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Bankruptcy FAQ

4 ways bankruptcy can affect retirement savings

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy allows many individuals a way to create a path toward financial recovery and stability, but it does come with consequences.

One of the most significant areas of concern is how bankruptcy affects retirement savings and what individuals can do to mitigate its effects.

1. Depletion of retirement funds

When an individual files for bankruptcy, their assets and transactions can come under scrutiny. Some situations may require the liquidation of assets to pay off creditors. Some transfers to  retirement accounts may not be protected.

2. Disruption of ongoing contributions

The financial strain associated with bankruptcy can disrupt an individual’s ability to continue saving for retirement. The costs linked to bankruptcy may leave individuals unable to make regular contributions to their retirement accounts. This interruption in savings can have a lasting impact on their financial future.

3. Limited access to credit

A bankruptcy filing can damage an individual’s credit score, making it challenging to secure loans or lines of credit that might have gone toward retirement planning. When obtaining loans, high interest rates can further erode retirement savings potential, complicating efforts to rebuild.

4. Emotional toll and impulsive decisions

The emotional toll of bankruptcy can lead individuals to make hasty financial decisions that do not align with long-term retirement goals. Stress and anxiety associated with financial difficulties can cloud judgment and lead to impulsive choices that may further jeopardize retirement savings.

In the past year, personal bankruptcy filings rose 9.5 percent. Although filing comes with an upfront financial impact, a fresh start also offers an opportunity to reevaluate financial habits and prioritize retirement savings.