When I started getting into trouble I became pretty acclimated to legal procedures. Calling my attorney and working out bail was just another way to spend a Saturday night. Unfortunately, the stiffer the charges, the more difficult it was to talk my way out of a bad situation. After so many charges, I found myself slapped with a long jail sentence, and I realized that I wanted to turn things around. Fortunately, my lawyer was able to walk me through yet another process, so that I could make the right changes. My blog discusses how to emotionally cope with legal issues so that you can start living a good life.
Sometimes, life can be unpredictable. You probably didn't plan to both divorce and retire at the same time—but it happens all the time. Before you untie the knot, take care that your divorce plans won't negatively hinder your financial independence as you move to a fixed income and retirement. Read on for some thoughts and considerations.
Ask for the Support You Need
Did you know that you are far more likely to be awarded alimony (or spousal support) if you are older? While alimony is far from as popular as it used to be, those who can show a need for it should ask for it. If your spouse won't agree to pay you voluntarily, the family court judge will evaluate your need based on your age, education, your previous (married) standard of living, job skills, and health. It takes a lot more income to live as a single person, especially on a fixed income, so don't neglect to ask for this important form of support.
How Long Have You Been Married?
Not being nosy, but it's important to stay married for at least 10 years if you are concerned about your Social Security retirement benefits. For divorced parties who were previously married for at least 10 years, you may be entitled to one-half of your spouse's Social Security benefit when you reach retirement age. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will automatically provide you with the highest benefit based on either your earnings or your ex-spouse's earnings. Your ex need not know anything about this choice, and it doesn't affect their benefit at all. This benefit disappears, however, if you remarry.
Need More Retirement Money?
If your spouse has a 401(K), you may be entitled to some of it even if you have your own fund. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) should be executed separate from the divorce proceeding but before the issuance of the final divorce petition. You should be ready to deposit any funds from the QDRO into an investment vehicle to avoid paying income tax on it. Get the ball rolling early on this since it may take a while for the paperwork to go through.
The above three issues are just the beginning of financial concerns for those about to be divorced and at the same time retired. For more financial ideas that will have you worrying less about money, speak to your divorce lawyer right away.Share