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Don't let property division derail retirement planning

Planning for retirement is a top priority for many New Jersey residents. Setting aside money to ensure a comfortable and secure retirement is important, and is a goal that many people work toward for the majority of their adult lives. Losing a significant portion of that investment during the property division process can be devastating. The following tips can help spouses make decisions that are in line with their retirement goals.

The first step is changing the way that one thinks about retirement planning. As a married couple, both spouses approach retirement in the belief that they will be there to support each other during their golden years. Once a divorce takes place, however, each individual will have his or her own unique set of needs in regard to divorce. That alteration requires an entirely new approach to retirement planning, which should begin as early in the divorce process as possible.

It is absolutely critical that spouses make fully informed decisions when it comes to dividing retirement assets. Not all retirement savings are created equal. In some cases, taxes, fees and other penalties can reduce the total value of an investment account if it is divided or not properly handled during a divorce. Another common mistake is focusing on keeping the family home, when other assets provide far greater value and less hassle.

For some New Jersey spouses, a late life divorce can mean a delay in retirement. Others may be able to leverage their accumulated assets in such a way that retirement is still within reach. As spouses navigate the property division process, it is important that they do so with the assistance of a solid legal and financial team.

Source: Forbes, "Does Divorce Derail Retirement?", Larry Light, July 24, 2017

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