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How divorce may affect retirement plans

The breakdown of a marriage is often an incredibly disruptive event in a person's life. Decades of financial planning can be put in jeopardy with a divorce, and things like retirement or investments may need to be re-evaluated. This can be challenging for individuals who have been counting on a certain future. Those individuals facing these issues in Alberta may need to reconsider their plans and financial setup when filing for divorce.

Divorce rates for people over 50 are on the rise, making retirement a major issue in many circumstances. Part of retirement planning is preparing for costs, many of which are lower when shared between two partners. Housing, medical insurance, transportation and long-term care are all costs that a newly single person will have to bear independently. While some people may be able to cut costs after their marriage ends, others may find their financial mindset needs to shift.

Retirement savings are among the assets that will be divided by Alberta couples during their divorce. Recovering these losses can be a challenge as well. The changes that come with divorce may make it difficult to continue contributing to an RRSP or other retirement plan as household expenses, alimony and child support will come first. Depending on a person's situation, extending a career or making lifestyle changes may be necessary to create a sustainable future.

One way to ensure that careful planning and financial future are protected is by seeking legal counsel. Each spouse in an Alberta divorce can seek focused and savvy advice from a family law attorney. This effort will help ensure the client is not left in an unfair or unsustainable situation following this major life change.

Source: Forbes, "Does Divorce Derail Retirement?", Larry Light, July 24, 2107

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