Some Practical Financial Measures for The Middle-Aged, Newly Divorced

The divorce rate for baby boomers, those fifty years old and more, is higher than and climbing more rapidly than for younger couples.

Yet divorce may impact middle-aged couples financially in ways that have a more lasting impact than with younger people.

To protect and preserve a settlement (especially for a dependent spouse for whom it may be particularly critical), a divorce financial analyst recommends the following measures immediately following the divorce:

  1. Check your credit report. You probably should have done this during the divorce as well. After the divorce is a good time to do it again. This should verify the status of any debts that your ex was supposed to be paying or that were supposed to be paid off, catches any confusion surrounding any name changes after divorce and, last but not least, brings mistakes to your attention – so you can follow up and make sure they get corrected. If you are establishing and building your individual credit, you may want to repeat the process a number of times to track your progress.

  2. Buy long term care insurance. You may be on your own now, solely or largely responsible for supporting yourself. And maybe children. You no longer have your spouse as a safety net. One catastrophic accident or illness can be devastating. Long term care insurance can plug that hole.

  3. Appoint an Agent in Case of Disability or Incapacity. Now that your accounts are individual rather than joint and you probably have exclusive authority over them, it is prudent to designate someone other than your now ex who you can trust and count on to act for you in the event of a temporary or permanent disability or incapacity, whether physical or mental. One or more documents can authorize someone to access your financial accounts for your care and for your dependent children’s care, possibly to manage and/or dispose of your other property and to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so for yourself.

Read more in this Wall Street Journal Smart Money piece: 3 Financial Tips for Recently Divorced Boomers