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Divorcing Baby Boomers: Plan for retirement

Over the past two decades, the number of people over 50 years of age who have gotten divorced has risen steadily. In fact, according to a study conducted by Bowling Green University, from 1990 to 2010, the number of so-called Baby Boomers who got divorced doubled.

In 2009, one out of every four divorces in the United States involved individuals at or above 50 years of age - in total, more than 600,000 people over the age of 50 got divorced that year. This trend is particularly noteworthy when considering the overall divorce rate in the United States over the same period. From 1990 to 2010, the divorce rate for all demographics stayed about the same across the country.

The Bowling Green study identified a few characteristics that seemed to reflect higher divorce rates among older couples. For instance, the study showed that people who had previously been married or who had been married for a short time were more likely to get divorced later in life. Those who had been married previously were reportedly 2.5 times more likely to get divorced than people who were in first marriages.

Make a retirement plan when divorcing later in life

When a couple decides to divorce later in life, there are certain factors they ought to consider to ensure their continuing financial stability. While all couples ought to consider retirement when divorcing, it can be particularly important for couples who have fewer years left in the workforce.

In many cases, people who get divorced later in life will have amassed a large retirement fund with their spouse during the course of the marriage. As retirement will likely cost more for two single people than one couple - experts estimate between 30 to 50 percent more - both spouses ought to consider how they can best prepare for retirement after the divorce.

First, individuals should consider their expectations for retirement. They should consider questions such as:

  • When do I want to retire?
  • What type of lifestyle do I want to maintain during retirement?
  • When can I retire and still maintain that quality of life?

In addition, some people may have retired before deciding to get divorced. In some situations, those people may decide that returning to the workforce for a period of time is the best option to ensure their financial security.

In addition to discussing finances with a qualified divorce attorney, talking about the best possible options with a financial planner may be wise. Of course, consulting with a skilled divorce attorney is a good way to ensure your rights are protected throughout the divorce proceedings.

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