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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Ensure your retirement even in a divorce

No matter your age when you go through a divorce, there is always a chance that you could end up worse off financially then when you were married. This is often the case when you go from two incomes to one or from one to having to look for a job.

For couples age 50 and over, between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate has doubled. This, according to a study done by at the Bowling Green State University, is in sharp contrast to the overall rate of divorce, which has stayed rather flat.

A divorce is likely to decrease your income, increased living expenses and less wealth. For those over 50, you won't have as much time to build up your savings and retirement as before the divorce.

There are some ways that you can protect the finances that make up your retirement. First of all, you may want to sell the house. Moving somewhere less expensive can be profitable. For example, if you were to put $500 in savings each month and draw a 5 percent return for the next 10 years, you will have put back $77,000 for your retirement. Income from the sale of your home can be used to increase your portfolio, too.

Your divorce decree will state who gets what, including retirement funds. If your ex is supposed to pay you half of what is in his 401(k), make sure you get. You don't want to have it invested in something unprofitable or have your ex borrow from it. You should file a qualified domestic relations order for each pension or 401(k). These QDROs will authorize the transfer of your share; however, they can also cost between $300 and $500 each. Military benefits, public pensions and individual retirement accounts all have their own paperwork that has to be completed. Make sure your divorce attorney sees everything through to the end.

These are just a few of things you should concentrate on if you are over 50, divorcing and concerned about your retirement. At Laura Dale & Associates PC, we can determine other ways to ensure your retirement money is there when you need it. To learn more about divorce and retirement, please take a look at our webpages on the topics.

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