By Mary Helen Gillespie
“Rose,” 60, Indiana shared a bleak view of her retirement situation but encouraging words for others.
Has your divorce financially affected your retirement plans?
Have you hired a financial advisor, CPA, or other financial professional to help you plan for your retirement needs during the divorce process?
Is your divorce attorney concerned about your retirement finances? Is it a divorce judge?
How would you describe the quality of your financial life after divorce?
I don’t have a house.
What information would you like to share with women in a similar situation?
Don’t give up even when it’s hard: You are important!
Retirement Daily shared the story of Rose with Theresa A. Harezlak, CFP®, CDFA®, is a financial advisor with Savant Wealth Management in Rockford, Illinois. Here are her thoughts for Mawar and other women facing similar issues.
The most important thing to remember is that the end of a marriage is a personal event. Divorce is a business transaction. It needs to be treated that way. This means making sure all your advisors understand the financial and legal aspects of divorce.
Be fair and set realistic expectations. You might not be able to live the same way, but that doesn’t mean it will be bad. It will only be bad if you do not make the necessary changes to accommodate your new situation.
Learn as much as you can about your assets, expenses, and cash flow. Work with someone who can help you understand the impact of the settlement.
I love “Rose’s” positive attitude and her advice “Never give up”. Start small and start building up. I always say, there is a time to thrive and a time to survive. At this point, being homeless, it’s time to survive. It’s good to start saving but it’s not realistic. Take small steps to make your life better.
Evaluate your talent. There may be many. Maybe you can find a job as a life guard for elderly people or families with children. This will solve the homeless problem and give you income to start building your retirement fund. Perhaps a “side hustle” such as consulting, tutoring or other flexible work can also help.
One area of advice I always give my divorce clients regarding wealth is that each member of a marriage should always know what is happening with their finances. This is critical and can help both people make better decisions during marriage and during divorce.
Remember, you are the one most interested in your well-being. It’s not your lawyer, accountant, family member or counselor. At the end of the day, you have to live with the impact of divorce. Push to make sure your attorney works for you and understands the financial impact of this divorce. Work with a financial professional who will guide you in your decisions and help you understand your retirement life after divorce.
Learn more by watching our webinar, Retirement Roundtable: Women, Divorce & Retirement, with Robert Powell and panelists Michelle Petrowski and Bonnie Sewell.
To find a financial professional with experience in divorce, visit the Institute for divorce Financial analysts website.