The effects of getting divorced after age 50 can be devastating under any circumstances, but one unique aspect of the added stress of recovering financially. There is much less time to rebuild your bank account for retirement than there would be for a younger couple. If your kids have already moved out of the house, that can make things easier (although empty nest syndrome often comes with its own stress), but even if that’s not the case, the situation might not be as bad as you think.
Don’t assume that you’ll need to delay your retirement plans, but you will need a little financial know-how in order to survive and thrive after a late-in-life divorce. Educate yourself on all the options and talk to a financial planner for solid advice on how to plan your retirement.
A Financial Inventory for Divorce After 50
In some cases, one partner has managed the finances throughout the marriage, and the other might not know their whole financial position. If this is the case for you, you should take a complete inventory of all your assets and liabilities. You’ll need to know the current market value of what you own, as well as the full amount of any liabilities.
An assets inventory includes:
- Investments, including RRSPs
- Property (homes, cottages, timeshares, vehicles, etc.)
- Business assets
- Insurance policies
- Bank accounts
A liabilities inventory includes:
- Credit cards
- Credit lines
- CRA and other debts
A divorce at this stage of your life means you’ll need both legal and financial advice. Your lawyer will help you understand equalization and division of property, as well as pension splitting, while a financial advisor will help you with a full examination of your finances. This step is critical, since it will help reduce your stress levels after you’ve learned the full scope of your financial situation and worked out a way to live within your new means.
Learn the Tax Implications
The CRA will need to be informed of your change in marital status immediately. They’ll also need to know about any support payments you have made or received, as well as pension splitting and the sale of assets, as this will affect the amount of tax you owe. Your financial advisor should be able to help you organize your post-divorce finances for optimal tax savings under your new circumstances.
Lawyers and financial advisors are not the only experts who can help you through this difficult time. There is more to a divorce than splitting up your assets and liabilities, and it’s important that you don’t ignore the emotional toll. Consider enlisting experts to help in these areas:
- Therapy: Having a neutral third party to talk through the emotional damage of a divorce can be enormously helpful. You’ll appreciate having someone in your court who can help you understand your emotions and work through them with you.
- Life coaching: This might sound strange, but it can be very valuable! A life coach will help you to set new goals and tackle new ways of thinking about your current life and your future.
- Career counseling: You may need to either change jobs or re-enter the workforce in order to make up for the loss in household income that often happens after a divorce. Career counseling can help you work out the best way to do that.
- Housekeeping: You have a lot on your plate right now. There’s no shame in hiring a cleaning service to come in and help you keep your house organized. You’ll find that coming home to a clean house does wonders for your mood and stress level.
Take Up a New Hobby
A divorce after age 50 is a big change, and you might be worried about what to do with your life. However, many people find that they enjoy their post-divorce lives very much! Here’s your opportunity to explore the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t.
The healing power of making new friends and learning new hobbies or skills cannot be understated. Is there a craft or skill you’ve always been interested in learning? Chances are there’s a hobbyist group near you that would love to take you in and help you learn.
Now is also the time to rediscover any personal passions that fell by the wayside over the years. Indulge yourself in fun things that make you happy. The more you fill your life with positive people and activity, the better able you’ll be to tackle life’s challenges.
Galbraith Family Law Handles Divorce at Any Age
A divorce after 50 poses a unique set of challenges, both financial and emotional. Galbraith Family Law understands the situation you’re in and will help you navigate the process of a late-in-life divorce. To get in touch with us, fill out the contact form on our website or give us a call. If you live in the Newmarket area, call (289) 802-2433; if you’re in Barrie, call (705) 302-1102.