Since 1990, the number of adults over the age of 50 in Arizona and around the country who have gotten a divorce has doubled. The number of people over the age of 65 who have gotten a divorce has also increased significantly in recent years. However, there are many things that those who have gotten a divorce wish that they had known before they had their separation finalized.
First, it may be a good idea to hire both a financial planner and a forensic expert before the divorce is finalized. This may help to uncover any assets that are being hidden by a spouse such as business earnings or a secret bank account that should be subject to asset division rules. Second, an individual over the age of 62 who was married for more than 10 years may be entitled to collect up to half of their former spouse’s Social Security benefits.
Finally, it is advised to go after a Roth 401k account in a divorce settlement as opposed to alimony, fighting for a traditional 401k or taking control of a house. This is because the money can continue to grow tax-free and may be eligible to be withdrawn tax-free one time without incurring any type of early withdrawal fee.
A divorce is as much a financial event as it is an emotional event. During the process of negotiating a divorce settlement, it may be a good idea to hire experts who can help an individual increase his or her odds of getting all the money or assets that he or she may be entitled to under the law. With good planning and foresight, it may be possible to be financially comfortable after a divorce while also keeping taxes to a minimum.
Source: Forbes, “The Big Money Mistake Divorcing Women Make“, Kerry Hannon , July 03, 2014