Managing Retirement through Divorce

Managing Retirement Accounts through the Divorce Process

According to Robert Ebert (Rob), Investment Advisor with Ebert Associates, the secret to having enough resources to last throughout the golden years is retirement income, not simply the accumulation of wealth. But oh how that retirement process can be interrupted when going through a divorce.

To understand Rob’s process and philosophy for creating successful retirement programs, it is important to understand his perspective on this process. He grew up in a family that participated in several different businesses; but each one was always focused on serving families and individuals. That culture became the guiding principle in how he runs his company today, serving individuals to be able to live well in retirement. Keeping the human side of the equation in the forefront, Rob offered some sage advice for those going through a marital dissolution. His primary objective is to build a trusted advisor relationship with each client, taking as much time as needed for this to naturally develop.

When the complications of divorce finance enter the picture, retirement scenarios frequently change significantly. Rob suggests it can take 12 to 18 months to process and resolve issues associated with the divorce. Part of the reason for this protracted time frame is that most individuals going through a marital dissolution also go through a mourning period similar to that of mourning the loss of a loved one. The financial future that was previously known often becomes 100% unknown. Some may even wish to repress or be in denial about their retirement planning and financial future.

Working with the client to help move the process forward, Rob guides the spouse carefully through their financial situation. Rob says, “This is a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle in which you no longer have the photo from the box top, just lots of pieces. We have to take time to sort through all of the assets to set a plan to complete the puzzle.”

When counseling a spouse going through this challenging time, Robert asks if that spouse was involved in paying the bills. Do they understand their spouse’s 401K statements? He delves into the details of what assets are available, such as the value of the family home and the retirement planning funds. Creating a reliable income stream is the goal.  We consider all possible income sources as we bring the pieces of the puzzle together. Rob has access to over 40 financial strategists if deeper information is needed to put together a solid investment portfolio going forward.

After taking a financial inventory, he looks at the schedule of assets and debts to help create a realistic scenario to go forward and to start to regain financial security for the future. He asks clients to avoid making major purchases without first getting input from their family law attorney and financial advisors.

Robert cautions, “Even though it can take some time and a lot of analysis, in the end, the process and planning can create strong new beginnings with lots of potential to yield fruit for a solid retirement.”

Securities, insurance and advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services provided through Ebert Associates, not affiliated with FSC Securities Corporation.  FSC does not offer legal services or advice.

Posted in Divorce, Separation.