Cindy Allen & Associates PLLC

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Divorce after 50 can hurt retirement plans

Married Oklahoma couples often pay less per person for their grocery bills and other monthly expenses than single people do. When a person goes through a divorce, the increase in expenses can come as a shock. That's why it's crucial for a divorcing person to review their income and expenses and come up with a new budget.

The financial toll of divorce can be especially hard when people are over the age of 50. If they were planning to retire soon, it can disrupt their retirement plans and make retirement seem further out of reach. Most people sustain a drop in income after divorce, but women experience almost double the decrease in monthly income that men experience. For retirement age women who are headed for divorce, evaluating things like marital retirement assets and Medicare eligibility can be crucial for financial stability.

Even if people did not work during their marriage, they may be entitled to a portion of their spouse's 401(k) in the divorce settlement. A divorced person can also claim Social Security benefits based on their ex-spouse's work history as long as the marriage lasted for at least 10 years. If a divorcing spouse is under age 65, delaying the divorce until the spouse is eligible for Medicare may be worth considering.

People who are facing the end of their marriages and who are worried about how a divorce will affect their finances and retirement goals may want to talk to an attorney. In some cases the attorney can help in negotiating an overall settlement agreement that protects the client's future.

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