I’m newly divorced or widowed, now what?

Illustration by Janet Atkinson

Illustration by Janet Atkinson

By Kevin Ellman CFP ®

Getting divorced or becoming a widow can leave you with the unfamiliar responsibility of managing your finances. The period of time following a major life change can be difficult, confusing and overwhelming. Don’t rush into making any major decisions, such as selling the house or changing your investment strategy. Allow yourself a grace period to cope and regroup. You can take three months, or you can take a year, as long as you feel ready and able to make objective decisions when the time is right.

While you are in “recovery mode,” begin the preliminary planning process. Gather your assets. Make sure you know where your money is. If you are a widow, take care of all your administrative obligations: Settle the estate, collect life insurance, update your will. Remember that you don’t need to do all of this alone. Use advisors. Your financial planner, lawyer, accountant and insurance agent can help you manage these administrative affairs.

The next step is to decide if you want to handle everything yourself or if you want the help of a financial advisor moving forward. Ideally, you should do some of  both. Educate yourself, so that you can ask informed questions and make informed decisions. Then consider hiring an advisor to guide you through the process of reorganization and change.

Once you have recovered and you feel ready to make major decisions, you can begin to develop your plan. Do you have enough income? Do you want to live in the same house or do you want to downsize? Do you want to make changes in your investments by consolidating or changing your advisor?

Keep in mind that this process takes time. The most important thing is to take a step back and come to terms with your situation before you try to change it.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS), member FINRA/SIPC. Wealth Preservations Solutions, LLC is a member of PartnersFinancial a platform of NFP Insurance Services, Inc (NFPISI), which is an affiliate of NFPAS. Wealth Preservation Solutions, LLC is not affiliated with NFPAS and NFPISI.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product or service or as a determination that any investment strategy is suitable for a specific investor. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the suitability of any investment strategy based on their objectives, financial situations, and individual needs. This article is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances.

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Article written by Kevin Ellman, CFP ®, CEO
Wealth Preservation Solutions, LLC.

As a financial advisor for over 25 years, Kevin Ellman provides the full array of financial, estate, and retirement planning services to high net-worth business owners, families, executives, and individuals. He has appeared as a financial commentator on CNBC (Morning Call, Portfolio Make-Over, Make Your Money Work, Power Lunch), and on ABC, and has been quoted in Business Week, CBS Market Watch, Fortune Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

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