How can I preserve my retirement plans during a divorce?

Despite carefully saving throughout the years, you worry that your later in life divorce may wreak havoc on your financial plans for retirement. If you have been a stay at home spouse, you might now need to be financially independent for the first time in years or perhaps even in your adult life.

According to, there are specific things that you can do to avert financial fallout.

Return to or remain in the workplace

One of the best things you can do as a recently single person is hold a job. If you are currently employed, you are already a step ahead. Sometimes this means returning to the workplace for the first time in decades. This helps give you a daily routine, builds your confidence and in many cases can give you much needed health insurance.

Do not feel discouraged and think that if your spouse is the primary breadwinner, you are going to receive little in the divorce. When dividing assets, courts consider the time and labor that a homemaker has put into running the family home.

Open your own retirement account

If you do not have any retirement accounts solely in your name, make sure to open one prior to your divorce. In order to avoid incurring any penalties, this is necessary so you can transfer money from your spouse’s tax-deferred account into your own. Resist the urge to cash your share of his or her account out, since this means a substantial penalty as opposed to watching the money grow for your retirement.

Assess your budget

One of your biggest worries might be whether you are going to maintain your current lifestyle or possibly whether there is going to be enough money to live comfortably on. Taking an honest look at your spending and expenses is necessary to keep yourself on solid financial footing. Examining your budget affords you the opportunity to see where you might want to cut some expenses and where you can set aside extra money into savings or a retirement account.

Delay your Social Security

If you are able to postpone receiving Social Security as long as you can, you give yourself the opportunity to receive larger benefits. Over time, this can produce a substantial difference in funds. Keep in mind that a marriage lasting for at least 10 years means that you are able to draw Social Security predicated upon your spouse’s work history.