Women and Money: Retirement and Divorce

Planning for the expected and unexpected

Sometimes, we have to plan for both the expected and the unexpected. However, when it comes to retirement and divorce, most Canadians are woefully unprepared. These events, if they occur, can have a major impact on your financial health.

If you are concerned about being ready for major life events, or if you have issues with debt, you can call Consolidated Credit for excellent advice from trained counsellors. Call us today at or fill out a Free Debt Analysis online.

Phase 5: Retirement

Fact: Women are less likely to have put money aside for retirement than men (source: The Toronto Star)

Ironically, a peaceful retirement doesn’t come without a lot of hard work and planning. Many Canadians are finding that they are unprepared for their later years and they can’t enjoy it as much as they envisioned. Like many things in life, a lack of planning has led to this disappointing situation. However, the following tips will help you leave the workforce with a solid financial future –

  • Don’t put all your eggs in the pension basket – Pension benefits have allowed countless Canadians to enjoy their retirement over the past few decades. But with a rapidly aging population, there’s no guarantee that the same benefit will be accrued to you. In a nutshell, make sure you accumulate enough savings to offset any decreased pension benefits.
  • Retire with no debt – After retiring, you will be dealing with a reduced amount of money to spend each month. Carrying large debt loads into retirement will put a major strain on your finances. You can avoid this by steering clear of debt throughout your working life and committing to paying off your mortgage as soon as possible.
  • Ask a financial professional for advice – Everybody’s financial situation is different so it may be worthwhile to reach out for some one-on-one advice from a professional. It may be from a financial advisor you have a relationship with or from a trained credit counsellor. Either way, there’s no harm to getting some extra advice to ensure that you have a successful retirement.

Divorce

Fact: Over 40% of marriages will end in divorce before their 30th anniversary (source: Employment and Social Development Canada)

Unfortunately, divorce is a reality in our society. The breakup of a marriage can have long-lasting personal and financial effects on both individuals. Consolidated Credit has created a brief list of tips to be used both before and after a separation –

  • Don’t be ignorant of your finances – Although you may have divided up financial responsibilities in your marriage, both parties should have a working knowledge of the family finances. Without this knowledge, it’s too easy to fall behind on bills after a separation.
  • Close joint accounts – If you are undergoing divorce proceedings, you need to start closing down your joint accounts and joint credit cards. As long as they remain in both of your names, your ex-partner’s financial mistakes could end up hurting you.
  • Make a budget – There is hardly a situation where making a budget is not a good idea. In case of divorce, your financial situation – from salary to rent – will probably be changing. The first thing you should do is get a handle on your finances and make a budget to keep your spending on track.
  • Look for work, if needed – If you have been out of the workforce for a number of years before a separation, it can be extremely difficult. You may need to find stable employment in order to make ends meet so focus on applying for jobs and sending out resumes. Additionally, you may want to consider upgrading your education if your skills have eroded.
  • Get professional help – Finances are just one piece of the puzzle.  You may encounter a wide variety of issues during and after a divorce, and it can be difficult to handle things on your own.  You may wish to seek legal advice or other online resources at websites such as DivorceAngels.ca.