Getting divorced late in your marriage, such as several decades in, can create significant complications for a retirement planning. One partner might have saved a lot more than the other with the intention that the savings will be combined later, or the partners might have merged their retirement funds making it difficult to disentangle them upon a divorce.
A divorce can be financially devastating for a person at any age, but this influence is much higher when the partners are approaching retirement because the cost of living alone is considerably higher than when two people are sharing expenses. A 2017 report, completed by the PEW Research Center, shows that divorce rates for those couples over age 50 have nearly doubled since the 1990s; a phenomenon known as grey divorce.
Late divorce gives both parties involved less time to pay off debts, handle the ups and downs in the stock market or recoup any losses. If one or both parties are already retired, there may not be an existing steady source of income to rely on for their complicating matters.