With over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry one would think I would have been well prepared for my divorce. I knew our household budget, I had good credit, and I had a good job, but the feeling of stress and sense of naivety was overwhelming. Besides the emotional impact of the dissolution of a marriage, the financial impact can be daunting.
It typically cost 30% more to live separately than as a married couple and there is a seemingly never-ending list of financial changes you will need to make as you proceed through your divorce.
There are many “must do’s” before, during and after a divorce to get your financial life in order. Here are a few key items to consider.
- Make sure you are financially prepared for your monthly cash needs for at least three years while you are adjusting to your new life and perhaps embarking on a new career if you have been out of the workforce.
- Attain a copy of your credit report that includes your credit score.
- Close joint credit cards and open a credit card in your name if you don’t already have one to begin establishing credit.
- Update all beneficiaries on retirement accounts.
- Update your will/estate plan.
- Retitle all assets you have received in the settlement into your name. Likewise, make sure you remove your name from any asset that is no longer yours.
- Know your tax situation.
- Review your insurance policies: health, home, auto and life. Make sure the policies are in your name.
- Understand your Social Security benefits now and in the future.
- Make sure you are saving for your retirement.
- Get professional help managing your assets if you have accounts that are or need to be invested.
Divorce is a life changing event that will create emotional and financial challenges. However, look at it as an opportunity to create the kind of life you want in both areas. Be proud of the steps you take along the way to ensure financial security.
If you or someone you know would like to receive our Financial Life After Divorce guide which goes into more depth about all the mentioned “must do’s” please contact our firm at 503.906.9624 or online at http://www.nwic.net./