I had a recent mediation that has caused me to consider how to address the future consequences that face a spouse who left the workforce for many years during the time of the marriage.
In this case, the wife had taken on the role of primary caretaker of the couple’s children. As a result, she left the workforce when the children were born and, when she returned to work many years later, she was only able secure employment that paid her about $40,000 a year. This job also did not provide a 401(k) for the employees, although she has been able to set up an IRA that now has about $10,000 in it.
The husband was the primary breadwinner during the marriage and, partly because he remained in the workforce, now earns $120,000 per year. He also has about $200,000 in a 401(k) that was established by his employer. Read the rest of Dan’s article to learn about other potential financial inequities in the golden years and how to deal with them.