Finances are an important part of becoming self-sufficient and nurturing the new you. Here is a checklist of items that are important to cover when ensuring your finances are headed in the right direction.
Here are a few items worth your consideration during this post-divorce time:
If you haven't already, you want to make sure you have a credit card as well as a checking and a savings account in your name. It is important to maintain or begin building your credit as soon as possible.
In order to make smart financial decisions, you need to understand fully the financial ramifications of your divorce. Will you be paying or receiving spousal maintenance/ child support? How will these payments be structured? What property or assets will you be receiving and when? Are you eligible for a portion of your former spouse's social security payments? Take time to discuss these issues with your lawyer to be sure you understand them fully.
Now that you are on your own, you want to make sure that you have all the necessary forms of insurance to protect yourself and your property. This includes health insurance, life insurance, income protection insurance,car insurance and homeowner or renters insurance. Make sure all forms of insurance are in your name and that you understand the terms and conditions of each policy. Remember that you need to create a filing system for copies of all your financial documents and to keep an extra copy of these important papers in a safety deposit box.
Update your beneficiaries - Many times people forget that life insurance and retirement accounts such as pass outside of your will. You may not be excited to have your ex-spouse inherit your assets after you are gone. The same is true with life insurance; it is easy to update by filling out a current beneficiary change form. This is also an excellent time to update your will and health care directive.
You no longer can rely on your spouse’s financial resources if a mistake is made. Make sure you review your Social Security estimates and your retirement accounts. Are they appropriately invested for your new time horizon and risk tolerance?
Having a clear, realistic vision of your situation now will help you make changes so you can navigate to your financial independence. The good news is, it’s all in your hands. After you have moved on from your divorce, there may come a time when you want to consider getting remarried. By getting your personal finances in order, it will raise the bar of what you expect in a partner.