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Denver, Colorado, is number one in gray divorce

| Jul 23, 2020 | Divorce & Legal Separation |

The mile high city is no stranger to winning, to being number one. However, once recent number one ranking will not be getting a championship parade: we are number one in gray divorce, ahead of every other U.S. city. Gray divorce refers to divorces among seniors.

The data

According to SmartAsset and U.S. Census Bureau data, 28% of residents, aged 65 and older, have divorced. This is 15% higher than those under 65. This has been a trend since the 1990s. The divorce rate for adults 50 and older has nearly doubled. For those aged 65 and over, the divorce rate has tripled since the 1990s.

Why it matters

It matters because a divorce later in life can have dire financial consequences. The data shows that people who divorce later in life can be less financially secure, and at the most extreme end, poverty rates are high in this group, approximately 19%. That state becomes much starker when one looks at the numbers for married seniors (1% to 3%) and widowed seniors (13%).

The most direct effect is to the gray divorcees’ finances, and because of their age, it is much harder for them to earn their money back. The longer a couple is together, the more integrated their finances become. The family and vacation homes, cars, joint bank accounts, and retirement accounts are just some of the possible financial assets that will need to be separated. If a business is involved, the complications only increase.

What you may do

This is why contacting a professional early, often before initiating divorce proceedings can be so important. Professionals, like lawyers, accountants, etc. can help those thinking about divorce lessen the effect, or at least give one an idea of how to proceed. As the numbers show, protecting one’s assets can be the difference between a maintaining a lifestyle and poverty.