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Divorce late in life could result in poverty

A divorce for Texas residents who are nearing retirement age might leave them in poverty as they age. Bowling Green State University's National Center for Family & Marriage Research found that the number of people over the age of 50 getting a divorce doubled in the twenty years between 1990 and 2010. This may be one reason that of people older than 65, around 20 percent are still working.

Other research found that of Americans over 62 who have never been divorced, the poverty rate is only 3.4 percent. It is 19 percent for people who divorced after the age of 50. There are a number of ways that people suffer financially as a result of divorce. One is that they are no longer splitting expenses such as housing and utilities. They may also receive less in Social Security payments. Another is that their retirement savings may be split in half. Some people, and women in particular, may agree to trade their share of the retirement account for the home. This can be costly to maintain and also puts them behind in retirement savings.

For remarried people who got divorced after the age of 50, the poverty rate is only 3.3 percent, but second, third and later marriages are all more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. This could mean another divorce at an older age.

People of all ages who are facing the end of their marriage might want to consider how they will prioritize their financial security. They may also want to think about how negotiations with their spouse might go. For example, if they think it is likely that their spouse will try to hide assets, negotiation outside of court might not be the best option. However, if both spouses are honest, they may prefer making an agreement about property division without going before a judge.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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