Post-divorce retirement planning

Amid the stresses of a divorce, it is easy to put retirement planning on the back burner. However, divorce leaves spouses with altered financial circumstances that can affect retirement security. Whereas in marriage each spouse had the benefit of sharing household expenses and combining investment assets, divorce necessitates the maintenance of separate households with higher expenses and fewer funds available to invest in long-term planning. Divorcing couples in North Carolina have many issues to consider when it comes to planning for retirement.

Careful planning is essential to ensure that divorced individuals will have enough saved up for a comfortable retirement. Many financial experts recommend that people aim for a retirement income of approximately 70 percent of what they lived on during working years. One of the first steps to take toward this goal is to hire a professional who can advise on financial matters during divorce negotiations and afterward.

Newly divorced people need to review their budgets carefully to ensure that they are saving enough. They also need to evaluate their existing retirement assets and determine the potential for growth of these assets under different scenarios. Another important area to assess is Social Security, which increases the longer one waits to start drawing benefits. If it becomes clear that planned retirement assets will not meet the person’s needs, then it will be important to reset current financial priorities.

An attorney may be able to help a client gain an accurate assessment of joint assets, the better to ensure equitable asset division after the divorce. Having one’s fair share of assets from the marriage allows for flexibility and planning and can make the difference between a secure retirement and an insecure one.