A woman worried about her financial condition called Steidl & Steinberg the other day. She was very upset and had a lot of questions. She was especially concerned about her pension when filing for bankruptcy, as the thought of losing her retirement lifeline had her very concerned.
With So Much Debt, I Don't Know What to Do
"I tried debt consolidation but I did not have a good result. I wanted to consider looking into some type of bankruptcy, but I am worried that I will lose my pension. Can you help me and give me some advice on my possibilities of solving my problems?"
I spoke with her for a while. In her mid-fifties, she still had some time before she would be eligible for Medicare, however, retirement was still something she was considering. She has worked at a medical center for a while and has accumulated a pension of over $100,000. After I told her that her filing for bankruptcy would not affect her pension, she was so relieved.
Why Won't Bankruptcy Affect My Pension?
With almost every pension that our clients have, this is the case. Most are 401(k) or 403(b) plans or IRA’s that the clients accumulated over time, and most are treated as “exempt status." That means that the Bankruptcy Court cannot touch them.
This may not extend to a pension that you inherited from the death of a spouse or significant other because that is not really your pension, it is someone else’s money that you inherited. This is not a completely settled area of law just yet, so we will be very cautious in these matters. We would never let your pension ever be at risk.
If you need to get your financials in order before retirement, give us a call at Steidl & Steinberg. We will give you a plan to sort your present situation out, and secure your future.