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Protecting your finances when you're divorcing as a senior

In Washington, a growing trend known as "Gray Divorce" is taking rise among America's older generations. Gray divorce refers to older couples in or nearing their retirement years who decide to get divorced after years, often decades, of marriage.

This new trend comes with its own set of problems separate from divorces at younger ages. While older couples decide to divorce, they typically do so with their children already grown up -- thereby eliminating the hassle of child custody and child support. Older couples also have little room to spare when splitting assets and preparing for retirement.

Because senior citizens have very limited income-earning opportunities available to them, dividing assets can be a challenge. Financial advisement is essential to ensuring that both sides can come out of their marriage with enough funds to enjoy their retirement years worry-free.

Given these circumstances, it is recommended that divorcing individuals take an inventory of the less-common legal paperwork, investments and other circumstances that need to be addressed during divorce proceedings. For example, the retirement assets, pensions and other financial considerations should all be divided equitably and with consideration for their long-term value.

Wills need to be rewritten and other estate planning documents often need to be redone for both sides. The health conditions of each party also need to be considered, particularly in terms of how those health conditions will affect their financial well-being years into the future.

Source: Huffington Post, "Don't Let Grey Divorce Put You in the 'Red'!" Eva Sachs and Marion Korn, June 15, 2012

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