Ending a marriage after the age of 50 is a life-changing event for anyone, but especially for spouses who may not be up to speed on financial matters.
Taking time to understand your current financial situation may help you bring a picture of life after divorce into sharper focus.
The more assets you have, the more complex the property division phase of your divorce will be. As an older couple, you and your spouse have probably acquired considerable marital assets: your main residence, possibly a vacation home, vehicles and probably some retirement accounts.
Changing your lifestyle
Since divorce may drastically reduce your retirement nest egg, you will have to start restructuring your expectations and make some hard decisions. For example, most people want to keep the marital home, but remember that this is an illiquid asset. It requires upkeep in addition to mortgage payments, which may put a big hole in your budget. Selling, pocketing the profit and concentrating more on liquid assets such as retirement accounts may be more in keeping with your post-divorce lifestyle.
Taxes touch many parts of your divorce: capital gains on certain assets you receive, such as brokerage accounts, for example. Professional guidance from an accountant or financial advisor may help you understand what kind of tax consequences you potentially face.
Planning for the future
After the divorce, you may have to do more with less and learn to live within a more limited budget. As an older person who may no longer work, you may have less time on your side in which to learn a new occupation and start a whole new career. However, even if you are to receive alimony, you may want to rejoin the workforce for the security a second income stream can provide. Once the divorce is final, you may want to consider making some prudent investments. By taking control, educating yourself and learning from professionals, you may still enjoy a sound financial future.