Retirement: Divorced

by -- anonymous --

I was married for 18 years and was awarded half of my x husbands retirement.

Do I have to wait to get my half... I want to invest. is there anyway to get it?

Wendy: I can't answer this question as I don't know anything about his pension plan or your court order.

The court order might answer this question, and if not, you can call the employer to inquire on your options. Tell them you are doing financial planning and need to know what your future monthly income will be and when the pension will begin (earliest possible retirement date).

However, think twice, if you get the option to withdraw your portion of the retirement -- assuming this is a lifetime pension. Are you SURE you want to cash out and invest (and possibly lose part of it in today's crazy market)? If the market goes down, and it does frequently lately, your investment is reduced. Your lifetime pension is reduced.

If your ex had a defined benefit pension, which I'm guessing he did, a monthly pension is paid to you for life. LIFE. Even if your pension doesn't begin for a few years... even if your half of 18 years doesn't sound like a fantastic monthly pension.. do this:

$ xxx per month x 12 months = $ xx,xxx per year

$ xx,xxx per year x 25 years (age 60 - 85) =
the value of your lifetime pension

This is just a guess-timate of course, but LOOK at that amount... AND you might live LONGER than 25 years! OR collect the pension earlier than age 60.

It all depends on the employers pension plan and your court order (domestic relations order). You can get a copy of the DRO from the court if you don't still have it.

I hope this helps.... think twice, retirement can be a long time, especially if your income is limited.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Retirement Questions/Answers.