When they decide to end their marriage, older people face different concerns than younger couples do during the divorce process. For those who divorce later in life, protecting their financial health may become a greater concern. What should older people know about protecting their finances in divorce?
Retirement savings may play a more significant part in property division
Older people invested in their retirement for longer than younger couples, meaning that their retirement accounts are often worth significantly more. They may have also earned valuable benefits like a pension from their work.
Older couples also have less time to rebuild their savings after divorce, and people who have already retired at the time of their divorce will likely have no time to recover. If a couple planned their retirement savings around retiring as a single household, that savings may not be enough to support them after they part ways.
Because of these two factors, the fate of retirement savings can be a particularly contentious aspect of property division. Older people may want to give the division of retirement benefits additional thought when approaching their divorce to protect their financial health.
Older people must also consider other benefits they will rely on in retirement.
In addition to their retirement savings, people should carefully consider government benefits like Social Security when approaching their financial and legal strategy in divorce. For example, in some cases one spouse will earn significantly different Social Security benefits than the other. In these situations, the spouse who would receive less may want to consider applying for benefits based on their ex-spouse’s record. This could offer additional support.
While protecting your financial health in a divorce later in life may be challenging, it is possible to create a strategy that protects your finances today and the support you need in the future.