As a recent article in the August edition of Money Magazine points out, the Tipper and Al Gore split up has highlighted the issues of “gray” divorces. Gray divorce is the label given to divorces of couples that have been married 20 years or more.
The article addresses some of the most common issues involved in a gray divorce; decisions about the house, retirement accounts, cash flow and debt payments. But, an issue that many gray divorce clients have not thought about is how their divorce will affect their retirement planning.
In many gray divorces, at least one of the couples is less than ten years away from retirement. Therefore, the financial planning involved in dissolving the marriage is an integral part of retirement planning. The financial arrangements of a divorce set the stage for the parties’ financial futures. If the next stage of a party’s financial future is retirement, then the financial portion of the divorce will have an enormous impact on whether, when and how a party can retire.
In many ways gray divorces are identical to any other divorce. However, the impending retirement of the parties to a gray divorce makes proper handling of the financial issues even more crucial.