The Valley Wire

Financial moves for the recently divorced

Ease the stress of a divorce through financial planning

- CATHERINE METZGER-SILVER catherine.metzger-silver@edwardjone­ @SaltWireNe­twork Catherine Metzger-Silver is a financial adviser with Edward Jones in Kentville. Connect with her on Facebook at EJ Advisor Catherine Metzger-Silver, by email at catherine.m

Divorce is common in our society, but that doesn’t make it any easier to navigate. If you’ve recently finalized a divorce, you’ve likely been coping with uncertaint­y and tension.

You can still avoid turning an already difficult situation into one that’s even more challengin­g. How? By making the right financial and investment moves.

Consider the following financial tips:


Even when you were married, you and your spouse might have maintained some separate accounts. But if you only had joint accounts, now is the time to open your own chequing, savings and credit accounts.


It is likely your budget needs updating. Your household income may be lower or may need to be adjusted for alimony or child support, paid or received. Additional­ly, your living expenses may have shifted, either increasing because you’re no longer splitting expenses like housing or utilities or decreasing because you’re no longer supporting your ex’s spending habits. Understand­ing your new budget will help you feel better informed about your financial options and more in control of your new situation.


Divorce is expensive and may have depleted your savings. To get back on your feet, you may want to build an easily accessible source of funds for unexpected drops in income or spikes in expenses.

If you’re not retired, you may want to keep three-to-sixmonths’ worth of expenses in emergency savings, while even smaller amounts can boost your feelings of financial security.


When you were married, you may have been counting on sharing resources and expenses with your spouse in retirement. But now, you may be solely responsibl­e for your retirement. If you can afford it, you may want to ramp up your retirement plan contributi­ons. You may want to consult a financial profession­al about setting and achieving new goals.


Your divorce could play a role in the CPP benefits you can receive. Contributi­ons you and your spouse or commonlaw partner made when you lived together can be divided after a separation or divorce.

To request a credit split, you or your legal representa­tive must complete and submit the required documentat­ion to Service Canada. Rules can be complicate­d, so look for additional informatio­n at servicecan­ to better understand your situation and keep a record of your ex’s social insurance number.


You’ll likely need to revise the beneficiar­y designatio­ns on your retirement accounts and life insurance policies. These designatio­ns carry a lot of weight and can even supersede the instructio­ns in your will. And, speaking of your will, you’ll likely need to revise it too, along with other legal documents like a power of attorney for property. Consult with a legal profession­al to make these revisions. It can feel like a long road to stability after a divorce, but following the above suggestion­s may make the trip a little less bumpy and hopefully shorter too.

 ?? STORYBLOCK­S ?? Navigating a divorce is never easy. Make it less stressful by being financiall­y prepared and planning in case the worst should happen.
STORYBLOCK­S Navigating a divorce is never easy. Make it less stressful by being financiall­y prepared and planning in case the worst should happen.
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