What To Do When Your Spouse Loses A Job
The rise in unemployment among married couples, particularly husbands, is having a big impact not only many families' current income and expenses, but also their long-term savings.
"Unemployment has grown most sharply among husbands in older couples," says Boushey, "leaving many Baby Boomer couples with the double whammy of falling retirement savings and limited job prospects."
Even still, do not see a job loss as an opportunity to raid your nest egg. If you take distribution from retirement funds as cash, not only will your unemployment benefits likely be reduced, you'll have to pay ordinary income taxes on any traditional 401(k) or IRA money.
If you're under age 59 1/2, you'll face a 10% penalty for taking an early distribution from a 401(k), 403(b), 457 plan or IRA account. That means that by taking a lump sum withdrawal, from a traditional 401(k) plan, your balance could be cut 30-40% or more. Bottom line: "Don't raid your retirement," says Bankrate's McBride. A job loss "may only be temporary, but retirement is inevitable and lasts a lot longer."
Perhaps most important for couples going through a job loss is to keep lines of communication open, particularly in the midst of a personal financial crisis. "One of the primary reasons for divorce is a job loss for a spouse," Francis says. "Continue to invest in your relationship and schedule weekly money dates to discuss the new financial situation that you are in." Work together to achieve the successful life that you both deserve.