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‘Grey’ divorcees face retirement shortfall

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“Grey” divorcees – those who divorce at age 50 or older – envision a rocky road on their way to a secure retirement. Many say they will work longer than planned and concede their savings post-divorce may not adequately fund their golden years.

Those were the takeaways from a research project conducted by Investors Group, a financial services company based in Canada. In October, the firm reviewed more than 1,000 completed survey forms submitted by respondents who had been divorced or broke off a common law relationship after age 50.

An overwhelming majority – 80 percent – of these “grey” divorcees plan to work longer than expected, thereby putting their retirement on pause. More than half – 62 percent – say their post-divorce savings and investments are inadequate to support their retirement.

Nearly half (44 percent) found it difficult to make financial decisions involving their divorce, while 31 percent said it was an “overwhelming” task to organize their finances after a divorce or separation.

Adjusting their retirement plans post-divorce was undertaken by 53 percent. Of that group, 55 percent say their plans were completely altered, and 47 percent admit they will have to scale back their expected retirement lifestyle. Those who classified their divorce as “bitter” report having a more difficult time with their finances.

Advice helps

When queried on whether they sought financial advice during their divorce, 74 percent of “grey” divorcees testify the guidance was sound and 82 percent agree the advice was helpful post-divorce.

Those who received financial advice before their divorce expressed more confidence about retirement, with 39 percent indicating they would have enough savings and investments to fund the retirement they had planned. Of those who did not consult a financial advisor, only 28 percent believe they still have enough funds for a secure retirement.

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