Going through a divorce can be very difficult at any stage in life but once you are retired, being divorced has a different set of challenges compared to in earlier stages of life. Divorce impacts people in many different ways but for retired divorcees, these are some of the biggest difficulties:
No distraction of work
Even though you may look forward to the day you can retire so that you do not have to go to work, the time you spend at work can be a good distraction from going through divorce. Most people spend a large amount of their life at work and they have relationships with co-workers where they can feel supported when they are going through personal problems such as divorce. Once you retire, without the need to go into work every day, you have more time to think and worry about the divorce.
When you divorce during retirement, it can affect you more from a financial perspective. If you do not have an income to rely on, you may have been depending on your spouse’s pension to help pay for bills during retirement. Even if your pension entitlement is not affected by the divorce, separating can mean that you have more living expenses to pay as an individual, rather than as a couple living together. Instead of splitting bills, you may now be living alone and therefore paying the same amount of bills by yourself.
If you are considering starting divorce proceedings and need some advice about how it could financially impact you, you should speak to a family solicitor such as www.brookman.co.uk.
Retirement usually provides a lot of time for hobbies and following interests but if you had planned to do things together as a couple, you may find that living on your own is very lonely. If you have children who have moved out of home, you do not have the company that you would have had if you divorce earlier in life while the children still lived at home.
How to deal with divorce in retirement
Get a part-time job
Many retired divorcees consider taking on a small part-time job, either paid or on a voluntary basis if they do not really need the extra money. This helps them to feel more involved in the community and to spend their time doing something really worthwhile. It can provide company through regular interactions with people and can also be a good distraction from worrying about the divorce.
Start new hobbies
To try and avoid being lonely or bored, you should try and discover some new hobbies and interests. There are so many different types of groups and activities that you could get involved in, from joining a walking group, going to coffee mornings or taking up an art class, for example. It might be a bit scary to go outside of your comfort zone to start with but once you have met some new people you will probably find that there are a lot of people in the same situation as you.
If you have a local community centre, library or church, they may have some events that you could get involved in. Alternatively, if you are interested in joining a specific group such as a choir, book club, dance class etc. you should be able to find local groups by searching on the internet. Hobbies that get you outside of the house and socialising will be really beneficial to take your mind off your divorce and will help you to look to the future, starting a new chapter in your life.
Talk to your family and friends
Some people feel embarrassed to admit to their friends and family that they are feeling lonely after a divorce but you need your support network to help you to cope with your emotional journey through divorce. Family members might not realise that you are lonely unless you tell them and then they will hopefully make more effort to spend time with you or help you to find some new hobbies.
By talking to the people close to you, it can also help you to deal with some of the emotions you are going through and help you to make some decisions that will enable you move onto the next stage of your life. If you do not feel you can talk to anyone about your situation, there are other ways you can get support. Organisations such as The Samaritans or Age UK provide support to people going through difficult times, or for older people who may need some companionship if they are feeling lonely.
Getting divorced once you are retired is not always a negative outcome, it could be the second lease of life you need to pursue a hobby you enjoy, meet new friends and maybe even find love again.