A woman claiming her ex-husband’s new partner has “stolen her retirement” has sparked a fierce debate online.
The new partner shared the situation to Mumsnet, under username Sparrownest1, where they revealed they’re in their late 50s, and “in a lovely relationship.”
The couple met through mutual interests, and have now “made some great adventure travel plans.”
But it seems the man’s ex-wife had a different view, as Sparrownest1 wrote: “His XW [ex-wife] tells everyone that I’ve stolen her retirement and now she can’t afford to do any of the things she was looking forward to.”
The post, which can be read here, is titled “I’ve stolen her retirement plans (apparently),” and has racked up more than 200 responses since being shared Wednesday.
While not specifying where they’re based, in the U.S., qualified people can enjoy Social Security benefits after they retire.
The amount varies from person to person, as the Social Security Agency (SSA) explained the amount paid to individuals “is based on your highest 35 years of earnings and varies depending on how much you earn and when you choose to start benefits.”
The official USA.gov website stated the amount needed in retirement fluctuates depending on the person.
“Retirement requires a lot of planning and consideration. In addition to finances, you need to think about when and where you’ll retire. Experts advise that you may need as much as 80 percent of your pre-retirement income to continue your current standard of living,” they warned.
The chart below, provided by Statista, shows where people think they’ll need to continue earning after retirement.
In addition to SSA, many people have a 401(k), which can become a hotly contested asset in a divorce.
Website Divorcenet.com confirmed “retirement accounts are up for grabs during a divorce,” acknowledging some parties may choose to trade assets to keep their 401(k).
If nothing can be settled amicably, courts will then decide how to best distribute retirement funds, as the site noted a few options are available, with the most common a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).
The Mumsnetter didn’t specify how, or what amounts, were divided in their partner’s divorce, but stressed in the comments: “I don’t know any details of their settlement but she last had a paying job role around 30 years ago so doubt there was much pension…
“He is building up his pension again now after it was divided between them so the spilt must have been done.”
Despite that, Sparrownest1 felt snubbed over the ex-wife’s claims, saying the man’s hobbies included “hiking, camping, canoeing and cycling” which his former wife wasn’t interested in.
As such she “didn’t want to join him or be involved in his retirement dream,” which was a factor in the split, Sparrownest1 said.
The pair now enjoy these hobbies together, but Sparrownest1 wrote: “I feel like I’m being made out to be a terrible person and don’t know if there is anything I can do.”
In the comments, the divorcée added: “No she doesn’t think I stole her husband and no she’s not penniless but a retirement in luxury was expected.”
The ex-wife’s views received a mixed response online, with some pointing out the split may not have been fair; others thought she mourned for the future she expected to have with her husband, while some thought it was none of her business.
ArcticSkewer said: “He stole her retirement and her future, not you.”
Kylereese wrote: “Who gives a stuff what she thinks? A lioness does not concern herself with the opinions of sheep.”
Sorcerersapprentice thought: “You are not responsible for the way she feels about stuff. There’s nothing you can do to change his she feels—she has to address that herself. Don’t feel guilty at all.”
Notonthestairs replied: “I don’t know the ins & outs of their divorce settlement—neither do you it seems—but I do hope both pensions were accounted for when dividing assets.”
Titsywoo added: “Exactly. I feel sorry for her to be honest. She may have given up loads to raise their kids while he earned money (for example obviously I don’t know their personal circumstances). It’s not your fault of course but show some compassion.”
Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.
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