A study by the Pew Research Center has found that divorce among people 50 and over – also called gray divorce” – has doubled since 1990. Gray divorce can have a significant impact when couples must divide a shared retirement plan.
Dividing up your property in a divorce is always difficult. You end up with roughly half of the assets you had before. But when you are close to retirement, this division can be even more problematic. A division of retirement savings can leave you unable to retire comfortably. However, with a little planning, you may be able to ensure a comfortable retirement after you divorce.
Creating a post-divorce financial plan
As you go through the divorce process, you will need to recalculate your finances. Consider any new bills you will have like housing, health insurance or alimony. Then look at how much income you have coming in and the updated value of your retirement accounts. If you have already retired, your income can mean your distribution from your retirement accounts along with Social Security payments.
Calculating your new expenses and income lets you create a new financial plan. You can go through divorce and retirement well-prepared for your expenses.
Catching up on your retirement account contributions
If you are still employed, you may be able to recoup some of the losses to your retirement accounts. Employees over 50 can make catch-up contributions to 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRA). You may be able to increase the value of your accounts, making sure you have enough to retire.
You may even want to delay retirement. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that a few months of delayed retirement can be the same as adding a percentage point of your salary over 30 years.
Planning can help protect your retirement
Preparing for retirement can mean years of saving. But when you divorce late in life, you can lose a large portion of your retirement with only a few years left to save. With some proper planning, you may be able to make sure you can still retire in comfort.