How property division can impact retirement planning

Negotiating the division of marital assets is one of the most dreaded aspects of many Florida divorces. Spouses know that property division is a necessary step, but are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of decisions that must be made. Navigating this process can be a challenge, especially for individuals who are also nearing retirement age, and who will have to take an entirely different approach to retirement planning after their divorce.

One of the biggest obstacles involves making the mental shift from retirement planning as a couple to planning as an individual. In many cases, couples have saved for retirement over the course of many years, always in the belief that they would move through their golden years as a unit, helping and supporting each other. Divorce shatters that ideal, and requires a whole new mindset when it comes to retirement planning.

Spouses must make savvy decisions when it comes to dividing marital wealth, and not be swayed by emotion. In order to make the best possible decisions, it is necessary to understand the full range of ramifications associated with each choice. For example, cashing out certain retirement savings will have tax consequences, while choosing to keep the family home will come with associated costs related to maintenance and eventual sale options. Factoring in these ramifications ahead of time allows spouses to make decisions that are in line with their best interests.

The best way to move through the property division process in a way that creates a favorable retirement outcome is to seek out the advice of trusted legal and financial professionals. Having guidance throughout this period of time is an investment that will pay off many times over in the long run. With the right approach, it is possible for Florida spouses to move through the property division process in a way that also bolsters retirement planning.  

Source: Forbes, “Does Divorce Derail Retirement?“, Larry Light, July 24, 2017

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