You didn’t meet your spouse until much later on in life. Perhaps you were in your late 30s, and you’d focused on your business for most of your life. Your spouse, when you started dating, was just in their early 20s. They were going to college nearby, and the two of you had no idea how big the age difference was when you first met.
You didn’t find out until your third date. By that time, it was so clear that you had hit it off that you decided it must not be a big deal. You kept dating and eventually got married. You never really thought twice about it. You felt and acted young for your age, and your spouse seemed mature for theirs, so it worked perfectly and you clicked.
That may work for a time. But it could cause problems in the future, when you feel that age difference in a whole new way. If it does, it could lead to a gray divorce.
For instance, imagine that you retire when you turn 65. You want to move to Arizona, buy an RV and travel around the country. You consider these your golden years, and you know how you want to spend them. You worked so hard for so long just to get to this point.
Your spouse, however, is still in their late 40s. They have more than a decade before they play to retire. They don’t want to move. They don’t want to give that up.
You end up thinking that there is no way to compromise. If you give up what you want, you may be too old to enjoy it by the time your spouse retires, or you may even have passed away. If they give it up, they may never have a chance to take their career where they want. By the time they actually hit retirement age, they could find themselves moving forward alone, feeling like they never did everything they want to do. They may also lack the financial means to enjoy their own retirement.
This is why some couples end up divorcing as they drift apart. Neither one wants to sacrifice what they worked for, and they find out that they have to go their separate ways. The age difference didn’t seem to matter when they were younger, but it really changed as they got older.
If you do find yourself facing divorce later in life, you have to consider the impact on your retirement and some complex asset division issues. Make sure you know exactly what legal options you have.