People going through a Divorce Over 50 have a wide variety of issues to deal with, but among the most important, and trickiest, is their finances.
To get some help on that subject, I sat down with Steven Pompan, a Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. Full disclosure, Steve’s a long-time friend, and handles my investments. He’s also been Divorced Over 50, and has made tremendous progress in finding his brighter future. Steve specializes in working with people in our demographic, and I’m confident you’ll find value in the interview that follows:
Divorced Over 50: First off, your philosophy regarding relationships sounds very similar to what we say here at Divorced Over 50.
Steve Pompan: Yes. Ideally, everybody should have a happy marriage. We all went into our marriages thinking they would be successful. However, things happen in life and directions change. Everyone deserves happiness. The Divorced Over 50 (DO50) network for both personal and business has helped my progress in adjusting to a new life.
Many visitors to Divorced Over 50 are either Di-Curious, or in the very early stages of their Divorce. If that’s you, it means that final decisions about post-Divorce finances have not been made, so there’s still time to get it right.
Lots of things change when you go through a Divorce.
In addition to ending your relationship with your spouse, you may also lose connections with friends. You may have to move into a new house or apartment. And for a significant number of people, it means going back to work.
Traditionally, it’s the formerly stay-at-home-mom who has to rejoin the working world, but it can certainly happen to men, as well.
And for Over 50’s who need to return to work after decades out of the job market, the process can be daunting.
If your Divorce has already worked its way through the court system, this post won’t do you much good (though it will have info you can pass along to others, or keep in mind if your next marriage doesn’t work out, either…)
But if you’re Divorce-Curious, still living together though someone’s leaving soon, or in the initial stages of your split, you will be faced with an important decision: File for Divorce, or start with a legal separation? Different states have different laws, so your location may affect your choices. But if you have an option, there are a number of factors you may want to consider.
Many Divorced Over 50 parents have kids of college age. Which means those parents are either spending a lot of money on their children’s tuition, or are about to.
Financial aid may be available, but getting it requires the daunting task of filling out a detailed application called the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). For divorced parents, it gets even more complicated.
We all know the reality of Divorce Over 50, because we’ve lived it.
We know that you can reach a point in a long marriage where you say, “This is not the way I want to live.” Or you have to decide, “Do I really want thirty more years of this?” Or you muddled through while living parallel lives, but “when the money ran out [and you] had to face each other,” you chose to get out.
And now a lot of non-DO50’s are learning about it, too.
Back in “the good old days,” retirement happened at 65, the company gave you a gold watch and a lifetime pension, and you led a life of leisure as you ran out the clock in Florida or Palm Springs. Today, most of the Over 50’s who stop working before 65 will do so involuntarily, many of those who have a choice will work past that age, and the notion of a guaranteed company pension is about as common as a pay telephone. Making a bad situation worse, a whole host of other retirement assumptions are proving to no longer be valid.