Today, the divorce rate for couples who are older than 50 is on the rise, and that can cause major problems for workers who are starting to think more about their potential for retiring on time.
Data suggests that the number of people who are getting divorced after they reach age 50 now stands at about one in every four, up significantly from the rate in 1990, when it was closer to one in every 10. And with that large influx of people getting divorced later in life, the role in proceedings that retirement savings might play is obviously likely to be heightened. Therefore, workers will need to be more conscious of the effect that such a life event will have on their efforts. For one thing, divorce can be very financially draining, and that likely means that you may have to scale back on the contributions to your savings funds. On the other hand, if you were investing for two people prior to your divorce, you might also not need to contribute quite so much to those funds as you once did. One thing that is apparent in either case, though, is that you'll need to seriously rework your plans for retirement and savings. As with all retirement plans, it's important to be realistic, and if you think you're either ahead or behind on where you want to be with your new options, that needs to be taken into account when determining where you go next. Further, if you plan to rely heavily on your Social Security benefits once you stop working, that will need to be considered, as well. While a divorce court cannot make you split those funds, there are rules in place that will allow you to collect funds based on your former spouse's record. How these rules will impact you depends on your personal situation, and working with a professional to determine your eligibility is important at this juncture. One thing you should try to keep in mind during this time is that you'll generally need about 75 or 80% of your final annual salary coming to you every year in retirement. If your combined savings, pension payouts and Social Security benefits don't add up to that amount after your divorce, it might be a good idea to work an extra year or two to meet all your goals.