Your New Normal Part 2 – Suddenly Single
By Laura Chiesman
A few months ago I shared thoughts to help those who are dealing with the loss of a spouse – Your New Normal – Early Steps for the Newly Widowed and some of the changes that go along with such a difficult life transition. While widowhood is very often an unexpected and extremely emotional event, preparing ahead is commonly something people think about – we assume that if we’re married, one of us will end up needing to deal with the death of the other, whenever that day may come.
There is of course an alternate ending to marriage that most would rather not plan for, or even contemplate. Divorce, especially one that occurs after a long marriage, is a major event that impacts and changes previously made plans including lifestyle decisions, family finances and retirement options.
There is good news in that overall divorce rates have now stabilized and even inched downward, however the divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled since 1990. That’s especially significant because half the current married population is older than 50. In his book, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, Paul Taylor notes that more Americans 50 years and older are divorced than widowed.
Divorce is a big, complex topic and depending on an individual’s situation, working through the process requires input from various professionals. It is wise to consider engaging an attorney and consulting with tax and financial advisors. Decisions made early in the process can have long term effects.
What are some good first steps in those early, often emotional days? Gathering and documenting known information is a great, and somewhat soothing, start to dealing with an overwhelming situation. Click here for a list of information and documents that will be useful in preparation for initial meetings with your team of professionals.
This is just a starting point and may look a bit overwhelming, but it’s not necessary to gather everything immediately. It’s a process! Call a friend, take a deep breath and arrange for a little “me-time”. Then work with good, trusted advisors and get down to the business of planning for the next chapter of your life. Take comfort in knowing that your new normal won’t feel new forever, and with good advice and planning you can become confident that you are now steering toward a new horizon.
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. John Kabat-Zinn
If you need help with a life transition or a plan for your future please feel welcome to contact a WealthCoach™ here at our wealth services firm in Satellite Beach, FL – Melbourne/Brevard for a conversation to explore how we can help! We can be reached at 321.773.7773