The financial implications of a divorce are often an individual’s primary concern as they seek to dissolve their marriage. They worry that they will lose assets worth tens of thousands of dollars or more, like their homes and investment accounts. Those who have set aside resources for retirement will typically worry that the end of their marriage may prevent them from enjoying their golden years as they have always intended.
Some people tell themselves that they can endure retirement in an unhappy marriage provided that they are financially stable. Is it possible for someone to move forward with their retirement as planned if they divorce?
The outcome of each divorce is unique
Just because someone knows an individual who went through significant hardship after their divorce and was unable to retire as hoped does not mean that that will inevitably be the outcome for everyone who decides to divorce. A few people have set aside far more for retirement than others, which will give them more wiggle room for sharing those resources when they divorce.
Some people have marital agreements that will protect them from the loss of their retirement savings or at least carefully control how they share those resources when they divorce. People may have enough set aside to provide a comfortable standard of living for both spouses even in separate households after they divorce.
Even if someone does not have enough currently saved for a comfortable retirement after dividing the account with their spouse, they will have many meetings of correcting that issue. They might push back their retirement by a few years to make contributions for a bit longer. They might adjust their retirement investment strategy or their budget, possibly by choosing to live with family or take on a roommate.
Provided that someone plans ahead and performs a thorough review of their finances, it will usually be possible for someone to retire after a divorce, although they may have to compromise a bit on when and on their standard of living.
Preserving retirement assets may be a top priority
For many people considering divorce, keeping as much of their retirement savings as possible might be a goal, especially if they are close to retirement age. Those who set realistic goals and keep their focus on achieving them rather than on fighting over emotional matters during divorce will have a better time moving on with their lives after a failed marriage.
Seeking legal guidance and preparing for what to expect after a complex divorce affects someone’s retirement savings can help those who are hoping to move on from an unhealthy marriage.