As you and your spouse get older, you may find that you no longer have the same goals or objectives in life. Your spouse may want to relax and take it easy each day, reading or participating in activities at home. You may want to travel and explore, go out and enjoy social life more often.
The differences in how you approach your retirement could be what results in your gray divorce, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you do decide that a divorce is right for you, remember that you will have a somewhat unique case in that you have many assets to divide. Among them will be your retirement assets, so you do need to be cautious about the negotiations you have and settlement you decide on.
Dividing your retirement: Consider all the financial implications
There are several financial issues that you will need to discuss during your gray divorce. You will want to go over:
- Your real estate portfolio and if you will sell or keep your home
- Your retirement income and if you should keep them separate or if you need to divide a single retirement
- How you’ll pay for your divorce
- How to divide any Social Security benefits that you receive
- Any annuities that impact your income
- Other financial accounts
It is important to touch on all of these aspects of your finances, so you can better protect your retirement goals and be sure you have the financial support that is needed as you move forward in your life.
If you have certain accounts, like a 401(k) or 403(b), you will likely need to get a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, to divide those between you. With other assets, you may need to sell certain property or transfer funds to make sure that you both receive a fair share of your assets.
Gray divorces can be complex, but don’t let the complexity stop you from doing what you think is appropriate. With the right help negotiating and arranging a settlement, you can move forward with your divorce and do your best to protect access to your assets.