Date: October 28, 2022

Sole Survivor: How John’s Planning Supported Jill’s Retirement

Divorce is never easy, but it can be made easier—if you plan for it ahead of time. Believe it or not, you may still retire with confidence in Woodbridge. For example, let’s take a look at how a family working with their financial advisor got through a divorce without undue stress or hardship. We’ll also examine their situation before the split in order to see how they got through it afterward.

This article discusses the following:

  • How proactive planning can lessen a divorce’s financial impact
  • Why a fiduciary advisor can be invaluable during a divorce
  • Retirement planning’s importance, regardless of circumstances
  • The long-term advantages of planning a divorce, financially

Even an Amicable Divorce Is Difficult

When people get divorced, many things change. It isn’t just a relationship that ends, even if the split was amicable between you and your spouse and there are no children involved. Even if these factors make things easier, there will still be many challenges during this time period. However, the good news is that many of them can be lessened with proper financial planning before marriage breaks down completely.

Spouses who have been together for years are accustomed to viewing their financial situations as settled matters. They know what to expect and how to budget for run-of-the-mill daily expenses. When they separate, they find that they are no longer part of the same household—and yet their finances are often still intertwined in many ways.

The most amicable of best-case divorces can still be stressful, painful, and confusing on both sides of the table. However, if you’re like John and Jill, there can come a time when you can look back on your former marriage with a sense of closure, maybe even gratitude for everything you learned along the way.

John and Jill Were Married 15 Years Before Calling It Quits.

The couple met at work and then married in their early twenties. They had three children together, and then both of them worked full-time while raising them. After 15 years together, they decided to call it quits. Jill got full custody of their children, ages 10, 8, and 5. 

While they were married, Jill had left her job at a large company to stay home with the kids while John worked full-time. She was entitled to return to work after a year so she could contribute financially to her household, but she wanted more time with them before returning.

When John and Jill decided to divorce, they agreed that he would stay at his job and continue contributing to his 401(k) plan while she would make more money as a consultant. He kept their home in the wealthy Boston suburb where they had been living. Meanwhile, Jill received monthly alimony and was able to return to work after a year so that she could contribute financially to her household (which included nannies and tutors).

Their new arrangement meant they were both working harder than ever before. Unfortunately, it also meant that they were saving less money.

Enter John’s Financial Planner

John had a financial advisor whose services he shared with Jill. This wealth manager worked with them both to determine how much money would be required for Jill’s retirement. Additionally, he analyzed her current assets and made recommendations regarding Social Security benefits as well as pension plans from past employment (that could be cashed out for tax purposes). 

With the advantage of these financial strategies, Jill has been able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without being overly dependent upon her ex-husband. She hasn’t had to take risks with investments or other sources of income during uncertain economic times, either. As a result, Jill also hired a financial planner—who helped her make further sense of her new situation and create a plan for the future. 

Jill was 43. Looking down the road, she was concerned about supporting herself for years of an expensive retirement that would begin when she reached age 66. Thankfully, the planner also helped her focus on her children and their needs at this point in their lives (even while she was rebuilding her career).

John’s advisor helped, as well: He worked closely with Jill to make sure that she had enough money to live comfortably until age 65 or 70 (depending on whether she decided to retire early or not). John and Jill mutually agreed to split his 401(k) into two accounts—one for him and one for Jill. Both accounts were put on autopilot so that they could accumulate the maximum amount per year and stayed invested according to their own risk tolerances.

Invest for Tomorrow with a Plan Today

woman meeting with financial advisor

As you can see, John and Jill’s divorce, though stressful, went better than it could have. It takes time for anyone to adjust to a new reality. As a matter of fact, Jill could have reacted to this difficult time of transition and change, as some people do, by going down with the ship (which would have been disastrous, especially for her children). 

Instead, working with John’s advisor, she ensured that she could maintain her lifestyle post-divorce without going into debt (or ruining anyone’s credit score) in the process. She soon found that she was able to get back on her feet and start planning for retirement. The result is a well-funded retirement that allows her to focus on enjoying the rest of her life without worrying about money.

It is never too late to start planning for your future. If you’re going through a divorce or another life event that has left you in need of money-strategizing assistance, don’t wait until it’s too late to have an open conversation with your advisor. You can work together to create an action plan based on your needs, financial goals, and (yes, even your financial) dreams. 

No one intelligent likes the D-word, but times like these make sound financial planning even more important. The right fiduciary wealth manager can help guide you through this difficult time while helping you get back on track financially—so that when retirement arrives, it won’t be scary or overwhelming. 

After all: Ideally, retirement should be something that feels both right and familiar. Heritage Capital, LLC has decades of experience with asset allocation that you can leverage to get the ball rolling right. Let’s start working today on a retirement that brings you security and stability; do not regret decisions made during an uncertain period of transition. We specialize in high net worth retirement planning in Connecticut. Contact us today. 


We Can Make Switching Financial Advisors Simple and Hassle-Free When You’re Ready

plan a bulletproof retirement


Paul Schatz, President, Heritage Capital