Signed divorce papers do not quite signal the end of the divorce process. Certainly, when you are formally divorced, a page in the book of your life is turned. However, the terms of your divorce settlement will impact your financial life after divorce. Therefore, the divorce process extends into the transition period wherein you regain your financial footing, independence and move into a place of stability.
Ideally, your divorce attorney will have helped you secure adequate assets to maintain your lifestyle and plan for your future. However, the present must be dealt with and the future planned for regardless of your property settlement terms. And unfortunately, a recent study initiated by ING indicates that the average married person has $10,000 more saved for retirement than the average divorced person does.
Therefore, it is critical that you use the transition period between divorce and whatever your future holds for you next to take a financial snapshot of your retirement savings and create a plan to ensure a bright financial future.
It is entirely possible that your spouse has handled the retirement planning until this point. Do not allow the novelty of this task to overwhelm you. Rather, consult books, trusted Internet sites, podcasts and financial planners. When you educate yourself, you will be more empowered to make the best financial decisions for your particular situation.
Financial planning post-divorce can be challenging. But your future self will thank you for taking the time and energy to invest in your future, now that your financial situation has changed significantly.
Source: CNN Money, "Rebuild your nest egg after a divorce," Beth Braverman, Feb. 21, 2013