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Coloradans: How divorce could affect your retirement

Most marriages are entered into with the intention of lasting for the rest of the couples' lives. When that doesn't happen, both parties have to deal with the emotional and confusing process of deciding what to do with their life together and their soon-to-be lives apart. Statistics have shown recently that there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of divorces occurring in couples over the age of 50 - going from one of every ten divorces to one of every four over the last two decades or so. While the numbers may shock some, those who are going into the divorce process closer to their retirement age likely are bearing the weight of a much different turmoil.

Luckily, there are some ways to make this process a little bit easier on Colorado citizens. One of the first ways to go about figuring out how to do this is to take a step back and focus on what your life could be like after the divorce. Oftentimes, much of the difficulty of divorce rests in the sadness of having lost one's life partner and a sense of being lost and uncertain can be anything but comforting. For those who are affected strongly by this fear, look at the ways in which you can still stand on your own feet and what you want for yourself. Especially for those close to retirement, your plans after leaving work will likely not be what you thought they were, so reassessing can be an opportunity for healing in some cases.

As well, one other thing that can help in the divorce process is to understand your financial state as well as possible. While your ex-spouse and you may have had an understanding of your joint situation, there are certain things that will definitely change once you are no longer married. One thing that could help is working with an attorney to discuss different kinds of spousal support or something called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order regarding retirement plans, if eligible.

Coloradans seeking help in this troublesome time could have the burden of a divorce later in life eased by working with professional legal counsel who could look at their specific case. As scary as it is, there are ways to move forward and begin your retirement in a good place.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Going through a gray divorce? Focus on your retirement savings," Suzanna de Baca, Jan. 9, 2013

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