No one plans on the death of a spouse, but unfortunately, it is something that many of us will experience at some point in our lives. It can be truly devastating to lose a loved one, and during that time, it can be hard to talk about much of anything, let alone finances. That’s one of the reasons why I feel so passionate about helping widows create a positive financial future after the tragic loss of a spouse.
Widows have unique financial considerations that often get lost amidst the grief and adjustment to a new way of life. But you do not have to go through it alone. If you are a widow and don’t know where to start when it comes to planning for your financial future, here are some steps that Infiniti Wealth Management will use to guide you on your journey.
Step #1: Organize Your Finances
Throughout my 25 years of experience working in the financial industry, I’ve found that one of the biggest financial struggles experienced by widows is the confusion and frustration that comes from not knowing where your money is, how to access it, or what needs to be done in the weeks and months following the loss of a spouse. This can be particularly difficult if the loss was sudden or unexpected, or if your spouse was the primary financial manager for the household.
Because of this, I’ve found that the first step in creating a positive financial future is getting organized. This is accomplished by reviewing all existing accounts, financial obligations, and income sources to create a general picture of your financial life. It may sound overwhelming, but my goal is to make the process as easy as possible by walking you through each step and helping to gather the information where I can.
Step #2: Evaluate Your Current Situation
After gathering all the necessary information, the next step is to review your entire financial picture and portfolio. Through this step, we will work together to identify your goals for the future and determine what changes, if any, need to be made to your current financial plan.
We will also review existing insurance policies, including life, health, disability, and property insurance to make sure you are properly covered no matter what happens in the future. Beyond that, any investment accounts will be evaluated in reference to your overall tolerance and capacity for risk. Proper risk management is key to creating a positive financial future.
Step #3: Develop a Moving-Forward Plan
After analyzing your current situation, we can then start to develop a financial plan for the future. I like to call this a “moving-forward” plan because it is not meant to erase where you’ve been or undo what happened prior to this point. Instead, it is meant to make the most of your experiences and the financial life you’ve already built.
In this step, we will develop a cash flow plan, taking into account your new financial circumstances since your life ahead will look different than what you are used to. This could involve additional steps, including setting up any necessary retirement or investment accounts, rebalancing existing portfolios, developing an adequate income strategy, and planning for future needs such as long-term care insurance or life insurance.
Once you have a plan in place for your future and have moved forward with purpose and fulfillment, you may be ready to make long-lasting legacy decisions with your money. Do you want to set up an education fund for your children or grandchildren? Are there any charities you would like to support? This phase of financial planning as a widow can be incredibly exciting as you look for ways to carry on your dreams (and your spouse’s).
We’re Here to Help
Regardless of where you are in your new financial journey, Infiniti Wealth Management is here to help. Navigating widowhood is a challenge no one wants to experience, but working with the right people can create a positive financial future out of a heartbreaking situation. To learn more about how we can help, call our office at 845-278-8638 or send us a message to set up a complimentary consultation.
Michael Durante is a founder, Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA®) at Infiniti Wealth Management, an independent, fee-only financial advisory firm. With over 25 years of experience, Mike specializes in serving women who are going through a life transition, whether that’s a divorce or the death of a spouse, as well as pre-retiree and retiree couples. He is passionate about helping his clients develop a personalized financial plan based on their values and goals so they enter retirement with confidence and peace of mind. Mike has both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Pace University. When he’s not working, Mike loves spending time outdoors hiking, biking, walking, golfing, campfires, the beach and doing yard work, as well as spending time with family and friends. Mike also enjoys to read, travel, and check out local restaurants and events. To learn more about Mike, connect with him on LinkedIn.
January 24, 2022 - Michael Durante, CFP®, CDFA®