Divorce for couples over 50 can seriously affect retirement.

It is no surprise to many that an ending marriage can be one of the most expensive and stressful ordeals a person can go through. These feelings can be compounded for couples over the age of 50 who have sometime been married for decades. There exists another very real danger for older individuals currently contemplating divorce, however: the process can have a substantially detrimental impact on their retirement if not handled correctly.

For this reason, it is especially important for people over 50 to keep a few things in mind when dealing with a marital split. For instance, one common misconception is that a primary household trumps all other assets when dividing property. While it can be true that a home is a valuable asset, it is also true that a house will generally cost more money to upkeep in the long run. Sacrificing saved retirement funds and other such finances just to keep the house could do more harm than good.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are many policies available to divorcing couples, especially those approaching 60 or older, which can potentially allow the withdrawal of retirement savings with little to no tax deductions. Further, not all savings accounts are created equally, and some will be subjected to higher taxes than others. Knowing these laws and regulations before blindly taking money out of an account to deal with a divorce can certainly save a lot of heartache in the future.

Finally, once an individual has knowledge of these policies, he or she must remain mindful of how much money they withdraw. Taking too much money out of an account prematurely can leave a person in dire straits later on. Above all else, keeping a level head is the easiest way to have a stress free divorce. In Maryland, if both parties can manage to come to some sort of mutually beneficial legal agreement quickly, then both have a much greater chance of happily moving on with their lives after the divorce is resolved.

Source: Forbes, 4 Divorce Mistakes That Can Derail Retirement, Marilyn Timbers, Aug. 21, 2013

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