Although divorce rates appear to be dropping overall, divorce rates are increasing for couples 50 and older. The divorce process is expensive for couples of any age but the ramifications for older couples may be much more severe.

The kicker of gray divorce is that it affects couples so close to retirement. A divorce can have a devastating impact on a couple’s savings. For years, the couple planned and saved for retirement together, now that money will have to be split up and divvied out.

Can you recover?

The closer you are to retirement the less time you have to financially recover. One spouse may get hit harder than the other. If one spouse stayed home with the children, they will only receive half of the social security benefits the working spouse will receive.

In addition, the standard of living for both spouses is likely to decrease after divorce. According to a financial analyst, the standard of living for men decreases by 21% after divorce. Even worse, the post-divorce standard of living decreases by 45% for women.

3 tips for replenishing your retirement fund

It is best to financially prepare before a divorce. If possible, speak with an experienced planner before filing for divorce. Talking to an attorney or financial adviser may help your situation.

When you are unable to prepare for divorce before the process begins, your finances may take a hit. Here are three tips for rebuilding your savings:

  1. Create a budget
  2. Speak with a financial adviser
  3. Save more than you did before

These three tips may help you begin to replenish your savings. A gray divorce is likely to have a negative impact on your retirement fund. You may have to work for a few more years than expected. Remember that researching options before divorce is the best way to protect your finances.