Retirement is something many people in Dallas work hard to achieve. When you have put in your time and effort in the work force, retirement is a time that should be enjoyed and protected.
Divorce, however, can threaten your retirement. As the divorce rate for people over the age of 50 continues to climb, it is important to consider how a split could affect your upcoming retirement.
What To Think About If You Are Divorcing Near Retirement
Divorcing later in life is much different than divorcing in your 20s or 30s. After 50, your life is well-established and it can be more difficult to make necessary adjustments if divorce becomes a reality. Just because it is more difficult, however, does not mean it is impossible to recover and move on.
If you are considering divorce, asking yourself the following questions is a good place to start determining what you need to do to prepare.
- Do you know what you need? Do you know exactly how much money you need to live without your spouse and his or her income? If not, take some time to do the math. Take into consideration items like a mortgage or rent payments, car payments, insurance and other recurring expenses to determine a budget. This will help you better understand what to ask for in your divorce as well as what you should do after you are divorced.
- Will you need another source of income after your divorce? After you’ve established a post-marriage budget, you might find yourself wondering how you will make ends meet. If so, it may be wise to look into additional sources of income. For some, this may mean applying for Social Security. For others, it may mean downsizing to a smaller home, less expensive vehicle or cutting costs in other areas. If neither of these is an option for you, it may be worth considering taking up additional work or looking for a higher-paying job.
- Would putting off your divorce help? This may sound like a bizarre question – and maybe it simply isn’t an option for you – but delaying divorce in order to reach a financial milestone can help you fare better after the split. For example, if you and your spouse were married for at least 10 years – and you are at least 62 years old – you can collect retirement benefits through your spouse. If you haven’t been working, it might be beneficial to hold off on divorce until you hit 10 years of marriage or turn 62.
Of course, when you are divorcing close to retirement, retirement accounts will be important assets to consider during property division. Determining how best to approach them, however, can be complicated. To ensure you are well-prepared as you enter into divorce, it can helpful to work with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you assess your options and ensure your rights are protected throughout your split.