Laurie Denker MacNaughton © 2020
According to the US Census Bureau, the rate of divorce has been falling for the past 25 years across all demographics – except for adults over the age of 60. Among this age group, the divorce rate has nearly doubled in the same time period.
Though the reasons for divorce remain fairly consistent across all age groups, those going through a “silver divorce” may face issues specific to aging.
Typically, the greatest challenge facing long-married couples is division of assets. This can become very involved at any time, but there may be additional considerations later in life, in part because there simply has been more time to accrue…well…stuff.
For most couples, the single most valuable asset is the marital home. In a divorce, typically the marital home is sold and the proceeds divided per the Property Settlement Agreement. However, a job, proximity to specialists, or failing health may suggest moving is not the best option for one party.
If one spouse is intent upon – or is in need of – staying in the home, one way to accomplish this can be by means of a reverse mortgage.
Older homeowners are likely to have equity enough in the home for the proceeds from a reverse mortgage to pay the departing spouse’s portion of the marital share. This often makes retention of the home possible, without saddling the spouse remaining in the home with a monthly mortgage payment.
A reverse mortgage will not work in every “silver divorce.” But in many divorces involving homeowners in which at least one party is aged 62 or older, it’s one of the few ways a Property Settlement Agreement’s financial mandates can be met without selling the home, depleting financial reserves, or acquiring a monthly mortgage payment in the retirement years.
Divorce is no one’s “Plan A.” But as the classic line goes, life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.
If you would like more information on how a reverse mortgage might help you or someone you know, give me a call. I always love hearing from you.