Even among seniors, divorce is unfortunately becoming much more common. In fact, the odds of divorce in those over 50 have doubled since the late 1990's. Dissolving a marriage is hard regardless of age, and it can impact many others along the way. If you're a married senior on the verge of calling it quits, consider the following before you do.
With seniors, there's often a lot more involved when it comes to finances. In addition to social security or pensions, there may be IRAs, 401k's, or other assets/investments. How will divorcing impact your future in regards to your ability to live comfortably? How will all of the assets, property, and debts be divided? A lot to think about, especially if you're 65 or older.
Think about friendships. Many long-term marriages result in shared friendships, often with other couples. Maintaining those friendships following a divorce can be difficult, particularly for men. Losing touch with close friends can be emotionally difficult - and sometimes it's the friends who disconnect from you, because they feel they're in somewhat of an awkward position.
How will your adult children be affected? Even adult children can be devastated when their older parents divorce. It's often tough for grown children to decide how to divide their time with parents or face the holidays, when they've spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at their parent's home for decades. Also, consider the fact that health is something that declines as we grow older - who will help take care of you should your health decline? Sometimes it's important to think back on the "in sickness and in health" portion of the marriage vows.
Certainly there are situations in which it's best to divorce - but before you do, consider all of the issues you may face and how it will impact not only your life, but the lives of your family and friends.
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