however, retirement is bringing something completely unexpected—divorce.
A 2015 study found that the divorce rate among those age 50 and up has doubled since 1990. And more than tripled for couples age 65 and older.1 In fact, divorce among seniors has become so common that it’s created a new nickname: “gray divorce.”
Divorce can lead to a number of serious consequences, not the least of which is financial damage. That’s especially true for couples who are approaching retirement or who are already retired. Retirees may have to split their savings, pension and other sources of retirement income. Newly single retirees may find themselves with a new set of expenses, such as rent, insurance and more.
Why does gray divorce happen?
Couples get divorce for many reasons. They may be struggling with infidelity, dishonesty or financial challenges. However, retired couples often face a more subtle challenge. It’s boredom.
Many retirees look forward to the lack of structure and commitment that comes with retirement. In fact, that lack of structure could be enjoyable in the beginning. However, it’s easy to grow bored with an open schedule. You may miss the challenge and purpose that comes with a career.
Boredom can place pressure on a marriage. Spouses may find that they spend much of their time together, perhaps alone in their house. Without the demands of work and raising children, couples may grow frustrated with each other.
Fortunately, there are steps retirees can take to stay busy and keep the peace at home. Below are a few tips to help you find your purpose and protect your marriage in retirement:
Work part time. The whole idea behind retirement is to stop working. However, working part time can bring a number of important benefits. You can even work part-time in a way that still allows you to enjoy retirement. You get supplemental income and a reason to get out of the house.
Look for something related to a favorite hobby. For example, you could work as an attendant at a local golf course. If you’re skilled at art or music, you could teach lessons. You could even drive for a ride-sharing service. You get to set your own hours, and you get to meet new people every day.
Volunteer. Maybe you want to get out of the house but don’t necessarily want to rejoin the workforce. You may want to consider a volunteering for a favorite charity. Consider how you could best contribute and which types of organizations you would like to support. Then simply contact charities in your area and ask about opportunities. Most charities are always looking for skilled, enthusiastic volunteers.
Be together but not alone. Perhaps you and your wife want to spend time together, but you also miss the socialization and camaraderie that come with work. Look for opportunities to do things together, but in the company of others. Many local seniors organizations offer social outings that you and your spouse could participate in together. You could join a local club or even go on a group cruise or vacation.
Stay financially stable. Money problems only compound marital issues. That’s true at any age. When you’re under financial pressure, every other issue seems magnified. Perhaps the best way to protect your marriage in retirement is to also protect your finances. Keep a budget and stick to it. Also, plan your income strategy carefully so you’ll have a consistent, reliable source of retirement funding.
Ready to develop your retirement income strategy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Legacy Retirement Services. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.
17281 - 2018/1/17
Terry L. Tyler