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Don’t forget retirement, health care during divorce

Times of financial uncertainty create environments in which making important decisions can be stressful. For example, moving forward with a divorce might feel unrealistic when someone is worried about money, especially when it comes to retirement or health care. Careful planning can help alleviate some of these concerns.

For married couples in Louisiana, retirement savings are usually intended to support both spouses in a single household. Retirement savings generally will not stretch as far when supporting two spouses in separate households. And while most retirement savings are divided during divorce without any tax consequences, making even a small mistake can be costly. This is because planning for retirement often involves more than just 401(k)s or IRAs, like life insurance and trusts.

Health insurance is another area of concern, especially if one spouse relied on coverage from his or her spouse’s job. This problem is especially tricky for women. In general, women live longer than men and also have higher health care costs. But this problem is not isolated to women, and anyone who was covered by a spouse’s insurance must find new coverage that is both sufficient and affordable.

It takes years to build up a nest egg for retirement, so it is important to preserve those savings whether someone is close to retirement or still decades away. Maintaining health care coverage, managing new housing costs and addressing other important financial issues is crucial for one’s future no matter what stage of life. Speaking with an attorney who is experienced in handling these and other divorce issues might be helpful for those who are eager to protect their finances.

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