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A New York divorce later in life may affect retirement outlook

It is safe to say that just as every marriage is different, every divorce is also. Some couples may choose to divorce in the early stages of a marriage, while others may choose to do so in their later years. No one way is better than another. Couples in New York typically do what they feel is best for them, when they feel it is the right time to do it.

The so-called gray divorce, or divorce after the age of 50, is on the rise nationwide. In 1990, one in 10 people over the age of 50 got divorced. According to recent statistics, that number is now one in four. That’s a pretty significant increase. While divorce can affect finances at any age, those who choose to divorce later in life may have a few extra financial issues that need to be considered.

Several financial concerns include tax penalties upon dividing assets, pension and retirement fund division and keeping versus selling real estate. Tax penalties may apply regarding the division of some retirement and/or pension accounts. Filing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) can protect both spouses from these tax penalties. When it comes to real estate, looking at post divorce finances may help decide if keeping any real estate is an affordable option or if selling and splitting the proceeds is the better solution.

Couples spend a literal lifetime preparing for their retirement years. When a divorce happens close to that time, the financial consequences can certainly hamper retirement plans. However, if New York couples over the age of 50 truly desire a divorce, it is possible to create a fair settlement that can help reduce any financial fallout, allowing both individuals to make a relatively smooth transition into their next phase of life.

Source: Yahoo Finance, “Divorcing after 50: The financial hazards”, Jeanie Ahn, Aug. 13, 2014