Getting divorced later in life can cause problems for your retirement plans, if you don't take steps to protect your finances

Going through a divorce can be emotionally and financially draining no matter your age.

People tend to worry more about young couples with small children and their security. However, divorce can be just as tough on older couples — especially if they’ve been married for years and have tightly tied together their assets and their future plans.

Although divorce rates are falling for Americans overall, “gray divorce” is on the rise. According to the Pew Research Center, among U.S. adults 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s. Though second marriages and shorter marriages are most at risk, according to Pew, “a significant share of gray divorces do occur among couples who have been married for 30 years or more.”

Splitting your assets and starting over takes courage, patience and research. A late-in-life divorce can endanger retirement success for both spouses, who may end up living on half the income they expected but with many of the same expenses.

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