There are few life transitions more difficult than navigating a divorce. According to Nicole Mayer, AIF, CDFA of RPG Life Transition Specialists, a wealth management firm in Chicago, both parties must arm themselves with knowledge and understanding to avoid unnecessary complications, especially as they relate to their finances.
“The number of people who jump into a divorce without realizing the kind of financial implications it has is disheartening,” says Mayer. “It’s like having a baby without ever reading a parenting book. Our goal is to make sure folks know what to expect, and are prepared for the unexpected.”
On the following pages are RPG Life Transition Specialists’ top five tips for navigating divorce as unscathed as possible.
Anticipate Up Front Costs: A divorce typically costs no less than $20,000, and understanding that up front will make for a smoother transition.
“When you factor in lawyers, tax advisors, time off work, the cost of a divorce is greater than it may appear at the outset,” warns Mayer. “Do your research so there are fewer surprises. Also, consider mediation as part of your divorce, which significantly reduce the costs.”
Understand Your Immediate Needs.
Over the short term, your number one goal should be survival.
“If you’re concerned about making ends meet during and after the divorce, that should inform your negotiation strategy,” says Mayer.
“Stocks and bonds, which can be easily liquidated, should be a priority above retirement accounts or other long-term investments.”