As the old adage goes, the best way to prevent a problem is to be prepared for it in the first place. While this is not always possible, generally no matter what issue
you’re facing, someone has been there before, and has documented the pitfalls and secrets so that you don’t have to learn by experience.
This post today will be talking about an area that that vast majority of people would never think about: Planning for post-divorce finances while still being married.
Specifically while happily married.
That might sound pessimistic, selfish, and even fatalistic, but the truth is that while married, any reasonable effort you expend on your own personal finances will not
only prepare you to face a potential divorce, but will also benefit the marriage as well. It’s a win-win.
One of the easiest things to remember for future planning is the 4% rule. Known by financial experts the world over, the 4% rule basically says that for an average
retirement account to maintain itself for its desired length, withdrawals should be no more than 4% per year. As markets fluctuates, and depending on your desired
retirement age, that amount could fluctuate, but it’s a good rule of thumb to apply to any retirement situation.
Retirement planning is something that usually happens naturally in most couples, and it’s not usually something that causes stress and worry, but for a single middle-aged
individual, it can easily become a much larger problem. That is why extra attention and care must be taken to ensure that even if a marriage should fall apart when the
couple is age 60, their separate retirement plans are still mostly whole.
Naturally, that requires quite a bit of advanced planning. Following the 4% rule, if you plan to retire on $30,000 a year, that means that you should plan to have
$750,000 saved up in retirement accounts. If that amount sounds shocking, it’s for good reason: Retirement is expensive, and you do not want to turn 83 and find out that
you are completely broke. There is no age where it’s too young to start saving for retirement, and it is a solid fact that the sooner you start saving, the better. It is
always possible to be employed part-time while you are in your retirement years, but employment gets increasingly harder to find the older you get, and you will be simply
unable to perform certain demanding tasks any more. These are issues that cannot be faced and tackled too early.
It might seem strange to talk about retirement planning and divorce together, but the reality is that middle-aged and elderly couples are getting divorced at increasing
rates, and the absolute last thing you want is to walk out of family court single and virtually penniless in your 50s or 60s. You do not have to be actually facing
divorce to plan for a single future, and any planning you do towards being able to take care of yourself is time well-spent.