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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


A sobering statistic reveals divorce is on the rise for those between the ages of 50-59, according to Statistics Canada, and in many cases, women tend to feel the financial burden of it. While marriages are still the norm for many, others facing a so-called grey divorce may find their golden years might not be so golden, as our Bloomberg partners recently reported.

Grey divorce can be emotionally devastating and financially draining especially if you don’t see it coming. Sadly, you may have checked all the boxes to set yourself up for retirement success: you raised your children, paid off the mortgage, and retirement funds are topped up.

But one box you might not have checked is becoming suddenly single.

With silver separations on the rise, here are few considerations.

1. Never abdicate responsibility for your financial future. Take the time to understand what you have in assets, liabilities and where you money is coming from in retirement.

2. Pensions and retirement income can be split without financial penalty. However, keep in mind there will be less money coming in to a single household.

3. Take a tough look at your expenses. Starting over is costly and lifestyle changes are inevitable.

4. Income-splitting opportunities will come to an end so make an appointment with your accountant to understand your new tax reality.

5. Marriage contracts can be put into place at any time. Best is never used but invaluable if needed.

However, single living is so much more than making ends meet. Socialization is a key part of retirement and seniors today who are finding themselves alone are increasing reaching out to others in a similar situation looking to share accommodation, costs, and life experiences.