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Rhode Island divorce: Gray divorce presents a number of challenges

After months of being separated, 62-year-old actress, Jane Seymour, and her director husband are now in the process of getting divorced according to the New York Daily News. This is Seymour's fourth marriage to end in divorce and illustrates a growing trend in the United States-gray divorce.

A rising trend

A study conducted on older people who divorce was recently released by Bowling Green State University, pointing out that people over the age of 50 are divorcing at higher and faster rates than originally anticipated. Results of the study showed that people who are in their second or third marriage have a much higher rate of divorce than those who are in first-time marriages.

The reasons for older couples choosing to divorce vary but one underlying theme seems to be the increased independence that women now have. Women in Rhode Island, for example, often have careers of their own and no longer rely on their husbands to take care of them. This may be a factor in why the majority of gray divorces are initiated by women according to the Huffington Post.

Divorce and retirement

By the time most people reach their 50s, they are beginning to plan for retirement. In long-term marriages, that usually means that the couple has planned and saved together, but a divorce can greatly affect that anticipated event.

This is because the couple has planned for essentially one joined retirement with a house, cars, traveling plans and shared medical care. However, a divorce after the age of 50 can mean that now there are two separate lifestyles and expenses for an individual's investments and savings to provide for.

Facts about gray divorce and retirement:

  • Divorce after the age of 50 can push back a person's age of retirement.
  • Divorce later in life may require a reduced lifestyle.
  • Retirement costs can rise anywhere between 30-50 percent.
  • Gray divorce may eliminate inheritances for the children.

Since most people do not have the resources of divorcing celebrities, it's important to understand the financial impact divorce may have-especially at an older age.

Preparation is important

Couples going through a divorce later in life will need to sit down and examine their current retirement plans and then adapt those plans to fit the change in their situation. One important factor to look at is their current budget and monthly expenses. With two new households, each spouse is going to want to figure out how much they will have to live on and adjust their life accordingly.

For example, if a couple has a large home, then that home may need to be sold and spouses purchase smaller homes with lower monthly bills. The same can be applied to vehicles, personal expenses, and traveling. By preparing for such changes ahead of time, people can put themselves back in charge of their financial lives.

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