Broker Check
Life Changes

Life Changes

November 09, 2019

While walking my dog this morning, I reflected on the previous day’s conversation with my 82-year-old mom.
One of her dearest friends of 75 years (there is a group of 4 that have known each other since the age of seven) just lost her husband of close to 60 years of marriage.  My mom was wondering what her friend was going to do, since her husband did everything for her.  Would she know how to pay the bills on-line, handle the rental units, handle the repairs and anything else around the house.  Yes, she is lucky financially, but would she know what to do next?

My mom continued to talk about when she was widowed, how the first week or two wasn’t so bad, it’s when everyone leaves and goes back to their daily lives that is so hard. It’s the realization that everything is dependent on you to make all the final decisions.  You are solely responsible for yourself.  Whether it’s death or divorce your survival over your lifetime depends on every move you make.  You become the primary everything!

I thought about my divorce and how it compared to losing a spouse.  On one hand, you are happy to get rid of that person.  On the other hand, it is an end to a life partnership that may span decades.  Either way, there is a loss, a void and for many women, an identity that is gone.  Women can especially relate to the difference of being identified as a couple, versus a single person.  The difference is large, and it brings an entirely new meaning for many, a loss of friends and social groups that were the backbone of their identity.

Some basic rules that I tell couples before life changing events:
You both need to be at the meeting.
You both need to know all your debt. 
Make sure you have an emergency fund.
Make sure there is life insurance, even on the stay at home spouse.
Know where everything is (have a designated space for all your important papers).
Meet with your advisor at least 2-3 times a year and update your advisor on any changes.
Know your budget! How much do you really need to live on each month?
Work on short-term and long-term planning for retirement and emergencies.

Rules for life changing events:
Make no major changes for at least one year.
Give yourself permission to heal.
Know your financial picture, are you ok?
Pay off debt if you can.
Don’t get emotionally attached to things.
Sometimes you have to sell the family house.
Meet with a financial advisor that has your best interest.
Go with your gut instinct, follow your heart and surround yourself with good positive people.

Change and life altering events are hard enough, not having enough money to survive and re-group should not be one of them

Come-in Looking for a Financial Planner and Walk-out with your very own CFO.