Retirement Planning Tips for Recently Divorced Couples
Once you’ve finalized your divorce, you may be eager to move on with your life. However, it is important to take care of some final housekeeping so that you can put yourself in the best financial position possible as you approach the future.
The following are some steps to take to keep your retirement plan in order after your divorce:
- Divide the retirement plans in accordance with your divorce decree: You will need to provide a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to your retirement plan provider to ensure the assets of the account are divided per the terms of your divorce. This court-ordered document details how assets will be divided, providing some much-needed guidelines to the plan provider.
- Change your beneficiary designations: A common mistake is the belief that what you have in your will supersedes beneficiary designations for retirement accounts. This is not true — whomever you have listed as your retirement account beneficiary will get that money, so you should make sure to change it to someone other than your former spouse once you know you will be getting divorced.
- Review your Social Security eligibility and options: If you were married for at least 10 years, you could be eligible for half of your former spouse’s Social Security benefits. The main exception is if you get remarried before the age of 60. Keep in mind that you cannot claim Social Security benefits for yourself while also receiving those from your former spouse, so be sure to find the arrangement that will work best for you.
- Revisit your goals for retirement savings: You could be in a completely different place financially after your divorce, so you will likely need to reassess your income and savings and determine a new target for when you can retire.
For the sound legal guidance you need during a divorce in New York, consult an experienced family law attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.