Property division mistakes can delay retirement

When a Colorado couple in their 20s or 30s decides to divorce, the process is often fairly simple. Child custody matters are often the central focus. In many cases, the family has not had time to amass significant assets, so the property division portion of the divorce is not overly complicated. For those in their 50s or older, however, divorce can lead to the need for significant alteration of their retirement plans.

Older spouses often face a far more complicated property division scenario than their younger counterparts. In many cases, various investment or retirement accounts are at play, as well as real property and recreational property. The manner in which these assets are valued and divided can greatly affect an individual's ability to retire as planned, both for better or for worse.

The best way to achieve a favorable outcome is to go into the negotiation process fully informed of the value and cost of each asset. This means understanding the pros and cons of retaining ownership of the family home, which includes the eventual cost of selling the property. It also entails a full comprehension of the tax ramifications of various retirement accounts. Different investment vehicles have different values, when tax matters are taken into consideration.

For those in Colorado who are facing a complex marital estate, the best course of action may be to enlist the help of a financial planner. These professionals can sit down with a client and determine their retirement goals, then plot out a path that will get them where they need to be at the right point in time. A financial planner can also help guide a client toward the marital assets that best suit their retirement goals, which can simplify the property division negotiation process. It is important for spouses who end a late life marriage to make every effort to emerge in a position to retire comfortably.

Source: Forbes, 4 Divorce Mistakes That Can Derail Retirement, No author, Aug. 21, 2013

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