Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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Late-life divorce is not cause to give up on retirement plans

If you have been married for several or dozens of years, most couples have discussed retirement at some point or another. The ideal goal for most married couples is to retire at a certain point in time. But what if your marriage is not going to make it to that time, and it is approaching closer every day? Some who are soon-to-be divorced may think they have to kiss their retirement plans good-bye, but this is not necessarily true.

Consider that married couples share expenses, which is a luxury not afforded to single people or the newly divorced. While this is unavoidable, retirement doesn't have to be a forgotten dream. Simply working a few additional years more than originally planned could make retirement a reality. Selling the family home in the divorce (rather than one spouse keeping it out of nostalgia) is a great way to pare down debt and increase savings.

Paying off joint debts prior to, during, or even after a divorce can help both parties achieve their retirement goals. If divorcing spouses are amicable, this could be a good means of achieving the retirement dream as a single person. Everyone's financial situation is different and this will determine how the financial aspects of divorce will play out as well. There are ways to find common ground and to achieve the retirement plan, if even by modified timeline as a newly divorced person.

This is good news for many who may be worried that their retirement dreams are dashed due to a late-life divorce. There are many ways to make retirement a reality, even as a single person. Whatever measure is taken, any sacrifices can be worth it long term. For many people, retirement may be a worthwhile goal to sacrifice for, whether married, single or divorced.

Source:, "Don't let a late-life divorce ruin your retirement plans," Janna Heron, May 4, 2016

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