Divorce rates for people age 50 and over have doubled since 1990, according to the Pew Research Center. Divorce can have both positive and negative impacts on happiness and finances. Michael Finke, chief academic officer of the American College of Financial Services, stated at a conference that recently divorced women between ages 60 and 65 are the happiest of divorcées, though married retirees are generally the happiest group on average. In terms of finances, especially in retirement, divorce creates new challenges and planning opportunities. The increase in divorced and single retirees has created a need for advisers to understand different retirement planning strategies.
Divorce impacts American’s largest retirement income source: Social Security. While a number of nuances surround Social Security planning and divorce, the general rule is that an individual can claim benefits based off their ex-spouse’s work history if: