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Divorce can impact retirement plans for Illinois residents

Divorcing a spouse late in life can quickly shred an Illinois resident's retirement plans. Unfortunately, it is an experience that an increasing number of people are having, with the divorce rate among people age 50 or older doubling from 1990 to 2010. During this same period, the overall divorce rate remained flat.

One way for people to protect their retirement plans is to sell their homes. Although staying in the family house might provide some stability during a divorce, it may take away a person's chance to increase his or her retirement income. If two divorcing individuals decide to sell their home, one of the individuals may decide to use the money from the sale to create a larger diversified portfolio that generates income for him or her.

It is also important to set values on assets such as insurance policies, pensions and IRAs, as well as to determine what one's long-term needs are financially. Financial planners can be immensely helpful in this area. It is additionally wise to revisit one's beneficiary designations and estate documents. Even if the beneficiary of a person's investment account does not change following a divorce, the documents may still have to be re-executed to reflect the divorce.

Divorce in Illinois is a complex process with many financial, as well as emotional, implications. Proper legal guidance may help people going through this process to fight for their fair share of assets and fully understand their rights. Both parties have the right to seek their best interests while considering the other's wishes during this type of family law proceeding.

Source: Time Money, "Don't Let Divorce Derail Your Retirement", Carla Fried, March 3, 2016

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