During your marriage, you probably planned for a future with your spouse that included a retirement plan. But now that your relationship is over, it is time to develop a new plan—one that makes sure that you and your loved ones are cared for as you age. Here are a few tips on how to protect your retirement funds and save for retirement after and during your divorce:

  • Don’t treat your retirement funds like an afterthought – It is very difficult to focus on your husband’s 401K when you are going through a divorce—you are more likely to focus on child custody, your marital home, and other more immediate concerns. However, you must remember that you have worked hard for that money and that you need to fight for your fair share.
  • Learn about your portfolio and how to invest – Research has shown that in many couples, one person is familiar with the family’s investments and the other is not. If you are the person who has taken the back seat to investing, it is vital that you educate yourself and take an active role. Although these money matters can be intimidating, they are very important to your future financial security.
  • Know what you got in the settlement – A recent study found that a shocking 38 percent of divorced women weren’t clear on exactly what their divorce settlement was—including what part of the pension plan they received in their divorce. In order to find financial security and success after marriage, it is key to know what you have and what you need.
  • Don’t stop saving for retirement! – The same recent study found that 19 percent of women did not continue to put money into their retirement plan after a divorce. While this is likely in part because women often suffer financial hardship after a split, it is imperative that women understand that saving for retirement is just as important as other needs and wants.

Getting divorced doesn’t just mean ending a relationship with your spouse—it also means re-envisioning your future. Make sure that you keep your retirement in mind and keep investing and saving!


Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington