While the divorce rate among younger people is dropping, it has climbed for baby boomers, and in 2010, people over the age of 50 were twice as likely to get divorced as they were in 1990. Experts believe this may be one reason more people of retirement age are continuing to work. Divorce close to and after retirement affects Florida residents financially in a number of ways.
For married people who have never divorced, annual Social Security payments may be more than $10,000 more than those received by older divorced people. After a divorce, people are no longer splitting costs of housing and utilities. Women may be particularly affected because they might tend to accept the family home in exchange for their share of the retirement account. Men who divorce after the age of 50 have a poverty rate under 12 percent while more than one-quarter of women in the same situation are living in poverty.
Overall, almost 20 percent of people who divorce after the age of 50 and 16 percent of people who divorce before they are 50 live in poverty. Only 3.4 percent of never-divorced people live in poverty. Among remarried people, the poverty rate is comparable to that of people who have never been divorced. However, since divorce is more common for second and third marriages, this group may still end up living in poverty.
People who are facing the end of their marriages might want to think about what they can do to help ensure their financial security. Those who do not already have a firm handle on the family finances might familiarize themselves with their assets and debts. While people should not drag out the divorce process, they should also be certain that they are not being taken advantage of in a property division settlement, and thus they may want to have a family law attorney review its proposed terms.