November 11, 2015

Keeping More of Your Money in Your Family: 5 Quick Financial Tips

138710659-financial-advisor-talking-to-customer-gettyimages5 quick Divorce financial tips: These five are only a starting point.

  1. Plan your cash flow and spending carefully.  Do not over exaggerate.  You and your spouse only have so much income between the two of you.  Unless you can increase income you both will need to decrease some areas of spending simply because you are going from one household to two on the same income.  Something has to give.
  2. Have a  financial specialist experienced in divorce matters suggest ways for you and your spouse to save on taxes by utilizing head of household filing status when possible and the best use of dependency exemptions when children are involved.  A financial specialist can also recommend tax saving strategies for spousal maintenance and/or child support.
  3. If existing debt is a problem consider using an accredited consumer credit counseling agency to help you set up a debt management plan.  This does not affect your credit rating since you will still be repaying all of the debt.  The agency will work to negotiate a lower interest rate with each of your creditors.  You will make one payment to the consumer credit counseling agency.  The monthly payment you make to the agency is often much less than the combination of the payments you were making before.  The agency makes payments to each of the creditors for you.  There is the potential to save a bundle in lower interest rates and in some cases no interest giving you the ability to pay off your debt earlier than you ever thought.  Two such agencies in the Minneapolis Saint Paul area are Family Means and Lutheran Social Services  and no you do not have to be Lutheran to utilize their services.  In worst-case scenarios, bankruptcy may be a consideration.  Both of these agencies provide bankruptcy counseling and are able to refer you to bankruptcy specialists if and as needed.
  4. If existing debt is a problem do not make it worse by adding to that debt.  Find other ways such as sacrificing today for a better tomorrow, increasing income, lowering expenses or some combination of all these.
  5. With retirement assets, it is common for a financial specialist trained in divorce matters to help one spouse or in some cases both spouses recommend strategies to come up with down payments for new housing purchases.  This usually involves the use of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).  A portion of an employer retirement plan is awarded to the lower income spouse, income taxes on the distribution are planned for, and if the distribution is incident to a divorce the spouse awarded a portion of the employer retirement plan will avoid the pre 59 ½ early distribution penalty.

Utilize an experienced divorce financial planning specialist.  They are your best resource for helping you keep more of your money in your family.

Mike Miller

Mike Miller guides people through some of life’s toughest transitions including divorce (or as stated by an 8 year old, “getting unmarried”). Going through a painful divorce himself after a 32 year, marriage changed his life. Mike now helps couples make sense of the financial issues for them and their children. His approach is family centered and he emphasizes, “People always come before numbers.” Mike specializes in working with people in transition, helping them create and design the rest of their life so they can live it to the fullest.

He is a Certified Financial Planner™, professional and past president of the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota. Mike completed family mediation training at Hamline University School of Law Mediation Center and is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota Rules of Practice. The Minnesota Statewide ADR-Rule 114 Neutrals Roster is published by the State Court Administrators Office. Visit his website at to learn more.

Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Integra Shield Financial Group LLC and Cambridge are not affiliated. Neither Cambridge nor Integra Shield Financial Group offers legal advice. Individuals are advised to and should rely upon their professional legal advisors.

Integra Shield Financial Group
3181 Fernbrook Ln
Plymouth, MN 55447

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