According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, the divorce rate among Americans over 50 has doubled since 1990. This is in spite of data that shows that divorce rates have dropped for younger Americans. Divorce later in life tends to have a major effect on one’s ability to retire.
The high divorce rate is believed to be part of the reason why roughly 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are working. Women who are divorced after age 50 are 10 percent more likely to have a full-time job between the ages of 50-74 compared to women who divorce prior to age 30. This information is based on a survey of 56,000 women conducted by researchers from Boston College and Mathematica Policy Research.
There are many costs to consider when getting a divorce. In addition to legal fees, an individual may lose half of his or her retirement savings. Some people choose to keep a marital home as opposed to retirement assets; however, this may be a mistake in the long-term. While a home may appreciate, maintenance and other costs could eat away at an owner’s ability to save for retirement.
Those who are going through a divorce may wish to talk to an attorney. A lawyer could help an individual learn more about his or her rights to marital property. In many cases, a spouse may be entitled to a share of a marital retirement account. If a marriage lasts more than 10 years, an individual may also be entitled to claim social security benefits based on the other spouse’s work record.