You made it through raising kids, buying and selling houses, and you never thought, after all that time, that you would want to say goodbye to your spouse. Whatever the circumstances and for many reasons, it is a time that may be harder than any other. One in four couples over the age of 50 divorce and in this sad situation, there are things to consider that would otherwise be less of an issue. At KNR Consulting Group, we know how hard a divorce can be and want to make the transition easier by helping you understand what to look out for and how things like retirement and other financial aspects can be affected. We are not only financial advisors but also want to help guide you through this transition with care.
Alimony helps the lower earning spouse by giving assistance with their financial needs until they can get back on their feet and can support themselves. In cases that involve younger couples, alimony is usually only given temporarily. However; with divorces that occur later in life, alimony is typically given for life, although it depends on the state and the judge making the decision.
The money that you have spent years, even decades saving for retirement, is probably going to be split in half. This is the case even when there is no one “at-fault” for the divorce. In some cases, spouses offer more of his or her pension to avoid alimony payments, but take into consideration whether the income is taxable or not. Talk to a financial advisor to see what could happen with your retirement money if a divorce is in the works.
If you’ve lived in the house for years, it is difficult to let go of the memories, but it oftentimes makes the most sense to sell the house. With courts generally splitting assets equally, keeping the house means the opposite spouse gets something of equal value, usually retirement savings or cash payments. With potentially very expensive house maintenance costs and property taxes, along with a smaller retirement savings amount, this could put the spouse who keeps the house in a financially difficult situation. It is common to sell the house and split any profit, however emotionally challenging that may be.
As opposed to a divorce for a younger couple with children who have to deal with child support and custody, a gray divorce also needs to take the children into consideration. When children are still being provided for in some way, for example, if they have a disability or if they are in school, the decision needs to be made whether or not to continue this financial support and how to divide the support between spouses.
Stay Married on Paper
If at all possible, separating rather than getting a divorce will save you money and worry over how to split assets. Divorces can be costly and taking that money out of your savings will only hurt you later down the road. You also won’t have to worry about paying alimony, another potentially costly outcome of a divorce. If your relationship can hold up to splitting assets without a lawyer, it would be beneficial to everyone.
Get a Prenup
Getting a prenuptial agreement before saying “I do” doesn’t mean that you don’t trust the other person or that they love you less. A prenup is just keeping your assets safe in the event that the relationship goes in a different direction that wasn’t planned. Being prepared for all possibilities is only a precaution and if it means you don’t lose out of money that belongs to you, then it was a good precaution to take.
Ultimately, if the final decision is to get a divorce, contact KNR Consulting Group to see what sort of impact it will have on your finances. We can give you advice on what will happen with your social security retirement benefits and financial advice that could save you your retirement money. The financial planning that was done throughout your marriage still has value, talk to a financial advisor at KNR Consulting Group to ensure that you keep as much of your retirement money as possible.