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How the Grey Divorce Impacts Finances

  • By Guest Blogger
  • |
  • July 30, 2019

Advisors, perhaps you’ve heard about the phenomenon known as the “grey divorce” and are wondering what it’s all about and how it might impact your married clients.

An important study conducted by the Department of Sociology and the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University entitled “The Grey Divorce Revolution” addressed this issue. I was attending the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts’ annual conference in Orlando where I saw Justin Reckers do a presentation about the study and offer us a few insights:

Typically, those who are considered as going through a grey divorce are couples over the age of 50.

In 2010, over 640,000 people in this age group got divorced. That’s roughly one in four divorces, compared to one in ten in 1990.

If we assume that these rates remain constant over the next two decades, a conservative assumption would be that the number of people over age 50 that experience divorce in 2030 would rise by 1/3, to over 828,000.

What are some of the concerns of those going through a grey divorce?

“I’ve worked for more than 30 years to support my family and now I’m ready to slow down, but the divorce will keep me from doing so.”

“Why does my spouse want a divorce when we’re both in our 60s and don’t have much time left?”

“I don’t want to end up a burden to my children now that I cannot support myself and have no spouse to care for me.”

“We chose not to save aggressively for retirement because my husband expects a large inheritance. If we get divorced, I will have no right to that inheritance.”

“My husband has been gifting assets to the children from his first marriage. I’m worried that there’s not going to be anything left for me.”

How can a CDFA or other professional help people going through a grey divorce?

1) Retirement planning:

  • Social Security
  • Pension Maximization
  • Taxes affecting retirement income

2) Estate Planning:

  • Legacy planning
  • Current or planned asset gifts programs
  • Co-ownership of assets

3) Health care:

  • Current health care planning
  • Long term health care insurance

4) Alimony:

  • Short duration of marriages
  • Splitting fixed income
  • Lump sum buyouts

If your clients are experiencing a grey divorce, it’s important to contact a CDFA or other divorce financial professional to help mediate these very complex issues.

Robert D. Bordett, CFP®, CDFA®
Strategic Partner

Financial advisors face few challenges as emotionally charged and potentially difficult as clients trapped in family conflict. Just ask Robert D. (Bob) Bordett. Whether it’s marital separation or divorce, the care of elderly family members or death and estate settlement, an advisor’s knowledge of a client’s finances is never enough; industry professionals must be able to help families set conflict aside, seek agreement and preserve valuable assets.

A Certified Financial Planner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Bob Bordett has devoted much of his career guiding couples, families and business partners through difficult situations to arrive at fair and practical solutions. As Senior Vice President of Atlanta’s Consolidated Planning Corporation, Bob specializes in mediation, collaborative divorce, divorce planning and financial planning. He maintains a private practice, Collaborative Practice and Mediation Services, Inc., applying Alternative Dispute Resolution methods while serving as a financial neutral. Bob is also a Registered Mediator and Arbitrator with the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution.

A recognized expert on financial issues impacting divorce, Bob has published widely, appeared on CNN, spoken at a variety of conferences and led seminars across the country. He has held leadership positions in a number of industry associations including the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the Institute of Certified Financial Planners and the Family Mediation Association of Georgia. He is a founding member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and serves on the board of the Professional Mediation Board of Standards. But perhaps most importantly, Bob brings genuine compassion, commitment and a desire for positive outcomes to every client’s unique circumstances.

Bob frequently partners with Marsha Schechtman, LCSW, who brings a deep understanding of family dynamics plus expertise in communication strategies to her work. For a representative list of Bob’s speaking topics, please visit the Speaking page under the Services section.

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