Keeping your retirement savings intact during a divorce is rarely possible. However, proactive planning and strategic decision-making can help you preserve as much of your nest egg as possible.
As soon as you anticipate a divorce, take control of your finances so you can begin planning for your future right away.
Reconfigure your budget
Adjusting to financial independence after your marriage may take some time, especially if your relationship lasted a long time. While you may have previously shared financial obligations and incomes, it is now your sole responsibility to manage everything. According to The Motley Fool, a majority of poor elderly in America experienced divorce at some point. Reconfiguring your budget right away to account for retirement savings contributions can help you avoid becoming part of that statistic.
After you finance critical needs, decide how much you can reasonably afford to contribute to a retirement savings account. For example, you may decide to open an IRA or establish a 401K savings plan. You can also ask your employer if they have any company-sponsored options to facilitate your retirement planning.
Protect your settlement
As part of your divorce settlement, you may receive a portion of the retirement savings you and your spouse used to share. Refrain from the temptation to cash out and spend your allotment. Doing this could result in costly taxes and penalties and rob you of the maximum value of your money.
Once you receive your portion, find out what the process is for rolling it over into your own savings account. Continue building your savings and as you get back on your feet, you can start looking for other ways to diversify your savings for the future.