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Consider your retirement savings when you divorce

Responsible Colorado residents save throughout their working life for retirement. However, what happens to your retirement savings and Social Security benefits if you divorce? That's something that everyone should consider -- particularly at a time when an increasing number of people over 50 are divorcing. In fact, according to one study, about a quarter of people who divorce are over 50.

If you earn less than your spouse, you may have counted on your spouse's retirement savings and Social Security benefits to help support you in your retirement years. However, what happens if the two of you divorce?

Colorado is not a community property state. It's an "equitable distribution" state. That means that marital property is not necessarily divided in half, but in an "equitable" manner. Generally, that gives the advantage to the spouse who is the larger earner.

If you are nearing retirement age and are considering divorce or believe that your spouse is, it is wise to get financial and legal guidance to determine just how much money you will have to live on based upon your own savings via 401(k) and other retirement plans. You should also look at your Social Security benefits. You can access these on the Social Security Administration website.

Planning for your post-divorce financial future is essential at any age. However, the closer you are to retirement when you divorce, the more important it is that you have the funds that you need to live your retirement years in comfort. This is something that you and your Colorado family law attorney should discuss to help ensure that you seek a fair settlement in the divorce.

Source: The Denver Channel, "5 retirement assumptions you can't make anymore," Michelle Buonincontri, Credit.com, July 29, 2015

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