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A divorce later in life raises retirement concerns

Marriage is not easy. Even couples in New Hampshire who have lived together for decades often come to a point where they decide to go separate ways. While the decision of a person over the age of 50 to seek a divorce may be in his or her best interests, it could complicate their retirement plans.

The National Center for Marriage and Family Research claims that the divorce rate for couples who are 50 or older doubled, often called gray divorces, over the course of two decades. Some researchers credit the increase in part to the fact that many people are living longer lives. As a result, gray divorces represent approximately 25 percent of the divorce rate.

The decision to divorce later in life can create financial complications. Often couples plan for retirement with the intention of sharing expenses in the same household. However, some estimates indicate that it costs 30 to 40 percent more to maintain separate lives. As a result, it is especially important for those seeking a gray divorce to fully understand their financial situation and how the decisions they make during such proceedings can impact them. For example, when it comes to dividing assets, divisions should be made on future value rather than face value especially in regard to real estate and certain retirements funds.

When a person has spent decades with the same person, he or she often makes the decision to live life for him or herself, including taking action to end a marriage that will ultimately lead to a more fulfilling life. After spending so many years together, some people in New Hampshire seeking divorce may struggle to separate their emotions from the practical side of dividing assets. Fortunately, an attorney with experience concerning such cases can help them make rational decisions that will impact the rest of his or her life.

Source: The Washington Post, "Divorcing late in life? Don't let it destroy your retirement.", Martha M. Hamilton, Dec. 2, 2016

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