Keystone Law February 2019

3 TIMES THE DIVISION OF ASSETS GOT OUT OF CONTROL Wild Divorce Settlements

When you’re untying the knot, it’s important to be specific about the assets you hope to walk away with. These three over-the-top divorce settlements are good examples of what not to do when dissolving your marriage.

he and his wife should divide their assets in half — literally. Moeun and his relatives cut the home down the middle, dismantled his portion, and hauled it away. Vat’s half was left standing with one wall missing.

YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDNEY ME

‘HERE, MY DEAR’

Back in 2001, Dr. Richard Batista donated his kidney to his ailing wife, Dawnell, to save her life. Sweet, right? It was — until Dawnell filed for divorce in 2005 and Dr. Batista demanded she give back his kidney or compensate him for $1.5 million in damages. In the end, his request was thrown out in court because the kidney was a gift — and because removing it would be potentially fatal to his ex-spouse.

In the divorce agreement between the late Marvin Gaye and his ex, Anna Gordy, it was decided that Anna would be paid from the royalties of Gaye’s next album since he had gone broke from his lavish spending. At first, Gaye decided he’d phone in the production, but he quickly discovered an opportunity to make a unique artistic statement: “I’ll give her my next album, but it’ll be something she won’t want to play and it’ll be something she won’t want the world to hear because I’m gonna tell the world the truth.” In the end, the album was a commercial flop, though critics continue to praise its raw, emotional core.

A LIFE RENT IN TWO

When Moeun Sarim and Vat Navy decided to divorce after 18 years of marriage, Moeun apparently decided that, to keep the split equitable,

Embracing ‘Spendophobia’ WAYS TO INVEST IN YOURSELF AFTER RETIREMENT

INVEST IN YOUR HOME

You’ve spent your entire life being told to save, save, save. Now you’re finally retired, so it’s time to spend some of that money — but you’re scared! This is only natural because it means breaking a lifelong habit of socking away money and refusing to touch it. You’re not alone. A recent study of retirees’ spending habits showed many people actually spend less than they can afford to. They’re scared of the “what ifs” that come with living on a fixed income. However, at age 70 1/2, you have to start taking the required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your traditional IRA and 401(k) whether you want to or not. Instead of stressing over the fact that you’re pulling money out of these accounts, embrace the opportunity to do something for yourself.

Once you no longer have to work five days a week, you’ll be in your home more often, so why not make it amazing? An in-ground pool or a private tennis court might be outside your budget, but new kitchen countertops or a deeper tub will add a touch of luxury to the space you spend the most time in. Upgrading your home is almost always a good investment because it adds equity, which will pay off down the road. That extra cash will come in handy if you decide to sell later on in order to downsize or you plan to enter assisted living. Don’t forget to set aside money for ongoing maintenance, such as a new water heater or roof repairs. It might sound counterintuitive to go to college when you’re not planning to go back to work, but continuing your education after retirement offers many benefits. Many individuals find themselves with more time on their hands than they’re accustomed to, and without a plan to fill this time, it’s easy to become depressed or isolated. Numerous studies have shown that continuing to exercise your brain has a positive impact on cognitive function, so taking a few classes can be the perfect way to stay busy and keep your mind sharp. Attending school late in life is also a great opportunity to indulge your passions and learn more about subjects you’ve always been interested in. Many colleges offer free classes or reduced tuition to seniors, so check with your local schools and see what classes or programs they have available. GO BACK TO COLLEGE

TRAVEL

It can be tempting to hold off spending money as long as possible. After all, who knows how long you need your savings to last? Travel, however, is one thing you can indulge in early without feeling guilty. Even the most leisurely trips can be physically demanding, so it’s better to see the world at 70 rather than wait until you’re 90. To keep yourself on track financially, use the bucket system to set up a separate savings account just for travel.

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