It’s strange how life works. One day, you’re working, managing your household and thinking of things that need to be done tomorrow… and the next day, a tragedy can find you newly widowed, making that tidy, tedious world seem like heaven. It’s just human nature: we never know what we have until it’s gone.
So if you’re newly widowed, first of all, let us extend our condolences. Although we can’t pretend to know what you’re going through, our family has seen its fair share of struggles, too, and we know what it means to grieve.
A Helping Hand for the Newly Widowed
Next, we’d like to lay out a few simple steps that might help you find some solace during this difficult time. We know you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, and figuring out your finances might feel like the last thing in the world worth tackling. Don’t worry, there’s no rush!
But these strategies might help you make the best money moves for your future and your family, once the time is right.
1. Find the right financial planner for you
Maybe you were already working with a financial advisor, or maybe the whole concept is a novel one.
Either way, getting professional financial advice when you’re newly widowed can help you figure out how to set goals and prioritize your spending, laying the foundation for the brightest future possible. But you want to make sure you’ve got a planner you can trust and feel comfortable with.
Often times, that might be a different person than the one you were working with before. In fact, a full 70% of widows change financial advisors after the death of their husbands. In part, that’s because a woman’s financial landscape looks different once she’s solo… but it may also be that her late spouse had a greater say than she did in the initial hiring decision.
Either way, now is your chance to find professional financial advice that works for your needs, goals, and worldview, exactly as they stand — which can be a comforting opportunity. We recommend you interview several different advisors before making a commitment, however. Even the best resume in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t click on a personal level.
2. Take it slow
In the wake of such a serious tragedy, it can feel like your life is in suspended animation. Or it maybe the opposite is true, and it feels like everything’s moving way too fast.
Either way, it’s a good idea to avoid making any major changes in the first year after a major life change. When you’re newly widowed it can be far too easy to let emotions influence our decision-making — and letting the dust settle can give you a clearer picture of what you really want.
A good financial advisor can help you figure out when the time is right to make changes to your monetary strategies, from investment vehicles to insurance policies. But for now, just focus on getting your house and heart back in order. Chances are, that job is more than big enough on its own without taking on anything extra.
3. Ask for what you need
You can’t serve others well without filling up your own cup first, especially when you’ve been so badly wounded. During this trying time, take good care of yourself by asking for the help you need when you need it.
Sometimes, that’ll mean calling up a friend and requesting a shoulder to cry on. Other times, it might mean outsourcing dinner on a day when you just can’t find the will to cook on your own. And yes, finding a financial advisor who will actually understand and care about your perspective is part of this step, too — but again, all in your own time.
We’re here to help you find your feet
Losing a loved one is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging events any family can face, and putting your life back together once it’s been shattered is no easy feat. That said, if and when the time is right for you, we’ll be standing by to help you figure out the money part of the equation.
Until then, we have a useful checklist we can send you to help you organize the tasks that have to be completed after the death of a loved one. If you would like to receive a complimentary copy of this booklet, please get in touch.
After all, life is too complicated — and too short — to walk through it without asking for help when you need it.