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Financial tips for older people preparing to divorce

Married people in Georgia age 50 and over belong to the demographic group with a rising divorce rate. The National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University has calculated that divorces among people over 50 have doubled since 1990. Retirement planning occupies the minds of people in this age group, and careful decisions could reduce financial hardships after a divorce.

People who are contemplating divorce needs to evaluate income and expenses and estimate how these will change once they are single. According to the Government Accountability Office, women experience a 41 percent drop in income after divorce. Income for men goes down by 23 percent. One financial planner recommended that a person should investigate ways to earn extra income through a second job or renting out a room. She warned that holding on to a family home could be a costly choice compared to the reduced expenses resulting from downsizing.

Medicare and Social Security benefits also play significant roles in financial decisions. Delaying a divorce until reaching the age for Medicare eligibilty could provide big savings compared to private health insurance. A person close to the 10-year milestone in marriage should consider the benefits of waiting to end the marriage. Social Security provides an ex-spouse to claim benefits based on the other spouse's earning record if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years.

The end of a marriage obviously carries with it monetary issues as well as emotional ones. A person who is facing a divorce may want to have legal assistance in structuring a settlement agreement that provides some financial peace of mind.

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