Divorce growing among retirees

For many people, it’s the surprise wrench in their otherwise perfect retirement planning. Finances are in check, spending is under control, debts are paid, and bills are manageable. But experts are warning people that if you’re married, don’t assume that your finances can be simply combined into one pot, because married couples can divorce at any age.

According to a recent article in the Toronto Sun newspaper, the number of Canadians over the age of 65 who have divorced has doubled since the 1980s. And if that happens, it can radically alter the financial situation of a couple looking forward to retirement.

“There is an unprecedented number of couples who are going into retirement and going through a divorce at the same time,” Caroline Dabu of the BMO Financial Group told the media outlet, who recently published a study on the topic. “The financial implications are very different and more complex.”

She told the news source that retiring as a couple is much cheaper than retiring as a single person, because assets are pooled and costs such as rent, groceries and transportation is shared.

With an aging population across North America, and more people moving into assisted living communities and retirement homes, divorce among retirees may become more common in the future.