We understand that if you recently lost a loved one or went through a divorce, dealing with financial responsibilities like Social Security survivor benefits or changes to your will are probably the last thing 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, it’s many of the same questions and decisions you considered when first setting up your retirement plans.


The most important thing to understand about Social Security survivor benefits is that you’ll need to file for those benefits within six months of the event. It’s even suggested you file within the month because the Social Security survivor benefits begin from the time you apply.

Widows and widowers receive the majority of survivor benefits.

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. You will still need to report your spouse’s death to the Social Security Administration. Or you may decide to apply for survivor’s benefits now and switch to your own benefits at a later date.

However, there are other instances where you might be eligible for survivor benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, this includes a surviving divorced spouse under certain circumstances, a minor or disabled child, and a parent age 62 or older who was 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.


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.