Retirement planning is important whether you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s. It is even more important if you are facing separation and divorce. Understanding your family’s sources of retirement income is necessary. Will you have Social Security independently or through your spouse? Do you or your spouse have a pension (defined benefit ) plan through employment that will pay an amount each month at retirement? What are the terms of that plan with respect to cost of living adjustments, survivor benefits, etc.? Do you or your spouse have a 401k plan from which distributions can be taken? Are there any loans outstanding against the plan? Does the employer match contributions and at what time each year does such a match occur? Once you determine the potential sources that currently exist, a next good step is to work with your attorney and possibly a financial planner to construct a plan for how those sources can be distributed in a manner to help you toward your retirement goals. The division of retirement benefits as part of equitable distribution in a divorce matter can be highly disputed and emotional. Knowing how each plan works and how receiving portions of any or all of those plans is necessary to make sure your financial future post-separation is secure.