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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Retirement: How much do you know about your spouse's accounts?

In theory, married couples work together to create a secure retirement. They plan, invest and save so that there is enough money, assets and property for their golden years to live comfortably, perhaps even lavishly. In truth, though, retirement planning may not be as well thought out or as well financed as it should be.

According to the Couples Study, undertaken by Fidelity Investments, 40 percent of 1,051 couples couldn't provide an accurate amount of their partner's income. This was even though 72 percent of those couples responded that financial matters were an area where they communicated very well or exceptionally.

When it came to retirement, an incredible 36 percent said that a retirement plan wasn't something that they had developed. Just over half of the respondents, though, worried that they wouldn't have enough in their retirement savings accounts to last through their later years.

Fidelity Investments and other investment companies will need to make it easier for people to learn how much they will need to have a comfortable retirement. In addition, they will also need to educate couples on how to have the necessary resources to do so.

One divorce financial advisor said that it has been his experience that the wife is often not involved in investment, savings and retirement planning. When women have little to no input in the couple's retirement, it can make protecting her rights in a divorce more difficult. Spouses are entitled to part of the other spouse's retirement pay in many circumstances. Without learning about it, a woman may be severely shortchanged during the property division in a divorce.

An experienced divorce attorney can provide women with information on the property division laws in Texas, including those that deal with retirement accounts. Don't hesitate to protect your future.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: How Much Do You Know About Your Husband's Retirement?," Jeff Landers, accessed Sep. 29, 2015

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