Women and Money

A Helpful Checklist for Recently Divorced Women

  • Create a budget and stick to it. When you assess how much income you’ll have, take into account sources that may run out, such as alimony payments you’ll receive for only a limited time.
  • Set specific short- and long-term financial goals, such as buying a home or securing your retirement.
  • Continue to contribute as much as you can to your 401(k) and college savings plans. If you have to choose, it’s more important to contribute to your 401(k), as loans and scholarships can help pay for higher education.
  • Educate yourself about finances and investing, and consult with a financial professional if you don’t already have one.
  • Make sure you and your ex-husband have enough life insurance and disability insurance.
  • Be certain you and your children have health insurance. If you were covered under your husband’s employee medical insurance, COBRA allows you to retain it for 36 months, although you’ll have to pay the full premium.
  • Update your will and remove your ex-husband as the beneficiary on your 401(k), IRA, and life insurance policy. If you have minor children, name someone you trust to handle your assets in the event you pass away.

  • If your ex-husband has Social Security earnings, you are entitled to receive an amount equal to half of his benefits when you reach retirement age.

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