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Retirement a top consideration for divorce later in life

In Nevada, and all over the United States, older couples now divorce at higher rates than in the past. Many consider their home the largest asset in their marital estate, yet when couples divorce later in life, the assets they hold for retirement may be far more substantial.

While older spouses face issues similar to many divorcing couples, they face a more pressing need to make plans regarding retirement. Investing in a consultation with a certified financial planner during the early stages of a divorce represents a wise investment for the future. This advice often proves invaluable once the process of property division begins. Financial planners offer important insights regarding retirement planning options. They might offer strategies on the best ways to use Social Security benefits and discuss the rules for dividing retirement accounts and assets.

Older individuals have less time to recover from any financial challenges that commonly result following a divorce. Some people might not realize they are entitled to receive a portion of their spouse's retirement accounts during a divorce. A qualified domestic relations order issued as part of a divorce decree will allow all or part of a retirement account to be transferred without the imposition of the normal income tax penalty assessed on premature withdrawals.

In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, negotiating a divorce settlement commonly involves determining amounts for alimony and who will get to keep the family home, and an attorney who has experience in divorce law can be an invaluable asset during the negotiations. However, of all the issues older couples need to resolve during a divorce, having enough money to live comfortably in retirement may represent one of the most important.

Source: Forbes, "The Big Money Mistake Divorcing Women Make", Kerry Hannon , July 03, 2014

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