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Navigating the Gray Divorce ‘Life-Quake’ with Andrew Hatherly

Divorce at any age challenges families and individuals looking to restart and rebuild their lives, relationships, and finances. The growing phenomenon of divorce after 50 has unveiled unique circumstances surrounding deeply rooted family ties, established finances, complex asset division, and retirement questions, requiring a specific skillset to equally manage the intricacies of property division and the human psyche preparing for and recovering from major life change.

With established finances and relationships at stake, working with a financial analyst who understands the impact of gray divorce - financially or emotionally can be invaluable. Andrew Hatherley, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, founder and CEO of Wiser Divorce Solutions and Transcend Retirement, host of The Gray Divorce podcast, and member of the Amicable Divorce Network, prioritizes a human-first approach in his work with divorcing couples, maintaining that relationships are the key to longevity, creativity is the catalyst for change, and money is simply a tool to help people reach their potential.

For decades, Andrew guided individuals through the financial changes and challenges of retirement and divorce as a financial planner. It wasn’t until his own divorce at 52 and his personal experience navigating the ‘life quake’ that disrupted his retirement plans that he realized the potential impact of his work when applied to the unique challenges of later-in-life divorce.

“It is not uncommon as people grow, they grow apart. Many times they realize that the life they want is different than the life they have. That realization can come at thirty-five but it can also come at sixty-five, posing a completely different set of challenges and circumstances.” - Andrew Hatherley, CDFA, Founder and CEO, Wiser Divorce Solutions and Transcend Retirement

Following his experience with gray divorce, Andrew shifted his practice to help educate and coach clients on how to build a financial foundation for a meaningful life after divorce. His personal experiences and extensive background in financial management give him the key insight to help clients navigate gray divorce without the financial and emotional stress that is considered commonplace in divorce negotiations. As a member of the Amicable Divorce Network, Andrew’s practice prioritizes collaborative legal methods to resolve divorce disputes with respect and integrity, aiming to keep proceedings out of court and financial and emotional costs low.

“My financial advisory practice and divorce practice try to incorporate the human element as much as the financial. Money can be a resource to help us find happiness in life, but it alone is not what determines our happiness.”- Andrew Hatherley, CDFA

While divorce is not just about money, the impact of financial decisions, money management, and asset division in gray divorce are fundamental aspects of a successful future. With less time to recover from financial disruptions later in life, seeking the help of a trusted and experienced advisor to help resolve and rebuild from a financial planning perspective is crucial to stability and security.

Andrew’s podcast provides a wealth of information and insight on how to navigate the particulars of various financial topics of gray divorce and their impact on families including navigating relationships with adult children to understanding prenups and postnups. He speaks at nationwide events, detailing his personal experience with gray divorce and the importance of self-awareness in the pursuit of happiness after divorce.

“Older people have much more ability to grow, change, and develop than we think. After a life change like a gray divorce, it is important to be honest with yourself, emphasize your strengths, and focus on what energizes you. - Andrew Hatherley, CDFA

One of the concepts Andrew communicates is the statistical differences in how gray divorce impacts men and women. He shares that the economic impact of gray divorce tends to have greater repercussions for women who may have raised children and forfeited a career while men take a larger hit on social and emotional ties in relationships as bonds with friends and adult children frey. He advocates for a holistic approach to gray divorce and sees value in maintaining a healthy disposition, equal opportunity, and room for growth without confrontation. Andrew’s practice celebrates personal growth and enables individuals to navigate a major life transition such as divorce feeling primed for the future.

"Divorce after 65 brings unique challenges; it's crucial to seek support from a team of specialists, not only legal, financial, and emotional, but when needed, specialists in lending, insurance, and other areas. Divorce coaches can be a tremendous resource also.” - Andrew Hatherley, CDFA

The shifting societal acceptance of divorce, longer life expectancy, the increased economic independence of women, and personal development have all contributed to the increasing trend of gray divorce across the United States in the last thirty years. As cultural norms shift and more mature adults find themselves unfulfilled in their relationships, ready to seek change, Andrew is prepared to usher them through amicable divorce solutions including financial mediation, settlement support, and post-divorce assistance.

“Many people experience personal growth, satisfaction, and new opportunities after divorce. It is tremendously satisfying to help people through that process.” - Andrew Hatherley, CDFA

In a society that believes life peaks at mid-age, it is essential to recognize that life can be fulfilling and meaningful despite disruptions. Gray divorce challenges societal norms and embraces the start of a new chapter. Having the right support team on your side as you reinvent yourself fosters a more inclusive and optimistic perspective on divorce, and creates an opportunity to pursue independence and happiness.