Divorcing after 50 comes with financial consequences

Older residents in Washington who might be thinking about a divorce need to also consider the financial implications. With retirement age much closer, older adults should carefully plan for their finances before the divorce is final.

Protecting retirement goals

When older adults split up, they will need to figure out how to protect their retirement goals. These goals might include social security benefits, retirement accounts and even the anticipated costs of nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The financial challenges faced by older adults when they divorce include figuring out realistic budgets to maintain their quality of life, which can sometimes mean adjusting their cost of living or even moving to areas where their savings might go further. As part of the negotiations during the dissolution of the marriage, spouses will need to look at retirement accounts such as 401(K)s and negotiate their division.

Getting social security benefits

Divorced older adults often fare worse financially than their married and widowed counterparts. Social security benefits might offset some of their financial issues. However, social security is usually reserved for people who have worked at least 10 years, which might prove a challenge for people who have been out of the workforce for a very long time. However, some people can claim benefits based on their ex-spouse’s work record, if they meet certain requirements. These include:

  • Being at least 62
  • Not having remarried
  • Having spent at least 10 years married to their ex-spouse
  • Having an ex-spouse eligible to receive social security benefits
  • Having a social security benefit lower than the one they could receive from their ex-spouse’s work record

Making sound financial decisions during the divorce process can go a long way towards protecting yourself from the financial repercussions of a split at an older age. Consulting financial experts and a lawyer with experience in family law might also help you create a sound financial plan for life post-divorce.