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Divorce usually means changing your retirement plans as well

Divorce often has a ripple effect on your life. It doesn't just affect your relationship with your ex. It also changes where you live, whom you spend time with, your relationship with your children, your financial circumstances and perhaps your career.

That doesn't mean divorce has to be a negative experience. Many people look at divorce as an opportunity to rethink their choices and change the trajectory of their lives to ensure a happier future.

While doing so is great, you should also spend some time considering the practical and financial implications of your divorce. Specifically, you may need to spend some time re-evaluating your retirement plan and how you fund it.

Even with part of the pension or retirement account, you'll need more

The longer you and your spouse have been married, the more substantial your retirement assets probably are. You likely planned for several decades worth of living expenses for you and your ex. Unfortunately, those amounts depended on you and your spouse sharing the house and other costs of living.

After a divorce, you will have only a portion of the money you saved and double the share of the overall expense. You won't just have to pay your share of a mortgage. You will have to pay the whole mortgage on your own.

It's easy to see how the amount you have saved simply won't cover everything, in most cases. However, that doesn't mean you should avoid retirement or divorce. It just means you need to be strategic about both. Working for a few extra years, increasing your savings or even selling some assets can all be ways to fund your retirement after divorce.

Look at your finances, and plan for a reasonable retirement

It can be hard to predict the exact outcome of the asset division process in a divorce. However, it's reasonable to assume that you should receive an equitable share of the assets acquired during your marriage. Predicting the exact amount is difficult, but you can probably come up with a broad estimate.

From that estimate, you can then determine how much more you will need to save in order to reach your retirement goals. In some cases, it may be necessary to review the goal you set for yourself in light of your new circumstances. You may need to save more to cover more expenses.

Alternately, you may decide to scale down your expectations for retirement, such as reducing your intention to travel. That might mean that you won't need as much money to retire. Don't discount the financial impact of the divorce either. Spousal support, child support and the actual cost of a divorce can all impact the assets you have available in retirement.

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