There are only a few things that can savage your financial plans and pull the plug on your dreams more than divorce. Unfortunately, as people live longer, they also have more time to grow apart.
The damage is higher the closer you get to retirement. If you are already retired, a gray divorce might make you feel like you’ve lost everything you’ve ever worked for in the blink of an eye. “If late-life divorce were a disease,” says Jay Lebow, a psychologist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University, “it would be an epidemic.”
But it doesn’t have to feel or be this way. With proper financial planning, there are ways to save your finances and maintain your financial independence even if you no longer have a partner in retirement. Read on to find out how to protect your financial future even if you split in your later years of life.
Evaluate your financial situation
You can’t shore up your finances if you don’t know how much money you still have, how much you’ll need and what you have to do to achieve your goal. Therefore, the first thing you have to do is evaluate your financial situation and find out where you stand.
Start gathering financial information regarding all your accounts from your checking and savings accounts to IRAs, 401(k) plans, or other retirement accounts you might have, such as a 403(b) or 457, as well as your brokerage accounts.
Don’t forget to also assess your liabilities, such as your home mortgage, credit card debts, car loans, personal loans, or other debts owed. All of these will serve as the foundation for your financial planning.
Calculate your net worth
Once you’ve collected all the necessary financial data, you can subtract your liabilities from your assets to find out your net worth. There are various other calculation methods, some of them much more sophisticated, but this easy and simplified way can provide a general picture of your situation.
By the time you leave the workforce, you most probably have a positive net worth. On the other hand, if the situation is not in your favor and the figure is negative, you might be required to take immediate action to deal with the deficit net worth and prevent insolvency.