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Divorce for Baby Boomers: Two big retirement questions

Divorce for couples over the age of 50 may not have contentious child custody issues, but legal issues still abound. One of the most important legal issues that these couples must navigate involves the splitting of retirement assets.

Before signing a final divorce settlement agreement split, consider these two questions:

  • What assets are on the table? First, take a close look at the assets that are up for division. In many cases, couples get caught up on two specific assets: real estate and retirement accounts. It is very important to set emotions aside and not agree to trade all rights in retirement assets in order to keep a family home. Although keeping the family home may seem important in the moment, it is generally not a great decision for future financial stability.
  • What other factors impact retirement payouts? Whenever money is involved, it is a good idea to consider whether the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be involved. In this case, the answer is yes. At some point, the assets put into retirement accounts are generally taxed. In some cases, the tax is taken out before the asset goes in. In others, the tax is taken out upon payment. Because these differences will impact how much you ultimately get, it is often wise to know which is which and take the actual payout value into consideration when agreeing to a split, not the estimated value.

Setting up a final divorce settlement is complicated. This is just one of many issues to take into consideration to help better ensure the settlement sets you up for future success. As a result, it is wise to contact an experienced divorce lawyer.

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