Practical advice for divorce financial planning

Divorce is an intricate mixture of parting ways, moving forward, looking ahead and building for your tomorrows. The real trick is having a strong financial plan at the ready — and that’s exactly what I talked with Andrea Murad in her article about divorce and financial planning, which was published on Entrepreneur on July 10.

You can read the full article here — or hit the highlights in my summary below. Andrea gives five practical tips for developing solid financial plans amidst divorce, which include:

  • Reviewing your financials and expenses
  • Budgeting for alomony
  • Planning your career
  • Considering whether to downsize your home
  • Remembering to consider health insurance

The key to planning effectively is taking stock of who you are and what you’re worth now, what you’d like to maintain moving forward, prioritizing your needs and wants, and deciding what steps will need to be taken to get there.

Andrea consulted with several professionals from across the financial planning spectrum, and all had valuable insight in how you can maximize your finances before and after your divorce. Give the article a read and let me know what you think.

Do’s and Don’ts for Boomers Living in Sin

canstockphoto15145120 Senior Couple on beachAfter a divorce, many Baby Boomers swear they will never marry again. Then they fall in love. In a previous post, Boomers: In your next relationship just shack up, I listed the financial incentives that are fueling the surge in seniors shacking up together. In this post, I will share tips on how to handle your finances when living in sin.


Share Household Expenses? Definitely

Many divorces are sparked by the inability to talk openly about money. In your post-divorce relationship, don’t fall into the same trap that got you into that divorce. Make it a priority to go over the money situation once a month. Share the household expenses equally or proportionately based on your respective incomes. Here’s where that joint account comes in handy to pay the bills. You each deposit your share of money to cover expenses and pay for them out of the joint account.

When I say “household expenses”, I am not talking about improvements to the house; fund those by the person who owns the house. Sharing in the cost of remodeling or major repairs can get complicated when one of you passes away first without clearly covering this situation in the estate planning documents. Again, I can refer you to excellent estate planning attorneys in the Brazos Valley.

Mingle Assets & Debt? Nope

When shacking up together, retain separate checking accounts. One joint account is fine as long as you also have your separate account. Do not apply for a joint credit card. Do not comingle debt.

Do not contribute toward the purchase of a major asset that is titled to your partner. Talking about houses, vehicles, boats, airplanes and investment accounts. Ok, if you just have to contribute, be sure your name is also on the title. If you are leasing an abode, get both your names on that lease. No exceptions. Consult with an estate planning attorney. Ask me for the best ones in the Brazos Valley. Do not get yourself into the pickle of co-owning a house with your partner’s mother after your partner tragically and suddenly drops off the perch.

Get a No-Nup? Yep

Ok, it might not be romantic, but get a no-nup anyway. This is a legal document that addresses property division, financial support and debt planning for the possibility that your relationship ends prior to either of you passing on. You want to be clear what will happen to your assets if and when the relationship ends. It is not a DIY project. You will need a family law attorney, so call me if you want recommendations.


Boomers: In your next relationship just shack up


canstockphoto22699599 Happy Older Couple In Park

It used to be called living in sin. It is now socially acceptable and growing by leaps and bounds among boomers. Shacking up is a popular alternative to marriage and divorce, even a nice collaborative divorce. Older people are living together for an average of nine years. Financial reasons top the list of incentives.

Loss of Income. Alimony usually stops when the recipient marries. If you have survivor’s pension benefits, you might lose those if you remarry. If you are receiving a share of your late or former spouse’s Social Security benefits, you could lose those benefits if you remarry before your 60th birthday. If you remarry after age 60 (age 50 if you are disabled), you can collect benefits on your former spouse’s record.

Potential Financial Burdens. In Texas, both spouses are on the hook for most debts incurred during the marriage, regardless of who incurred the debt. Then there is the cost of nursing homes at $5,000 a month in the Bryan College Station area. As a married couple, such costs can devastate the surviving spouse’s financial security.

Tax Disincentives. If each of you has income, as a married couple you could be thrown into a higher tax bracket. As singles living together, you each get $3,000 of capital losses to offset ordinary income, which results in an offset of $6,000 over the two tax returns. As a married couple filing with a joint tax return, you two would only get $3,000 to offset.

Estate Planning Risks. Protecting their children’s inheritance is a big reason Baby Boomers opt to cohabitate. Assure yourself and your heirs that their inheritance will remain intact. Visit with an estate planning attorney before you move in together. Contact me if you need a recommendation for an excellent estate planning attorney in the Brazos Valley.

In my next blog, I’ll give you tips for what to do and what not to do when shacking up. Do’s and Don’ts for Boomers Living in Sin


3 Most Common Questions about Divorce and Retirement

3 Most Common Questions about Divorce and RetirementThis episode of the Divorce Insider Podcast is all about divorce and retirement. Don’t let the stress of your divorce hinder you from thinking about your tomorrows.

We cover a few practical tips for asking the important questions, getting a clearer picture on your finances and ensuring you get what you need for retirement.Continue reading…

Happy Retirement?

Boomers who are considering divorce are typically worried about their long-term financial security. They  are starting to think about retirement and are usually concerned about whether they will have enough money to be happy in retirement. Here are some pointers for a happy retirement.

Contemplate your goal of retirement. Is it to have money and live in bliss? We need to think about what we will do during retirement to have life satisfaction.

Is money crucial to life satisfaction during retirement? Studies show the answer is yes. Money does make you happy in retirement. The wealthier spend more in retirement but not as much as you might expect. Some of them have been saving for so many decades that they do not feel comfortable spending money.

You might watch more television and sleep more during retirement. If you opt for less couch time and more active and social hours, you could live longer and be happier in your retirement. Stay healthy because it is a strong predictor of a happy retirement.