Long term care planning: Separation may be better than divorce

| Aug 22, 2019 | long term care planning

Couples who are thinking about divorce have many things to ponder. One of those may be how divorcing could affect long term care planning efforts. Illinois couples who are 55 years of age of older and who are contemplating divorce may do better separating instead of ending things formally when it comes to having enough financially for care as they continue to age. 

This is especially true for couples who don’t have health care coverage. People are living longer these days, and divorce could seriously eat away at a person’s savings – savings which would have been used for long term care. Women are particularly affected since many who have left marriages too early may still be too young to access a spouse’s retirement or disability benefits. If a former spouse has died, access to those funds is only an option if the couple was married for 10 or more years at the time of their divorce.

There is no minimum age to collect on a military pension. A small benefit begins after five years of the couple being married if the spouse has been in the service for five years and increases to 20 years. There is no minimum when it comes to the length of a marriage to collect military disability benefits as long as the marriage lasted during the service.

Long term care planning can be enmeshed with many other life events, including separation or divorce. An Illinois attorney may be able to enlighten a client as to what other issues may affect that planning. After reviewing a client’s individual circumstance, a lawyer may be able to offer suggestions regarding long term care.