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The negative impact of divorce on retirement

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2016 | Divorce

A Virginia couple that is facing the end of their marriage might find it beneficial to avoid going before a judge to decide property division matters. In cases in which both parties can work together to find a satisfactory settlement, there could be a significant level of legal savings. However, the long-term costs of a divorce can be major regardless of the ease with which terms are decided, especially for those approaching their retirement years.

The divorce rate in marriages involving individuals at or over the age of 50 has increased in recent years although the rate as a whole has stayed somewhat stable. Unfortunately, the financial impact can be particularly devastating in this older group because there is little time left to recoup losses. The cost of living as a single can be much higher, which can reduce the funds available to invest for retirement.

A divorcing person who wants to stay in the family home may find that the asset can be a financial drain. In many cases, it is ideal to sell a home and split the proceeds. Meanwhile, downsizing can result in the ability of a divorced party to increase investments. Those who are 50 or over have the ability to make catch-up contributions to retirement accounts as well.

The values of 401(k) plans and other investments need to be considered in light of the potential tax obligations that go with them. Additionally, it is crucial that people follow through in filing the qualified domestic relations orders to ensure that changes to such accounts are handled promptly.

It can be important to have reliable legal advice before starting divorce proceedings at any age. This makes it possible to have a clear understanding of possible settlement terms and to ensure that such terms can be enforced by a judge if necessary.