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  • Writer's pictureAlan Jacobs

Divorce After 50 Can Destroy Even the Best Retirement Plans

The phenomenon of late-life divorce is growing fast -- and blowing apart a lot of divorcing spouses' retirement plans in the process.

According to this article from the Washington Post, between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate among individuals 50 and older doubled, In part because of increased longevity, late-life breakups now account for one in four divorces. And they can destroy even the best financial planning.

"Most couples plan for retirement on the assumption they will be living together. When that assumption falls apart, it's not just a division of wealth but a doubling of the costs that makes both partners poorer," said Annamaria Lusardi, an economist at George Washington University.

Sometimes that might mean your first call should be to a financial planner or an accountant rather than a divorce lawyer. A financial expert can help you understand what's at stake. "Try to peel away the money from the emotions and try to understand the outcome you're going to achieve and how that's going to launch you into the next stage," said Jennifer Failla, a divorce financial analyst and mediator at Strada Wealth Management. She notes that going through mediation to obtain a divorce can save money, too.

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