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Financial planning for older divorcing couples is key

Divorce rates among couples in their 50s and older are increasing. People are living longer, and many people find that once their kids are grown and out of the house, they no longer have things in common. Sometimes they simply aren't happy anymore. Why spend what could possibly be another few decades of your life in an unhappy marriage?

One may assume that women fare worse financially than their husbands in these divorces. They were raised in generations where the men handled the finances in the family. Perhaps they spent little, if any, time in the workplace because they stayed home and raised the children.

However, a recent survey of financial planners by the American Institute for CPAs found that women are actually more likely to display smart financial behaviors following divorce than men. The survey found that female clients are:

-- About 14 times more likely to ask for professional financial advice as men

-- Almost four times as likely to improve spending habits

-- More than twice as likely to increase their savings

Of course, both men and women who divorce later in life may find themselves unprepared financially when they have to divide property and other assets and then live on their own. Living as a single person generally costs more per person than living as a couple.

There are areas where financial planners found that their clients were lacking in preparation. These included understanding:

-- How to manage personal finances (over 75 percent)

-- The long-term consequences of divorce (73 percent)

-- Tax implications of divorce (almost 57 percent)

-- How to update estate plans (over 51 percent)

-- The importance of increasing retirement savings (over 50 percent)

-- The importance of decreasing spending (almost 43 percent)

As people near retirement age, it's especially important to re-evaluate your financial situation. However, if you're going through a divorce, it's usually even more crucial. That's why it's wise to have trusted financial and tax advisors on your team in addition to an experienced Colorado family law attorney.

Source: InvestmentNews, "Women cope better financially with later-in-life divorce than men: CPA survey," Feb. 09, 2017

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