The challenges facing you when you get a divorce after the age of 50 can be significantly different from a young couple with few assets. After all, you have likely spent twenty to thirty years investing in retirement plans, paying off the mortgage and perhaps collecting some fine wine for your cellar.
When divvying up your marital property, it's a good idea to talk to a financial advisor experienced in gray divorce so your future plans remain intact. Here are just a few highlights to keep an eye on during negotiations.
Look for assets that provide income
While you might have a soft spot for the lake cabin and are tempted to fight tooth and nail to get it, realize that a vacation home is an annual expense. Unless you sell the property or rent it out during the tourist season, it could always drain your wallet. If there is a business that you and your spouse own, make sure that future profits are calculated into any settlements if you are selling out your share.
Don't forget about the 401k
If both of you have been working, then you probably each have a retirement account. If they are of equal value, great. But if it is all in your spouse's name, make sure that this is taken into consideration when negotiating the divorce agreement. You may need thirty years of income if you survive to be 90 years old, and without all those retirement investments, it could be a very stressful time.
Art collections can provide cash
Even if you never understood his obsession with stamps, guns, or memorabilia, there just might be a gold mine in that pile of stuff. You may wish to have art, wine, even designer shoes assessed to help determine the real value of your estate before signing on the dotted line.
Talking to a financial planner during the divorce process can help you build a realistic budget so that you really will be able to enjoy your golden years, even on your own.