Retirement and divorce: learning to move forward

Law Office of Dawn R. Underhill

Despite the tough economic times of the past several years, many Joliet residents have done their best to continue saving for retirement. The economic downturn certainly may have set some individuals back in that goal.

According to a new study, it is not just the economy that can set people back on retirement planning. Those individuals going through a divorce may also feel a significant hit, if they do not plan properly.

The study looked at baby boomers, who are divorcing at high rates, in part because of the longer life spans of today’s Americans. Indeed, one in four divorces came from individuals aged 50 and older in 2010.

Of course, older individuals tend to have built up more assets, making for a more complex property division upon divorce. The impact to retirement income can be particularly significant if individuals fail to plan for their life after divorce.

This is because retirement income is now split in half among the divorcing spouses, who will spend the money separately, which costs more. Experts noted it can cost more to retire as two single people, rather than a married couple. For some, this may mean delaying retirement or adjusting previously thought out plans.

It is not all doom and gloom, however. Individuals can adjust their retirement plans while going through a divorce. Proper planning is paramount in any divorce, according to experts who discussed the study above.

For instance, by working with a qualified divorce attorney and financial planner, who work together on a favorable settlement, individuals can properly adjust their retirement plans to account for their new lifestyle. Indeed, in complex property division cases, attorneys might work with a team of experts who specialize in certain areas, which can help a person obtain a favorable divorce settlement and move on with their lives. Accordingly, in these complex cases, it is all the more important to utilize the professional experience of a qualified attorney and other experts.

Source: USA Today, “Boomer divorce: a costly retirement roadblock,” Rodney Brooks, Feb. 26, 2013

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Retirement and divorce: learning to move forward