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When a couple calls it quits

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Monday, May 19, 2014
Posted: 4 pm ET

© Aletia/Shutterstock.comDivorce is hard on your finances when you're young, but when you divorce after you've been married for many years, the financial impact can be even greater.

Securian Financial Group surveyed people who had been married longer than 10 years. About 35 percent of the respondents had been married longer than 20 years.

The survey found a couple of significant things that anybody who is approaching retirement and considering divorce might think about. For one thing, 89 percent of those surveyed had not remarried. Secondly, 51 percent said that their financial situation after the divorce was a little worse or much worse than it was before the divorce.

Pay attention

Jane LaLonde, a CFP and financial adviser with North Star Resource Group in Minneapolis, is working with a number of older men and women who are getting a late-life divorce. She says too many of them have ceded family financial management to their spouse and as a result they don't understand their situation -- and what they don't know can hurt them. "They trusted that person to take care of them and it didn't work out," she says. "You can't afford not to be a participant."

She says anyone, but particularly someone facing divorce, needs to learn the details of these retirement planning basics.

  • How much insurance, savings and investments the couple has and how to locate the accounts.
  • What the available retirement and pension plans are and how they are structured.
  • How the family business is set up and how much it is worth.

LaLonde believes that too many people facing late-life divorce just give up. "In an attempt to not disrupt family life even further and not have their children be even more angry, people -- particularly women -- settle for less than they are entitled to. They are taken advantage of," she says.

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8 Comments
JustSaying
May 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Why would anyone support Gay Marriage? Better be careful of what you wish for... Read these stories, it could happen to you. It happened to my cousin... No different, straight, gay, whatever this is society...and the way we Americans are thinking.

taylor
May 21, 2014 at 11:10 am

i got a divorce after 30 years with a woman i was thinking id be with till i died but not so i dont have anything against any woman but ill never get married again i see it as you may call it love theirs no think called love is the way i see it, the thing really is what can you do for me thats the way i see woman doing in these days and if it comes to divorce its all on the man why is that?are woman just kids and cant take care of them self's? i was walk over like it all was my doing not so it takes 2 but its not all bad sometimes its best to split but it is hard to start over when your in you 40 plus and put all your life in one woman or man.

matt cheney
May 21, 2014 at 7:36 am

PEOPLE ARE USEING married AS A JOKE IF THEY NOW YOU HAVE RETIREMENT THEY STAY MARRIED FOR 15-- 20 YRS AND GET A BIG HOURES AND ALL THE FUN STUFF AND HAVE 1 OR 2 KIDS THEM END YOUR MARRRIED SO THEY CAN GET CHILD SUPPORT HALF OF YOUR RETIREMENT
AND PAY OFF HALF THE DEDIT AND DIDIT THAT YOU DID NOT MAKE BUT SHE DID BUT THE LAW SAID YOU HAVE TO PAY HALF OR DEDIT.BUT AVERYTHING IS CUT IN HALF BUT YOU MADE MORE THEN HALF OF THE INCOME BUT YOU OLNY GET HALF BACK NOT FAIR, IF YOU PUT MORE INTO IT YOU SHOULD GET MORE OUT OF IT.WHAT FAIR THE LAW IS NOT.

Len
May 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm

I recently went through a 5 year divorce where I have to pay her close to $2,000.00 a month for maintenance. I am gainfully employed as her attorney stated. My wife is not. I have a High School diploma, she has a bachelors and masters from two highly reputable state universities. Oh, and the reason for the 5 year divorce, so she could seek employment and not be dependent on me. Now she needs another 5 years of my support.

baebara
May 20, 2014 at 7:27 pm

We've been married for 28 years and for the apst 3 years I've been a caregiver as he has vascular dementia among other things. It;s both our second marriage. His daughters used to call nim a few times a year, but in the past year, the contact kept growing until it was daily (which I encouraged as they were estranged for many years after his divorce from thie mother). Little did I know they were convincing him, in his mentally confused and vulnerable state, that I was somehow harming him until he became violent and threatened me with a knife if I !. didn't give him the car keys (his doctors told him to stop driving 3 years ago), and 2. give him a divorce. The daughters removed him from our home, are financing his end of the divorce, have cancelled all my utilities, want him to move back in here and for me to move (anywhere) and to give him alimony and pay his legal expenses. Oh yes, he's 75 and I'm 72. It seems that they suddenly realized that he didn't have much longer to live and if we were still lmarried I would get this house and the vacation house and the life insurance (not much) and his Social Security. They want all this plus everything I had before we were married (inherited stuff and my retirement savings. Their stated goal is to leave me penniless and homeless. This is so rich as their dad wasn't even working and owned nothing than a 10 year old car and get a PBA pension of about $1000/mo. Today, his income is well over $50,000 and I get $10,ooo/yr in social security. Most of my retirement savings have been used to pay downpayments on houses, taxes and emergency repairs over the past 28 years. Less than a quarter remains and they want that too.

Advice: Beware of step children and have a prenupt. Looking back I can see the need, but you are in love and could never imagine needing one. Phooey!

Isabel
May 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

My name is Isabel and sixteen years ago, I came to live in the United States, and I met this nice widowed old American man, who had been marriage twice before me. I was at that time, 43 years old, and he was around 80. We lived together for over 16 years and although I was living with him all these years, I was not happy but I knew that he needed my help, after all he couldn't drive anymore, his eyes sight were deteriorating day by day,and I decided to stay with him till the day he was walking with me at Walmart Store in Flemington, and he fell in my arms, he died right there, on April 27, and now I've been feeling lost without him. How many times he asked me for divorce? I lost account I just ignored him, because I knew that we were going through a very difficult financial situation,and besides,he had only me to take cared of him. Anyway, during all these years,I tried to convince him to sell the house and to buy a condominium before the bank take the house away from us, but his answer was always that, he would leave his house,only over his dead body. Sometimes, he used to tell me that he gave me everything, but I knew that the only thing he was going to leave for me, a lot of bills to be paid, and I don't have any pension to support the bills. Today,I've been still living in the house, but I don't know when or where I am going to live. 16 years of marriage, and in return, he just left me broken, hopeless, and I'm still wishing,that he rest in peace, after all, I'm not a mean person,the only thing that I wanted in my whole life, it's to have a place to live when he couldn't be with me anymore. Today I look back, and I ask myself. What I did, why he never thought about me for one second. Nobody can take anything when he or she dies, and whatever you do to those who helped you so much, and he did what he just did, I hope that God forgive him, because I already did.

Governmentsuxs
May 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

It can cost you or set you free just remember one thing its safer to rent.

Plantagenet
May 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I went through a divorce a long time ago. I got cleaned out. If I get married again; it will happen again. Not me. I have nothing against women. Most are beautiful, intelligent, funny & warm hearted. It is the business of divorce. At my age now? I could never recover from the emotional & financial trauma, again. The worst case single case divorce I have read about. Actor Brendan Fraser. His alimony & child support payments are a whopping $900,000 a year. I paid my child support on time all the time for 15 years. My ex-wife used it for her drinking escapades. I got out of alimony payments on a legal technicality.

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