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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 03-17-2017, 10:44 AM
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Default Indefinite SS and preparing for retirement

So I was condemned to a life sentence of paying spousal support after a "traditional, long-term marriage."

I know that "indefinite" isn't necessarily forever but it certainly could be depending on what happens over the next 10-15 years before I would like to retire.

SS will be reviewed when I retire and I'm looking for pointers on how to structure my assets/retirement income to minimize or end SS when I finally decide to retire.

My ex doesn't work, and has no need to work as I'm on the hook for SS. However, when she gets to 55 she'll start collecting OAS, CPP, and some income from savings. I can see that if I manage to become poor enough in retirement that I'm in roughly the same boat that SS can end, but that isn't too attractive an option, "Ha! I managed to become poorer than you!"

Any ideas?
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:57 AM
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The main argument for stopping SS when you retire is that she has already received her share of the retirement savings when you equalized property, and will receive her share of your CPP also when you retire.

So, once you stop earning money, you will start living off your retirement savings and CPP. And she will be in exactly the same situation. Except that you perhaps have saved more (directly and via CPP) since you equalized. And hopefully she has too. If she continued to receive SS, that would be double dipping into the amount that was already equalized.

So the question really is, WHEN is a reasonable time to retire. If you had saved aggressively when you were together, in expectation of an early retirement, then perhaps you could still retire early. Or if you had some medical condition that forced you into early retirement, that might work. Otherwise, I'm not sure what reasons you might come up with to retire before the standard 65-67.

Search in google or canlii.org on "spousal support" "early retirement" for some more guidelines and actual cases.

As far as depleting your assets before you retire (perhaps you're even thinking of gifting some $ to a trusted friend who will funnel it back to you) ... well, it's hard to make any positive comment on that idea.

Last edited by dinkyface; 03-17-2017 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:40 PM
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Good advice Dinky.

I just want to say to the OP that I'm sorry about this. It really sucks when you can't plan to retire when you want to.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinkyface View Post
As far as depleting your assets before you retire (perhaps you're even thinking of gifting some $ to a trusted friend who will funnel it back to you) ... well, it's hard to make any positive comment on that idea.
The court has seen it all before. Every trick in the book has been tried. I wouldn't recommend trying to be sly. It always backfires.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:51 PM
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If you look back at your first posts on this forum in 2014 you state that you like your ex and have no problem paying support. You also mention that you intended to start a business and that you do not begrudge your ex for living comfortably via your support.

So what sort of a deal did you and your ex consent to? (I presume you didn't go to trial.) By your estimates of your old posts you are still approximately 20 years away from retirement no?
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:10 PM
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I'm early 50s so if I retire at 65 it's about 12 years away. My ex is older. I don't begrudge paying but it's ridiculous that I could be paying until the day I die. Do I ever get let off the hook? Hardened criminals get off with less time!

Two of the last three years of marriage I earned a more than usual amount for me. In the end, we blended these amounts to come up with an amount to base SS on. So I'm on the hook for a significant amount up until retirement. OK, fine. Life sucks, but let's make the best of it.

I'd like to plan for retirement but for me, if saving more money simply means I'll have to pay more later, isn't exactly an inspiring thought. Why not just live it up now and let the future take care of itself? However, if there was a way to save or invest for the next 12 years that would allow SS to end when I retire, I would like to know now.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:24 PM
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You must remember that "indefinite" support could mean as little as $1.00/year.

Sounds to me that you and your ex have made your financial plans recently and incorporated them into your agreement. If that is the case then I'd stick to those plans.
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