Being single after being married for a long time (thirty or forty years) can be liberating for some people but mostly no matter whose decision it was to end the marriage both parties are frightened and uncertain. Suddenly the image of the golden years has changed significantly.
But with some careful planning you can not only survive but thrive. Here's four things to consider to help you on your way:
New family dynamics
Regardless of Court Orders or agreements there's a good chance that family dynamics will be different when the dust all settles.
The shared family home may be sold, or only one party living in it. This can mean that previously shared family occasions such as holidays and get-togethers will need to change.
There is no right way or wrong way for families to behave following separation but it is important to remember this kind of change is inevitable and it will take time to get used to.
Moving out of the family home is always difficult.
It's important to think about what it will be like to live alone after sharing a house with someone for so many years. It's a big adjustment, but perhaps more so if you feel unsafe or worried about safety and asset protection.
A reality of getting older is that some of us need extra help. You may be able to look after yourself fine right now but what about in 10, 15 or 20 years? You may have children or other family who can help care for you.
Or you may need to set aside finances to pay for care expenses when the time comes. It's important to plan ahead so you're prepared for the future.
Finances are a big deal at any stage of life but particularly so when nearing retirement age. On top of the day-to-day finances such as rent or mortgage, utilities and bank accounts there is social security, superannuation pensions and insurance policies to consider. If you were the one who didn't handle the finances during the marriage just getting an idea of these things can take time.
But if you are to divorce close to retirement age you may not have much time to financially re-establish your self.