Protecting retirement assets in late-in-life marriage or divorce

The baby boom began after World War II and ended as the Beatles invaded the U.S. in 1964. While divorce is difficult at any age, divorce late in life brings with it financial challenges that younger people simply do not yet have to face.

One of the biggest challenges in so-called “gray divorce” is the division of property that includes retirement plans and 401 (k) plans and similarly substantial assets.

For older people who plan to remarry after their gray divorce, another challenge looms: protection of their retirement assets. Experts urge a cautious approach to remarriage that can include the creation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, as well as financial counseling that helps make financial matters transparent between the people about to become a married couple.

“Look at all your finances before you enter into the love game,” a financial advisor said. “One of you might have more to bring to the table, especially if you’ve been through a divorce.”

Also, sit down with your prospective spouse and find answers to questions that can include the following:

  • Should we maintain separate bank accounts?
  • Will we get a new home or do we keep the homes we have?
  • How might estate planning decisions affect our finances?
  • What are the tax implications of our decisions?

“You want things to work out with your . . . spouse and also make sure your kids are not disinherited,” said another financial advisor.

When you’re talking over estate plans, make it clear which assets you plan to pass on to your children, worthy causes or other heirs.

“There are ways they can be fair to the new spouse and preserve assets for the heirs,” said a senior planning advisor.

To learn more about how your assets can be protected in divorce and how to make sure that your rights and interests are protected in any property division dispute, speak with an attorney at The Siemon Law Firm.

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