If you are a resident of Missouri who is over 50 and considering a divorce, you are not alone. Gray divorce has continued to increase even when the divorce rate for younger couples has decreased. Of particular concern are the financial consequences of ending long-term marriages as they approach retirement. To protect yourself financially, you should avoid certain financial errors as you negotiate your divorce settlement.
Be knowledgeable about your assets and debts
The first step toward negotiating a fair divorce settlement is to understand what you own and what you owe. If you were the spouse who was not in charge of finances in the marriage, this is vitally important. To avoid negotiating a settlement with terms that do not benefit you, you need to identify all the marital assets and debts you will be dividing. Marital assets include all property acquired during the marriage, except for gifts and inheritances. Some of these assets include:
• Savings and investment accounts
• The family home and other real estates
• Valuable physical property, art, or jewelry
• Retirement accounts, pensions, and life insurance policies
Understand the cost of health insurance and plan how you will cover it
Health insurance after gray divorce can become a costly expense that you will need to figure out. Finding out your options for health coverage post-divorce and how you will pay for it is important during your divorce settlement negotiations.
Do not forget to consider retirement accounts and pensions
Even if you are only a few years away from retirement, it might be easy to forget to include retirement accounts and pensions as part of your negotiations. However, in most cases, you will be entitled to a portion of what was earned during the marriage.
Finally, remember to investigate the tax implications of all financial decisions made during this period. Taxes can significantly impact the final value of your settlement.