The Challenges with Divorce in Retirement with Lesli Doares, Ep #208

One of the biggest financial disasters that people can experience in retirement is divorce. In this episode, Grace Kvantas chats with licensed marriage and family therapist, Lesli Doares.

Lesli shares warning signs to look out for, misconceptions about keeping finances separate, and how seeking marriage counseling in retirement can be a benefit. Your marriage affects every aspect of your life, so listen in for tips to communicate about your finances more effectively in your relationship.

Gray Divorce Could Cripple Your Retirement

Gray divorce has been in the news lately due to the rising rates of divorce in partners that are in their 50s and 60s. This phenomenon is caused by several factors. Many times people put their marriages on autopilot during their working years. They don’t spend quality time together and once they are faced with an empty nest the marriage is so far gone they don’t know how to get it back.

People don’t typically plan their marriage the way they plan their finances, retirement, their kids’ education, or their career trajectories. Without a proper plan in place, marriage can fall by the wayside.

Red Flags That Could Lead to Divorce

While it takes two people to get married it only takes one person to get divorced. So, you could answer the following questions to evaluate the current path of your marriage communication.

  • Do you resolve difficult situations well?
  • Can you communicate well about difficult topics?
  • Have you stopped discussing your relationship?

Handling Disagreements

John Gottman’s research has found that two-thirds of marital arguments go unresolved, which is okay because you can’t agree on everything. It’s the one-third of important things, like the way you manage your finances, that are essential to find common ground.

However, you should never agree to something that you don’t agree on. If you feel like you don’t have a choice, the decision will lead to bitterness.

Surprisingly, compromising in a marriage is not always the best strategy. Compromise can breed resentment. When you feel that you have to sacrifice to make things work it can lead to discontent.

By setting up a joint agreement policy about certain issues, you can both decide which topics are the most important to agree upon before taking action. Remember, marriage is a meeting of equals.

Save Your Marriage, Save Your Retirement

Divorce is the number one risk to a couple’s finances. If you divorce in your 50s or 60s you could lose up to half your nest egg and future income at a time when you may not have time to make it up.

In many cases, it is better to repair the marriage than to end it. 85-90% of marriages that end in divorce could be resolved.

Learn what you can do to bring back the connection in your marriage.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] Our article of the week
  • [3:02] The troubles with grey divorce
  • [7:02] The red flags to look for in a marriage
  • [15:22] The long-term effects of gray divorce
  • [21:01] The myth of keeping finances separate

Resources & People Mentioned

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