Q: I have been disabled with MS and am not working. I was recently divorced after 13 years. My ex-husband must give me $2,500 per month for life.
I’m 54 years old, have $250,000 in savings, and have no debts. I own my house outright and it is worth about $500,000. My husband is wealthy and I will eventually receive some of his Social Security benefits.
How much do I need, and what do I need to do in order to have a decent retirement? Thank you.
A: The first thing you need to do is figure out how much you spend each month.
The big issue for you is health insurance. Is your husband going to continue to provide you with coverage now that you’re divorced? How do you plan to pay your medical bills?
Although it sounds like your house is paid off, you will still have ongoing expenses, including maintenance and real estate taxes. Those two expenses could eat up a majority of your monthly maintenance from your husband.
Now, let’s talk about income. Since you are disabled with MS, and are not working, you may be entitled to receive disability payments from Social Security now. Later, you can apply to receive your full share of your husband’s Social Security money. Do you have any other pension funds that you’re entitled to from your years of working?
You should sit down with a certified financial planner and map out all of your expenses, potential sources of income, and figure out how you’re going to make the numbers work.
Oct. 8, 2006.