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Tips for a gray divorce

Divorcing later in life may seem very scary. However, you may know at least one or two people that have divorced in their 50s, 60s or even 70s that are not only doing well, but are thriving. However, coming through a divorce at any age takes preparation. When you are divorcing later in life, child custody may not be an issue, but dividing up property can make a significant difference for your divorce settlement.

Your financial situation is most likely the issue that is weighing on you the most. Will you be able to maintain your current lifestyle, or close to it, without going back to work? Will there be enough left once you and your husband divide all the assets and debt for you to still live comfortably? The following tips can help you plan for your divorce.

Divorcing after 50 is different

As mentioned above, divorcing later in life comes with a different set of issues than divorcing at an earlier age. Your ability to retire, or stay retired, may depend on how you and your soon-to-be ex-husband divide the marital property. When you are examining your property and speaking with financial advisors, keep in mind that it is your goal to walk away with a settlement that has income-producing assets so that your retirement plans stay on track.

Look at the big picture

When you first decide to pursue divorce, you might already have in mind that there are certain assets you want to keep. Instead of setting your heart on the house, your goal should be to have a balanced and mixed portfolio of assets so that you can live comfortably and have a higher chance of withstanding any downturns in the economy or real estate market.

Dividing retirement assets

When it comes to dividing retirement assets, it depends on the type of retirement assets you are dealing with. For example, if your husband has a pension plan, you might be entitled to a portion of it. However, this will depend on the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). This is a court order that will specify how to divide the pension payments

If you are considering divorce, it is important to make certain preparations. By being proactive, you can come through your divorce with your retirement plan still in place.

Source: AARP, "5 Tips About Late-Life Divorce and Your Money," accessed Oct. 25, 2017

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