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Mid-life divorce and overcoming future financial fears

You may have had a long marriage that is now coming to an end. Over the years, you and your soon-to-be-ex have accumulated considerable assets.

Despite the wealth, the vision you once had for your retirement is also coming to an end and in its place is anxiety. How can you get around the fear that you will not have enough to live on after the divorce?

Facing reality

Although New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, you see assets like your retirement accounts split in half. This means your retirement nest egg will shrink considerably. If you are 50 or older, you must understand that you do not have the time now to go back to school for another degree. If you are still working, you may not be able to retire as soon as you anticipated. On the other hand, you may not have had a job for years. Even if the judge awards you alimony, you may have to consider rejoining the workforce. As a single person, you will likely have to downsize your lifestyle, and a second income would ensure cash flow in the event spousal support should cease.

Understand the financial picture

Before you agree to any kind of divorce settlement, make sure you understand your current finances, debts and assets, and what becomes available to you after the divorce. In other words, you want to know exactly what you will have to live on. One cautionary note: You may want to keep the marital home, but this comes with upkeep and property taxes. Would this be too much of a financial drain? Balance liquid versus illiquid assets to find the answer.

Choose a divorce alternative

Start the new chapter in your life by saving money during the divorce. If you opt for traditional litigation, you do not need to engage a pricey, big-city attorney when local expertise in high-asset divorce matters is available. In addition, if you and your spouse can work as a team, and you want less stress and more privacy during your divorce process, consider the less expensive mediation option. With professional guidance and a clear understanding of your current financial circumstances and future needs, you will make wise decisions that put your fears to rest and ensure a sound financial future.

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