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Divorce, Women and Retirement

Social Security has been in the news lately due to the announcement of an almost 6% increase in benefits for 2022.

However, if you are a woman and getting divorced you’ve probably already realized that your income in retirement may be significantly less than the income that will be received by your spouse. In some part this may be due to a difference in the Social Security income each of you will receive.

Historically, women fare less well in annual social security income due to a number of factors: lower salaries, years off to care for and raise children, years acting as caretaker for an elderly parent. This may now be further impacted by Covid as women have left jobs due to lack of daycare or to home school children or grandchildren.

While social security is not divisible in a divorce, I suggest that you print a copy of your statement and ask your spouse to do the same. This is particularly important for those experiencing a “grey divorce” (age 60 or older). Look at the income you will receive from social security, your investments and your retirement plans to determine how each of you will fare post-divorce.

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