Is retirement possible, post-divorce?

Is it too late to start talking about retirement?

Quick answer: No.

I’ll circle back to that in a minute.

But first: It’s common—too common, in my opinion—for divorcing women, whether they’re working or not, to assume that they’ll never be able to retire.

And more often than not, that’s simply not true.

The not-so-secret secret is to have a plan.

I can help with that. I’m a CPA, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional. I’ve also been divorced. And I’ve helped lots of women, just like you, in circumstances similar to yours.

Hidden gems

Many women are surprised to learn, for example, that if they’d been married for ten years or more and they don’t remarry, they’re automatically entitled to half of their ex-husband’s Social Security benefit.

It gets better. Your qualifying for that benefit doesn’t reduce his benefit. You don’t have to negotiate a thing. You don’t even have to mention it to him.

Here’s another. Depending on your age, it may make total sense for you to learn a new skill, even if it’s just, say, a seven- to twelve-month program for something like graphic design, which doesn’t require a degree. Why? Because that can increase your income. Which will factor into your plan.

Because there are lots of things you can plan on, but one that you can’t: You don’t know when your body will decide (for you!) that you’re no longer able to work a full- or even part-time job.

So I’ll help you with the other parts of your plan that you can plan on. It’s more than just that possibility of boosting your income with a little upskilling.

You’re behind the wheel

Put it this way: If you don’t have a plan, all you have is fear. The plan helps to knock down the fear. If that’s not a positive motivator, I don’t know what is.

And consider this: When I help you make a financial plan, it’s your financial plan. It isn’t mine. It isn’t some cookie-cutter or copied template. You get to decide which variables and trade-off’s you’d like to play with. Which leads to the answer to my initial question: Is it too late to start talking about retirement?

Of course not. Let me tell you a story.

Happily ever after

Years ago, a woman came to me as a client. She was 65 at the time. She’d been divorced, and then widowed. She wanted to retire. She wanted to live out her lifelong dream of traveling the world, with one nice trip each year.

And all this, with just ten million dollars packed away.

Oh wait. Did I say ten million? No. It was more like $250,000.

Did I laugh in her face? Did I turn her away?

Au contraire. I worked with her—confession: it was fun—and we came up with a plan where she made the trade-off’s to get the stuff she really wanted. Example: She had been living alone in a massive house left over from the marriage, which was financially underwater (this was in the wake of the old financial crisis). So she did a short-sale, and took an apartment instead. Those kinds of trade-offs.

Fast-forward to today. She’s living her dream. She takes a bucket-list trip each year. She’s in her late seventies and happy. Bonus: She has a roommate now, they live in a shared house, and they take turns providing the transportation to each other’s doctor appointments!

Fend off the fear. Forge that plan. Contact me and let’s get started on that future of yours!