Financial Survival After Loss or Divorce

If you recently lost a loved one or went through a divorce, dealing with new financial responsibilities like Social Security survivor benefits or changes to your will are probably the last things you want to deal with right now.

Unfortunately, some decisions do need to be made to best support you and your retirement plans. It’s important to understand how these changes in your life could affect your:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Taxes
  • Monthly finances and expenses
  • Retirement savings plans and beneficiaries
  • Estate plans and wills

In fact, you’ll need to consider many of the same questions and decisions you made when first setting up your retirement plans.

Do You Understand Your Social Security Survivor Benefits?

It’s important to file for Social Security survivor benefits within six months of the event. It’s even suggested you file within the month since Social Security survivor benefits begin from the time you apply.

Depending on your circumstances (age, employment, and your own Social Security benefits), you might not need to file for Social Security survivor benefits at all. Or you may decide to apply for survivor’s benefits now and switch to your own benefits at a later date. You will still need to report your spouse’s death to the Social Security Administration.

Widows and widowers receive the majority of survivor benefits but other family members are sometimes eligible.

According to the Social Security Administration, these include minor or disabled children, surviving divorced spouses under certain circumstances, and parents age 62 or older who were dependent on the deceased family member.

It can be difficult to make such decisions when you’re grieving, especially if your loved one typically handled your finances. Our retirement planners can help. We’ll walk you through the choices you have regarding your Social Security Survivor benefits, help you to navigate the financial challenges of losing a loved one, and help put you on the path to financial peace of mind.

Divorce Affects Retirement and Your Savings.

If you are over 50 and recently divorced, you’re not alone. According to Pew Research, the divorce rate among U.S. adults ages 50 and older has roughly doubled since the 1990s — and the divorce rate for those over 65 has nearly tripled.

Divorce affects people differently in later life. There are often more assets to be divided, more debts to be reconciled, and less income. There are also fewer years of employment in which to save for retirement.

It’s a challenging situation, and you’ll need to make important financial decisions that could have a lasting impact on your retirement. But you don’t have to do it alone. We understand how divorce affects retirement planning and your savings. We can help you figure out how to live out the retirement of your dreams.