Paying close attention to the financial aspects of a divorce is important no matter your age. For those who fall into the baby boomer generation, however, there are some unique considerations. When you are in or near retirement age, your financial situation takes on a new and more immediate meaning. If most of your income-generating days are now behind you and you are divorcing, read on.
It's About Your Quality of Life
If you are like most, you're ready to relax and reap the rewards of a lifetime of work. More and more baby boomers are not quite ready for that gold watch, however. Fortunately, if you have reached your full retirement age you can continue to earn as long as you like and as much as you like without an impact on your benefits. The money you earn will only add to your Social Security and other retirement benefit accounts.
It's About Your Support
Not everyone that divorces in their golden years has been married for a long period of time but every spouse should consider asking for spousal support. You don't have to be sick, older or without the education to get a job to qualify for spousal support. All spouses that show a need are entitled to this form of support from their spouse. The determination is based on the other spouse's ability to pay and the resources of the receiving spouse.
It's About Your Security
Social Security, that is. Whether you have worked and earned a lot of money in your lifetime or whether your earnings are lacking, you might qualify for Social Security retirement pay. The Social Security Administration (SSA) takes a look at your earnings and one-half of your ex-spouse's earnings and you get paid the higher of the two. You must have been married for at least 10 years to qualify for this retirement perk and if you remarry, you will lose it.
It's About Your Marital Property
When you divorce, almost everything you and your spouse own falls into the marital asset bucket. Many divorcing spouses fail to realize that their spouse's retirement account also falls into that bucket. The money in certain qualified accounts, like a 401(k), can be disbursed to a divorcing spouse without incurring the usual penalty fees. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is separate from your divorce decree and has to be signed before your divorce is final.
Don't wait too long to speak to your divorce attorney about the above issues. Get in touch with a professional like Marlene Dancer Adams for more help.