It’s a possibility that getting a divorce could put your retirement at risk. Maybe you didn’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place to protect your retirement, or perhaps you really thought divorce would never be in the cards. The reality is that divorce can completely derail your plans for retirement, but you can rebuild those plans even as you age.
Starting over financially is not always easy, but it’s possible to rebuild. There are ways to start saving and rebuilding what you’ve lost or had to give up in divorce.
The first thing to try to do, though, is to keep as much as possible following the divorce. Perhaps your spouse wants your 401(k). Yes, you could split it 50-50, but you could also get creative and offer a piece of property or an asset in exchange for the retirement savings you want to keep.
In general, households with histories of divorce have around 30 percent less net worth than those that have never divorced and are at a 7 percent higher risk of not having enough money to last throughout retirement. The key to building back up is going to be compounding as much as possible. Continue to max out your contributions when possible and save any extra you can in a taxable investment account on the side. You may be surprised at how fast the money adds back up once you throw a little extra into savings on the side as well.
Your attorney can help you protect yourself if you’re going through a divorce and have a retirement to consider. Doing what you can to protect it will help you reduce the risk to your future retirement.