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50-plus divorce and retirement

The 50-plus population demographic has surged since baby boomers have started getting older, and that means there are more divorces happening for people over the age of 50 as well. Because many people age 50 and up have amassed a sizable retirement, a divorce means that these important assets must be divided and the spouses must start re-planning their retirements.

However, soon-to-be spouses need to be careful when they are thinking about how their retirements will look following a divorce. According to an economist from George Washington University, most couples create their retirement plans with the idea that they will live together, and thereby save money on living expenses. As such, following a divorce, a lot of living costs will be doubled, so spouses will not have as much money available to pay for their needs.

Housing costs are usually the worst of the expenses. The individuals will no longer be sharing a home, but will require two, along with all the other costs that come along with owning an apartment or home. It is estimated that it costs between 30 to 40 percent more to live as a single person than it does to live together in a marriage.  

Because divorce — especially when individuals are older and have more assets — can be the largest financial transaction of one’s life, it is important for those considering divorce after 50 to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer and financial professional about the process ahead of time. With the assistance of these professionals, spouses can determine what the financial and legal consequences of their divorce will be so they know exactly what to prepare for. 

Source: Daily Herald, “Divorce after 50 can destroy even the best retirement plans,” Martha M. Hamilton, Dec. 11, 2016 

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