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Posts Tagged divorce and retirement

Financial Planning For and During a Divorce

What are the legal fees of divorce?A divorce brings about many changes in a person’s life. One of the most significant changes is the financial impact of a divorce. Spouses go from having a combined household with (usually) two separate incomes, to living apart, and supporting themselves on their own. If you are contemplating a divorce, or have already filed for divorce, there are different actions you can take to plan for your own financial future after a divorce.


Create a Budget:

Review your household expenses to see what your weekly/monthly expenses come out to. In addition to including the usual expenses (i.e. mortgage/rent, utilities, heat, cable TV, telephone, groceries, clothing, etc.), don’t forget to include other typical expenses, such as uninsured medical expenses, motor vehicle expenses, child care, vacation and entertainment, education costs for yourself and your children.

Once you have your budget, look at what your income is, and what it is likely to be at the end of the divorce. Don’t forget to factor in any alimony and/or child support that you may be paying or … Read More »

10 Things No One Tells You About Divorce

finish lineNot all divorce advice is created equal. For every good tip you receive from someone (don’t use your attorney as your therapist, keep those rants about your ex off Facebook), there are just as many unhelpful comments: “Don’t get mad, get everything!” Just no.

The best source for advice you can actually use are divorcés themselves. Below, 10 HuffPost bloggers and readers share the one tip they wish someone had given them during the divorce process.

1. Moving on is a marathon, not a sprint.

“The difference is, a marathoner trains for hours before the big race. Divorce strikes most of us unexpectedly with no training on how to get through it. Take things day by day and one step at a time until you find solid footing and each step doesn’t feel like you’re walking on quicksand. And realize that emotions shouldn’t be suppressed. As a man, I was raised in an environment where emotions weren’t to be spoken of — divorce taught me the opposite.” –Vidal Cisneros Jr.

2. Divorce feels a bit like death (without all the casseroles delivered to your door.)

“Losing your ex — and your … Read More »

Certain changes in financial behavior and conversations about money are sure-fire signs that your spouse is preparing to split up.

MoneyOver 25 years, I’ve worked on the financial aspects of more than 1,300 cases of divorce. Rarely are both spouses in sync when it comes to filing; one spouse is usually laying the groundwork before the other.

In hindsight, most people on the receiving end of the filing have their “aha!” moment. One homemaker told me that her husband began plying her with gifts and vacations; he also launched all kinds of projects to fix up their house so they could sell it and move to a smaller place. It was all totally unsolicited, much appreciated, and done with loving attention.

Six months into all this thoughtful behavior – as the couple closed on their new vacation timeshare, downsized to a beautiful condo, and planned for their next vacation – he popped the zinger one Saturday morning: “I want a divorce.”

For another client, the signs were a little more obvious: The bank called her husband to let him know that his mortgage was approved – the mortgage he was co-signing with his girlfriend

Divorce is an emotional, legal, and financial combat zone. There are actually websites devoted to secretly planning for … Read More »

Resetting Your Retirement After Divorce

retirementWhen couples divorce, long-term financial priorities sometimes receive the least attention. Many money issues are about immediate needs – where to live, how to handle everyday expenses and if there are kids, how to support their needs in two households, not one.

This is why retirement planning can face serious obstacles post-divorce. In marriage, a two-earner household has the advantage of splitting living expenses and pooling assets like retirement savings. After divorce, ex-spouses may walk away with their share of joint retirement assets based on how they negotiate that distribution.

However, returning to singlehood means taking on all housing, food, transportation and related costs alone. That generally means less money to save for retirement and other purposes. 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.

Divorce can be tough no matter what the circumstances, but best-case financial scenarios typically emerge from thorough, individualized pre-divorce planning. That generally requires each spouse to retain their own financial advisors much as they would their own legal … Read More »

9 Tips for Dividing Your 401(k) During a Divorce

401kDividing a 401(k) for a divorce settlement is less painful when you know about the plan and take the right steps that ensure both people are satisfied.

A 401(k) plan is marital property, just like other possessions that need to be divided. Here are nine ways you can handle assets in the plan during a divorce:

1. Have your attorney draw up a qualified domestic relations order, also called a QDRO, which will tell the plan administrator how the division should occur, according to federal regulations. The court judge and the plan administrator must sign the QDRO.

2. The instructions and details of the QDRO must be approved and finalized. When the divorce is final, the QDRO must be approved and finalized in order for one party to receive funds from the 401(k). The party could lose most benefits if the spouse with the 401(k) plan dies or retires before everything is approved and finalized. Make sure the attorney files the QDRO as soon as possible during divorce proceedings.

3. Talk about your 401(k) with the plan administrator when you decide on a divorce. The plan may have requirements or options to … Read More »

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