A client asked me the other day to predict the future balance in her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s retirement account. I’d like to share with you my answer to her.
There are no crystal balls in divorce advice. Here is a partial list of questions for which I would need answers before doing this task.
What will be his retirement plan contributions in the future? What if he changes them?
How much will his employer match? Will the match rate change?
Will he lose his job and stop contributing to the account?
How will he choose investments for the account? Will he hire an advisor? Will he do it himself? Will he switch between the two? How will that affect his investments?
What will his investments be? Mutual Funds? Bonds? Stocks? How many of each?Which funds? Which bonds? Which stocks? When will he buy them? When will he sell them?
How will the markets perform?
Will he buy low and sell high? Or will he buy high and sell low? A combination of both?
Okay, I get it that she wants to know how rich he is going to be years after the divorce. As my husband would say, it’s just one of those great mysteries in life.