BY JASON ALDERMAN
Retirement planning can face derailment after a divorce. Married, two-income couples have the advantage of splitting living expenses and pooling all their investment assets, including retirement accounts. Once the marriage is over, costs for separate households may limit the ability of ex-spouses to keep their retirement on track.
After a divorce, individuals generally walk away with a share of joint retirement assets based on how they negotiate that split. However, returning to singlehood means the end of shared expenses with housing, food, transportation and related expenses now being paid out of one wallet, not two. This can mean considerably less money to direct toward retirement and other savings and investments.
To assure a comfortable retirement, many experts advise individuals to save and invest over time so they can live annually on at least 70 percent of their pre-retirement income. Divorcing couples should retain separate qualified financial experts to assure an equitable split of assets and a continuing plan to build a solid retirement in single life.
Here are a few steps to reset one’s retirement goals after divorce.
Gather a personal finance team. It’s a good idea to hire a financial professional to offer advice on all relevant financial, investment, tax, estate and retirement details of a divorce negotiation. Afterward, individuals may continue with these advisors or interview new ones. Personal referrals are best, but the following resources may help:
The Certified Planner Board of Standards
The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education
The Financial Planning Association
Your state CPA society