Your one wild and precious life
‘Grey divorce’ was coined to reflect divorce amongst older couples. There is no requisite hair colour involved; instead, it typically includes anyone over 50. With studies showing the overall divorce rate dropping, the number of grey divorces is surging. Why so?
There are many potential explanations, including incompatible lifestyles; however, some grey divorce drivers are unique and more prevalent today than at any other time.
More autonomy for women
With women today enjoying an unprecedented level of financial independence, there is a higher expectation for happiness in career and life partnerships.
Longer life spans
Fifty is the new 40. Or is it 30? It is entirely conceivable that a person could live another 40 or more years on this planet. It is never too late to pursue a life of purpose and intentionality.
Empty nest syndrome
Babies are wonderful, but the distractions associated with raising kids can delay the realization that a couple has grown apart. When children leave, many couples take a pause in their quieter lives and decide that a change is necessary.
Poet Mary Oliver penned: ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’ This line is a reminder to stay focused on the pursuit of a fully actualized life. In no circumstance should anyone define that as settling for a life of financial ease but general discontentment.
That said, divorce can bring with it major financial implications, taking years and tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to navigate. There is also considerably less ability for appreciable recoveries in standard of living for couples close to retirement.
Often a mediated divorce comes with less conflict and expense. Therefore, many informed couples prefer to partner with financially savvy mediators rather than invest their wealth supporting the careers of adversarial lawyers.
With age comes wisdom, grey hair and often, one’s best years yet.
Christie Moser, CPA, C is a chartered financial divorce specialist and owner of Fairway Divorce Solutions offices in Alberta and British Columbia