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Considerations for older adults who are divorcing

Pennsylvania couples may be divorcing after three or more decades of marriage more frequently than in the past. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, in 2014, people at or over 50 were divorcing at double the rate they were in 1990 and people over 65 were doing so at an even higher rate. The process of dividing up lives after so many years together may be complicated both emotionally and logistically. Furthermore, there may be serious financial implications for people who are close to retirement or who have already done so.

Overall costs may rise since people are no longer sharing a household, and for people who are on a fixed income, this can be particularly challenging. Making a budget might be necessary. Some people may need to return to the workforce. Staying physically fit and creating a resume that highlights important skills may help in the job market. With the numbers of older single adults rising, there is also a growing trend of them sharing a home, and this may be another way to save money.

Experts believe the decrease in social stigma around divorce is one reason it has increased with this age group. Older woman are also initiating divorces in greater numbers because they want a change.

This type of split may also be a high-asset divorce because the couple may have accumulated many assets over the years. These assets may include real estate, multiple types of investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, collections and more. Couples might want to negotiate the division of their property rather than having a judge decide because they may have their own reasons around how that division proceeds.

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