If you and your spouse are calling it quits after decades of marriage, you are not alone. Divorce after the age of 50 has become commonplace in our society.
However, older people face some unique challenges in terms of financial security. Here are four tips to help you weather later-in-life divorce.
Understand the complete financial picture
You must become familiar with your current finances and how that picture will change in a post-divorce world. Make copies of all your financial documents and statements and catalog assets such as jewelry, collectibles, vehicles and even your adored golden retriever. Give one copy to your attorney and keep one for yourself.
Think about liquid versus illiquid assets
Think carefully about the assets you want to keep. For example, you may want to keep the family home, but homeownership requires upkeep and property tax payments in addition to the mortgage. This is an illiquid asset that might have an adverse impact on your budget. Think in terms of liquid assets, such as retirement accounts.
Prepare for a different lifestyle
If you are working, you may have to wait longer than anticipated to retire. If you have not worked in several years, you may want to consider rejoining the workforce. The judge may award you alimony, but a second source of income would provide additional financial security. Remember that after the divorce is final, you may have to downsize and become used to a smaller budget.
Rely on professional help
To fully understand your finances, both current and future, consider adding a financial advisor or an accountant to your legal team. Rely on professionals to help you weather your divorce and prepare for the next chapter of your life.