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Nearing and Delaying Retirement

Geneva Divorce Attorneys For Couples Near Retirement

Lawyers in Wheaton for Divorce Over Age 50

No matter what problems may arise in your marriage, there is never a "good" time to get divorced. The process and the effects of a divorce can be quite challenging regardless of your age, income level, employment status, or physical health. If you are over the age of 50, however, getting divorced can be financially devastating—in addition to the mental and emotional impact that ending your marriage is likely to have.

At Goostree Law Group, we know that a divorce can dramatically change the plans that you and your spouse have in place for retirement, especially if you and your spouse are nearing retirement age. Our experienced gray divorce lawyers can help you analyze your situation and ensure you have the resources you need as you move forward with your post-divorce life.

Weighing Your Options

When any couple gets divorced, any money that they have put aside for retirement will generally be considered during the asset division process. For a relatively younger couple, retirement often seems far away, so who gets which portion of the retirement savings might not be a very critical decision. Both spouses will generally have enough working years left to re-establish a healthy nest-egg for retirement. For a couple who has been married for many years and is now approaching retirement age, dividing retirement savings suddenly takes on much greater importance. Determining your portion of the marital estate can be complicated, as it depends on many circumstantial factors. We will work hard on your behalf to protect your best interests at every stage of the process.

Dividing your retirement savings is just one piece of the puzzle. Many of the other pieces will depend on variables such as your current employment, employability, work history, age, health, and those of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. For example, if you have been married for at least 10 years, you can claim social security benefits using your ex-spouse's work history once you reach age 62 for partial benefits. Full benefits are available once you reach the retirement age set by federal guidelines. (Current retirement age is 66 years and 2 months for those born in 1955.)

If you were the primary wage-earner during the marriage—or if your health allows, even if you were not the primary wage-earner—you might also consider continuing to work. Depending on the circumstances, you might not have much choice. For example, you and your spouse might have been able to get by on your combined social security benefits, but doing so might no longer be feasible. Similarly, you might need to continue working so you can retain your employer-paid health insurance benefits. With the help of your attorney, you will need to consider your expected needs, income, any orders regarding spousal maintenance, and other available benefits before you make any decisions about whether or not to retire.

Delaying Retirement Could Be the Best Choice

For many older divorcees, continuing to work is the most beneficial option, even if it just for a few months or a couple of years. If you are over the age of 50, current tax laws allow you to make increased "catch-up contributions" to both employment-based retirement plans such as 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Starting in 2020, individuals over age 50 can contribute $6,500 more per year to a 401(k) than those under age 50 can and $1,000 more to an IRA.

Working for longer will also allow your retirement investments to continue to grow before disbursements begin. It can also increase the retirement benefits available to you through social security. The overall effect of delaying your retirement can be much greater than you might think—even if the delay is just a few months. Several extra years of work could allow you to retire comfortably despite your relatively late divorce.

Call a DuPage County Gray Divorce Attorney

If you are over age 50 and are thinking about divorce, you probably have questions about how the decision will affect your ability to retire. Contact our office to get the answers you need. Call 630-634-5050 for a free consultation at the Goostree Law Group today. We serve clients in Wheaton, Aurora, Naperville, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, St. Charles, Batavia, DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, and neighboring communities.

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