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Financial Tips for Divorce After 50

Here are some tips for those divorcing after 50. While they are also important for younger people getting divorced these tips are critical for those that are over 50.

  1. Review estate planning documents. This is the time to get an estate plan if you don't have one and to revise your estate planning documents as soon as you are divorced if you do have estate planning documents in order. In addition to getting a new will you also need to check beneficiary designations on insurance policies, IRAs, retirement accounts, and any similar documents. If you don't do this you could find that your former spouse ends up receiving assets that you intended for your grown children or grandchildren to receive. In conjunction with estate planning documents you also need to consider a new health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney. You are much more likely to become disabled than to die so having powers of attorney in place so that other people can help you in the event of a disability is critical.
  2. Review retirement assets. If you were divorced some time ago perhaps your former wife is entitled to part of your retirement. Was a Qualified Domestic Relations order ever drafted in order to divide that retirement account? I often find myself working with clients who come in after divorcing 10 or 20 years ago only to find out that Qualified Domestic Relations orders were never drafted to divide their retirement account by their former attorney. This is a pretty common mistake that can cost you thousands of dollars and prevent you from retiring when you planned to if not handled correctly. Check with the plan administrator of your retirement account to make sure all paperwork is in place to divide your retirement account. You don't want your former spouse to get more than he or she is entitled to and these are the types of problems that need to be remedied sooner rather than later.
  3. Plan for Social Security. If you were married for 10 years or more prior to divorcing then you are entitled to a portion of your former spouse's social security benefits. As you approach retirement contact the Social Security Administration and schedule an appointment to better understand your benefits. Oftentimes these appointments must be scheduled at least 3 months before you actually retire so finding out what you are entitled to and when you are entitled to it is never a bad idea when it comes to retirement planning.
  4. Meet with a financial advisor. If you haven't met with a financial advisor yet now is the time to do so. You may need to make a new budget, cut down on spending, increase retirement contributions, plan for disability and/or for retirement. You need to think in the long term and discuss your financial goals with a good financial advisor. Oftentimes your divorce lawyer can refer you to someone that can help you with this. If you are divorcing and you are over 50 this is a must.
  5. Protect your divorce settlement with insurance. If you are to receive monthly payments or payments over time from your former spouse those payments are only as good as your spouse is alive and well and able to make those payments. That means in order to fully ensure you receive those payments you need to require your former spouse to maintain life and/or disability insurance so that you actually receive the money you are entitled to.

For more information contact a good divorce lawyer today at columbiafamilylawgroup.com.