How you handle your divorce WILL have an impact on your golden years

Older couples are getting divorced more frequently than ever before, and because they’ve had more time for their finances to intertwine, separating their assets can be a serious source of stress. Of course, that’s often just the start of it, as both parties discover previously unthought-of expenses they must now face as individuals.

According to financial advisors at Northwestern Mutual, couples over age 50 facing divorce can help ensure they protect themselves, and their retirement, by following three important pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t get sentimental. After a divorce, the most important thing to salvage is your life, so try not to become emotionally attached to assets, whether it’s a home, a car or a significant joint purchase. Don’t get caught with an expensive sentimental albatross. Instead focus on making sure you‘re in a good financial position for your new single life and that you have a sound plan for the long term.
  2. Protect what matters. Are your insurance policies up to date and adequate for your needs? The short list is life insurance (if you have dependents), health, auto and home. Disability insurance is also a good call if you are the sole breadwinner, and umbrella insurance can protect your assets from unexpected lawsuits. Look at long-term care planning, too.
  3. Look to the future. Divorce is a tough challenge to work through. However, it’s also an opportunity to get a clear assessment of your financial situation and redefine your goals on your own terms.

It’s important to remember that, although general advice like the above can greatly help, there is no substitute for consulting with an attorney and financial adviser who specialize in divorce, and have experience with your particular situation. Get in the right mindset, find pros to help you through, and avoid many of the tangles that accompany an incautious divorce.