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Divorce can impact retirement benefits

There is never a good time to go through a divorce, but this is something many couples face every year. Regardless of your age or financial status, this is sure to change your life in a number of ways.

If you divorce after the age of 50, there is something else to consider: This is likely to alter your retirement plans. For example, access to Social Security benefits, retirement account balances and pensions can be impacted.

Before you move forward with divorce, it is important to understand how it will change your retirement plans. Make sure you know what to expect along the way, as this can help you take steps for the better.

Here is a list of some questions to answer:

-- When was the last time you made a list of all your retirement accounts and current balances?

-- How do ex-spouses split individual retirement accounts and 401(k) balances?

-- What happens if you started to save for retirement before you married?

-- What happens to a pension in the event of a divorce?

-- What kind of impact will a divorce have on Social Security benefits?

These are the types of questions that will help you better understand the impact divorce will have on retirement benefits.

While there is a lot to think about, the impact on retirement should not stop you from going through with a divorce. You need to do what will make you happy. Just make sure you have a clear idea of how your retirement will be impacted, including your money and whether it will alter your end date.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "How Divorce Affects Retirement Benefits," accessed Dec. 22, 2015

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