Close this search box.

Financial Survival After Loss or Divorce

If you recently lost a loved one or went through a divorce, dealing with new financial responsibilities like Social Security survivor benefits or changes to your will can be overwhelming.

However, there are some decisions we think you will need to make right away in order to best support you and your retirement plans. We believe it’s important to understand how loss or divorce could affect your:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Taxes
  • Monthly finances and expenses
  • Retirement savings plans and beneficiaries
  • Estate plans

You’ll need to consider many of the same questions and decisions you made when first creating your retirement plans.

Understanding Your Social Security Survivor Benefits

If you qualify for Social Security survivor benefits, it’s important to file for within six months of the death of your loved one. We suggest you file within a month of the event because Social Security survivor benefits begin based on when you apply.

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. Or, you may decide to apply for survivor benefits now and switch to your own benefits at a later date. Regardless of your decision regarding survivor benefits, you will still need to report the death to the Social Security Administration.

Widows and widowers receive the majority of survivor benefits but other family members are sometimes eligible.

According to the Social Security Administration , these include minor or disabled children, surviving divorced spouses under certain circumstances, and parents age 62 or older who were dependent on the deceased family member.

It can be difficult to make such decisions when you’re grieving, especially if your loved one managed your finances. Our credentialed Retirement Planners can help. We’ll walk you through the choices you have regarding your Social Security survivor benefits and help you to navigate the financial challenges of losing a loved one. We want you to have financial peace of mind in all circumstances.

Divorce Affects Retirement and Your Savings.

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 can affect people differently later in life. There are often more assets to be divided, more debts to be reconciled, and possibly less income if you are retired. There are also fewer years of employment in which to save for retirement.

It’s a challenging situation, and there are financial decisions to make at this time 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 want to help you plan for the kind of retirement you want to live.