By Mary Helen Gillespie
“Rose,” 60, from Indiana shares a bleak view of her retirement situation but encouraging words for others.
Has your divorce had a financial impact on your retirement plans?
Did you hire a financial advisor, CPA or other financial professional to help you plan for your retirement needs during the divorce process?
Was your divorce lawyer concerned about your retirement finances? Was the divorce judge?
How would you describe the quality of your financial life after divorce?
I am homeless.
What other information would you like to share with women in similar situations?
Don’t give up even when it’s hard: you matter!
Join us for a free webinar – Women, Divorce and Retirement: Creating Your New Personal Finance Plan
Retirement Daily shared Rose’s story with Theresa A. Harezlak, CFP®, CDFA®, Financial Advisor at Savant Wealth Management of Rockford, Illinois. Here are her thoughts for Rose and other women facing the same issues.
The most important thing to remember is that the end of a marriage is a personal event. A divorce is a business transaction. It should be treated that way. This means making sure all of your counselors understand the financial and legal aspects of divorce.
Be fair and set realistic expectations. You may not be able to live the same way, but that doesn’t mean it will be bad. It will only be bad if you don’t make the necessary changes to adapt to your new situation.
Know as much as you can about your assets, expenses and cash flow. Work with someone who can help you understand the impact of a settlement.
I love “Rose”‘s positive attitude and “Never give up” advice. Start small and start rebuilding. I always say there are times to thrive and times to just survive. At this point, being homeless, it’s time to survive. It would be great to start saving, but that’s not realistic. Take small steps to improve your life.
Evaluate your talents. There are probably a lot. Perhaps you could find a job as a home caretaker for an elderly person or a family with young children. This would solve the problem of homelessness and give you income to start building your retirement fund. Maybe a “side business” like consulting, tutoring or other flex jobs would also help.
One piece of advice I ALWAYS give to my divorced clients, regardless of their wealth, is that each member of the marriage should always know what is going on with their finances. This is essential and can help both people make better decisions during marriage and during a divorce.
Remember that you are the one who cares most about your well-being. It is not your lawyer, your accountant, a family member or your advisers. Ultimately, you have to live with the impact of divorce. Push to make sure your lawyers are working for you and understand the financial impact of this divorce. Work with a financial professional who will guide you through your decisions and help you understand your retirement life after divorce.
Learn more by watching our webinar, Round table on retirement: women, divorce and retirement, with Robert Powell and panelists Michelle Petrowski and Bonnie Sewell.
To find a financial professional with divorce experience, visit Divorce Financial Analysts Institute website.
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