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Should you fight to keep your full 401k?

Your divorce in Sarasota will no doubt prompt a good deal of emotion, and often that will come into play when making decisions throughout the process. There may be instances where such feelings help in making wise choices, and others where it could potentially cloud your judgment. Where the potential exists for the latter to occur, you will want to carefully consider every option to ensure that you are doing what is best for you. 

Consider the handling of your 401k. Your ex-spouse is entitled to an equitable portion of the contributions made to that account during your marriage. You may have several reasons to want to retain its full value, such as wanting to ensure that your retirement goals remain unchanged. Yet according to The 401k Help Center, keeping the full amount of your 401k will likely require you to relinquish your claim over another marital asset of equal or comparable value. 

Determining equal value in this context can be difficult because you are not considering the current value of your 401k. Rather, you need to determine what it will be worth when the time comes for you to draw from it. At that time, you will need to pay tax on its contributions. That liability, however, should be more than offset by the gains the fund has made through investments and earned interest. 

It is those gains you need to consider. Asking your ex-spouse to give you your entire 401k means asking them to give up on those potential earnings. Thus, in compensation, you may be required to relinquish your current stake in another valuable marital asset. Comparing the potential for growth of your 401k, the only comparable asset may be real estate properties or other investment accounts. These are all points to consider when making this decision. 

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Schipani and Norman, P.A.
1605 Main Street, Suite 1110
Sarasota, FL 34236

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