8/8/2023 | By Charlie Fletcher

Research from the United States Census Bureau found that more than 40% of adults 55 to 64 years of age have gone through at least one divorce. So, if you’re going through a divorce or recently finalized one, you aren’t alone. Navigating a major life transition such as this requires a good bit of internal effort to rebuild. Nonetheless, a meaningful life after a divorce is yours for the taking. You can successfully navigate divorce in the golden years by following these tips.

Work with a financial planner

Divorce can be debilitating for many reasons, including the negative financial impact which, in turn, impacts one’s quality of life.

A lot of the financial concerns during a divorce have to do with splitting up possessions, and a variety of factors can go into determining who gets what. For example, when dividing real estate after a divorce, considerations include the state you live in, the type of divorce, and the length of the marriage.

Hopefully, you were able to divide assets amicably. Regardless, you should work with a financial planner to reestablish yourself financially. A financial planner can help you manage real estate and other assets from your divorce.

If the divorce leaves you less financially stable, especially if you were not the partner managing the finances, an advisor can offer guidance on:

  • Saving
  • Investing
  • What to do with your income
  • What bank accounts you need
  • How to live comfortably in retirement

Getting on more solid financial ground will give you more freedom to live your post-divorce life how you want to.

Build a support circle around you

Older individuals already deal with isolation and loneliness. A study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine indicated that about 25% of Americans age 65 or older were socially isolated, with many reporting feeling lonely.

Related: “The Effects of Loneliness on Senior Health”

Also, adults 50 and older are more likely to experience factors that worsen social isolation and loneliness, like losing family and friends and facing a chronic illness.

woman eating alone at a restaurant, not happy being alone, possibly because of a golden years divorce

Divorce can also exacerbate social isolation and loneliness. It can impact your emotional state, and cause you to withdraw. You may feel like you don’t want to be around anyone, including friends you shared with you partner. Or you may hesitate to go out solo. These feelings can lead you to stay home more frequently.

Keep in mind that isolation and anxiety are connected. For example, you could be isolating yourself because you’re so anxious about what people will say about your divorce. Isolating yourself can induce anxiety if you know friends want to see you, but you just aren’t up for it and then you feel bad about it.

Related: “Meatloaf and Gossip: Learning to Navigate Through a New Chapter of Life”

Cycles like these can add to the challenge of navigating divorce in the golden years. But building a support circle around you can help.

Those in your support circle should be understanding. They should go with you at your pace in your divorce journey and respect that pace. They should be authentic, trustworthy, and willing to have hard conversations with you.

Close family and friends are an obvious choice for your support circle. Consider bringing these individuals in as well:

  • A therapist
  • A support group
  • People you volunteer with
  • Online communities

Fostering healthy relationships can make this life transition much easier to manage.

Rebuild a fulfilling life

A birthday party of senior friends, for article on navigating a golden years divorce and rebuilding a fulfilling life.

When you spend years with someone, you build a life together. You have many of the same aspirations, hobbies, and responsibilities, which you have worked together on to craft the life you dreamed of.

So, after this divorce in the golden years, you essentially have to rebuild your life as a single person. You have to tap back into the individuality that may have left you long ago when you were raising children and being a spouse.

Think of this as the fun part. You get to find yourself again and rebuild a fulfilling life – based on what you alone enjoy. Start with a sit-down with yourself. Ask yourself what kind of life you want to live going forward and what you want to accomplish.

Then, make notes about how you can achieve this life vision. Does it start with self-care? What about a new hobby? Are you starting a business? Do you want a pet as a companion to motivate you?

Determine what will fulfill you now and in the coming years, and make a plan that helps you do everything on your list. So much goodness still awaits you.

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees” – Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can find more of her writing at