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How to financially prepare for a gray divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | High-Asset Divorce |

Financial preparation is crucial when facing a gray divorce, which refers to the dissolution of a marriage involving individuals over 50 — generally after a long marriage. This life transition can be challenging emotionally and financially, but with careful planning, individuals can navigate this period more effectively. 

Here are some key steps to take for financial preparedness:

Gather all financial documents

Begin by collecting all relevant financial documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, retirement account statements, property deeds and insurance policies. A comprehensive overview of your assets and liabilities will help you understand your financial standing.

Assess your overall situation

Evaluate your income, expenses and debts. Take stock of your assets, including retirement accounts, investments and real estate. This assessment will provide a clear picture of your financial situation and help determine how to divide assets fairly.

Create a new budget for the future

Adjusting to a post-divorce lifestyle may require reevaluating your expenses. Create a realistic budget that reflects your new income and financial obligations. Consider housing costs, healthcare expenses and retirement savings to ensure financial stability.

Protect your credit during the process

Establish individual credit by opening new accounts in your name. Monitor your credit report regularly to detect any unauthorized activity. Close joint accounts and remove your ex-spouse as an authorized user to avoid potential financial liabilities.

Update legal and estate planning documents

Review and update your will, power of attorney and any other legal documents that may need modification due to the divorce. Ensure your beneficiaries and estate plans are aligned with your current wishes.

Focus on retirement planning

Gray divorces can significantly impact retirement plans. Reassess your retirement goals, considering the division of retirement assets and potential changes in income. Maximize retirement contributions to make up for any lost savings.

By taking these steps, individuals can financially prepare for a gray divorce, minimize potential financial setbacks, and begin building a secure and stable future. Remember, seeking professional guidance and support is key to successfully navigating this challenging life transition.