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High asset divorce can hurt retirement plans of those over 50

These days, divorce rates for 50-plus individuals in Illinois and the rest of the nation are on the rise. Indeed, married individuals who are over the age of 50 have twice the chance of getting divorced than they did 24 years ago. By 2030, some estimate that approximately 800,000 divorces will occur annually in the United States for this segment of the population.

Divorce is emotionally difficult to handle, but it can also negatively affect retirement plans -- especially for Illinois residents who are 50 years of age and older. These individuals are more likely to have large retirement accounts, savings and investment accounts, pension plans and real estate assets that will have to be divvied up during high asset divorce proceedings. Once both spouses go their separate ways, they may need to re-evaluate and downsize their retirement plans.

According to a spokesperson for the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, divorcing spouses may benefit from hiring a skilled divorce attorney to ensure they are treated fairly during the asset division process. Forensic accounting may also be useful in order to track down assets and make sense of the financial complexities and tax consequences associated with a break up.

Going through a divorce for individuals over the age of 50 can be like completing an extremely complicated business transaction. Financial figures, tax consequences and other numbers must be crunched to ensure that each party is receiving his or her fair share. Fortunately, a skilled attorney and financial planner will be well versed in these topics and 50-plus Illinois spouses can seek out their advice to navigate a high asset divorce as intelligently and painlessly as possible.

Source: The New York Times, "Retirement Plans Thrown Into Disarray by a Divorce," June 27, 2014

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