When retirement plans get derailed

How to ease the financial pain of divorce, death or disability

Gail Bebee 14 November, 2013 | 7:00PM
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The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley, (often go awry)
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain

Robert Burns wasn't thinking about retirement when he wrote these famous lines of his poem, To a Mouse, more than 200 years ago. Yet, they perfectly express the reality of retirement planning today. Despite carefully laid plans and diligent saving, sometimes life goes awry, wrecking our retirement plans and weighing down our lives with grief and pain. Divorce, death and disability are some of the family situations that can derail even the best-laid retirement plans.

The number of Canadian marriages projected to end in divorce before the 30th wedding anniversary has fluctuated between 35% and 42% over the past 20 years. Add to this the number of failed common-law partnerships, for which data are sparse, and one can easily conclude that a relationship breakdown will affect the retirement plans of nearly half of Canadians. There are several financial dimensions to this impact:

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About Author

Gail Bebee

Gail Bebee  Gail Bebee is an independent personal finance speaker, teacher and the author of No Hype--The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money. She can be reached at gbebee@gailbebee.com; her website is www.gailbebee.com.

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