As an older woman facing divorce, you could probably use some tips about financial matters unless you have spent your life working in the investment world. From liquid versus illiquid assets to tax implications during property division, having a good grasp of money matters will help you transition successfully from marriage to the next phase of your life.
Starting at ground zero
If you are a woman over the age of 50, you have probably had a long marriage. You and your soon-to-be ex have a home and perhaps other real property. You contributed to retirement accounts. You have life insurance policies and various investments. You had plans for a comfortable retirement, but the decision to divorce has changed all that. Your nest egg will be approximately half of what you had anticipated all these years. This is an unwelcome prospect, but you need not find it overwhelming. It is time to plan your financial future. Make a beginning by understanding your current financial situation, an important step before you agree to a divorce settlement. Keep in mind that tax consequences will apply to certain assets and capital gains to others, and the more you know, the better off you will be.
Deciding how to proceed
If you are a member of the workforce, you may have to postpone your retirement for a while. If you have not worked in some time, going back to school to embark on a new career is probably not an option. However, though you may expect to receive alimony, you may want to consider finding a job — something you would enjoy — that could provide the security of a second income stream. You should also give thought to making prudent investments once the divorce process is behind you.
The decisions you make now will have a direct effect on you in the post-divorce world. While you may not like thinking about financial matters, remember that you can rely on the guidance of professionals. Learning all you can about your personal financial circumstances will help you make good decisions that will serve you well in the years to come.